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Food Security Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grant Program
Last month, FPC decided to apply for a new funding opportunity with our national partner, Wholesome Wave, and numerous state partners in Ohio: the FINI (Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive) grant, offered by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. This grant program supports programs, "to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables among low-income consumers participating in SNAP by providing incentives at the point of purchase," which falls perfectly in line with our already established Produce Perks program. After discussing the opportunity with partners across Ohio including what our application might look like and how it might be structured, we decided to apply in partnership with Wholesome Wave with several other states and regional networks across the country. The application was submitted on Monday, December 15th.
If funded, we will use the money we receive to support the existing Produce Perks program and all of our participating markets, enhance the regional Northeast Ohio farmers' market network with the addition of new markets in other counties, and ultimately build capacity for the creation of a statewide network of farmers' markets offering incentive programs. We were also able to secure a financial and programmatic commitment from the Ohio Department of Health and Ohio Department of Job and Family Services to support a significant marketing and communications initiative to support the program in Cleveland and in other communities across the state. With a strong network already in place, we are poised to begin planning for growth and are excited to see more Ohio residents gain access to this valuable program!