Funding enables Food Bank to expand nutrition incentives at participating retailers, increasing access to fresh produce for those in need

Manchester, N.H. – The New Hampshire Food Bank was recently awarded more than $660,000 to expand access to fresh produce for those who are food insecure in New Hampshire. The funding will be used to increase access to nutritious food with the opening of four new retail locations, two new farmer’s markets and a pilot community supported agriculture program, which will link participants directly with local food producers. Within New Hampshire, state partners include Seacoast Eat Local, Cheshire County Conservation District, Merrimack County Conservation District. The funding was received as part of a $4.8 million U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP) grant awarded to the New England Nutrition Incentive Collaborative (NENIC), of which the Food Bank serves as the New Hampshire partner.

“We are excited to strengthen our partnership with NENIC through this grant from the USDA’s GusNIP nutrition incentive program and to increase access to nutritious food, including fresh produce, for those in need,” said Eileen Liponis, Executive Director, New Hampshire Food Bank. “Approximately 7% of all New Hampshire residents, including approximately 9.5% of children, struggle with food insecurity in New Hampshire, and this partnership will enable us to combat hunger by expanding our current network of 88 market outlets that serve SNAP participants to more outlets and locations across the state.”

The USDA awarded NENIC $4.8 million to expand use of nutrition incentives across New England in Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. Led by Farm Fresh Rhode Island, NENIC will seek to increase purchase and consumption of fruits and vegetables through the project, “Cultivating Regional Growth: Expanding The New England Nutrition Incentive System.” Through the program, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants will receive financial incentives for purchases of produce, increasing access to nutritious food for individuals and families. NENIC was selected as one of eight GusNIP Nutrition Incentive projects to receive a grant.

Through the program, Farm Fresh Rhode Island and its partners, including the New Hampshire Food Bank, will distribute nearly $5.7 million in nutrition incentives over three years, with the goal to increase the purchase and consumption of fruits and vegetables by providing financial incentives for SNAP purchases for free or reduced cost produce, increase the amount and variety of outlets accepting SNAP, which will also support regional farms while making produce more affordable and accessible.

In 2022, the New Hampshire Food Bank distributed more than 16 million pounds of food to more than 400 nonprofit food agencies in all corners of New Hampshire. The New Hampshire Food Bank expects to continue increasing food distribution to meet the need.

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