Coalition Letter to House and Senate Ag Committee Leadership Calling for a Fully Funded FINI Program in the Next Farm Bill

Letter

Date Sent
February 14, 2018
Sender
Multi-Industry Coalition
Recipient
Chairman Roberts, Chairman Conaway, Ranking Member Stabenow, and Ranking Member Peterson
Subject
Food Insecurity and Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Program in the next Farm Bill
67 KB, PDF

The undersigned national agriculture, nutrition, hunger, and public health organizations urge you to continue to fully fund the Food Insecurity and Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Program in the next Farm Bill. Our organizations are committed to supporting opportunities and programs that provide increased market share for farmers while also providing greater access to fruits and vegetables for those who need it the most. We also suggest renaming the program to the Gus Schumacher FINI Program, after the late global farm-to-table advocate who was the brainchild of the original program. 

Created in the 2014 Farm Bill, the FINI program supports the local agricultural economy by driving low-income consumers participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to farmers markets, grocery stores, and other participating retail sites to redeem incentives at the point of purchase. Participating markets realize increased sales[1][2] and new customers. SNAP consumers get better access to and are able to afford healthy food – often with local ties to their community. FINI is a prime example of the importance of a unified farm bill and creatively matching public and private dollars can benefit food producers and low-income families.  

Millions of dollars have been spent at FINI funded locations, dollars that go directly to the pockets of thousands of American farmers. These dollars correlate to millions of additional and necessary servings[3] of fruits and vegetables to families dependent on the supplementary benefits of SNAP.  Based on USDA’s SNAP economic multiplier, FINI has generated more than $200 million in estimated economic impact to communities of every size across the United States since 2015.

We ask that FINI remains an important and fully funded piece of this food, jobs, and economic development legislative package you are working diligently to draft. We look forward to working closely with you to advance the next Farm Bill. 

Sincerely,

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
American Heart Association
Fair Food Network
Farmers Market Coalition
Lydia B. Stokes Foundation
National Association of State Departments of Agriculture
National Co+op Grocers
National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
Nell Newman Foundation
Produce Marketing Association
School Nutrition Association
Self-Help Credit Union
The Lumpkin Family Foundation
Thornburg Foundation
Thread Fund
UnitedFresh Produce Association
University of Arkansas School of Law Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative
Wholesome Wave

[1]Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Grant Program (FINI): 2015 Program Results”, 2017

[2] "Year One of the USDA FINI Program: Incentivizing the Purchase of Fruits and Vegetables Among SNAP Customers at the Farmers Market", 2017, p.4

[3] "Year One of the USDA FINI Program: Incentivizing the Purchase of Fruits and Vegetables Among SNAP Customers at the Farmers Market", 2017, p. 2