USDA Invests More Than $59M to Improve Dietary Health and Nutrition Security

WASHINGTON, Nov. 22, 2022 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced an investment of $59.4 million to support the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program’s (GusNIP) Produce Prescription and Nutrition Incentive programs designed to encourage families and individuals to eat more healthfully by increasing access to fresh fruits and vegetables. This investment delivers on a commitment made in the Biden-Harris Administration’s National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health to improve access to healthy and affordable food.

Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young, USDA Chief Scientist and Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics, visited the Takoma Park Silver Spring (TPSS) Co-op in Takoma Park, Maryland. Crossroads Community Food Network in partnership with TPSS is receiving funding under this program to launch “Year-Round Fresh Checks” to expand access to affordable fresh fruits and vegetables in the Takoma/Langley Crossroads community, a primarily immigrant neighborhood just outside Washington, D.C. Over the course of the project, it is anticipated that 3,000 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) users will spend $450,000, which will be matched with $450,000 in incentives ($250,000 from federal funds and $200,000 from state and local matching dollars).

“Partners such as Crossroads Community Food Network, Inc., are invaluable for USDA’s nutrition security efforts,” said Jacobs-Young. “By understanding the lived experiences of their community, they help deliver USDA programs into the hands of the people who need them most.”

GusNIP programs strive to improve dietary health through increased consumption of fresh produce, improve individual and household food security, and reduce health care use and associated costs. GusNIP Nutrition Incentive programs provide incentives at the point of purchase among income-eligible consumers participating in USDA’s SNAP and income-eligible consumers participating in other USDA nutrition assistance programs. Produce Prescriptions leverage medical assistance programs to provide “prescriptions” from a health care provider for fresh fruits and vegetables.

“Since its creation in 2019, GusNIP projects have increased access to healthy foods, and this investment serves to ensure that even more consumers can provide fresh, locally-grown fruits and vegetables for their families,” said Dr. Dionne Toombs, Acting Director of the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), the entity administering the awards. “In fact, as a result of additional funding provided through the American Rescue Plan Act, NIFA is expanding our reach to many first-time program applicants from underrepresented communities nationwide.”

Forty-three awards make up a $20.7 million Produce Prescription Program investment through USDA’s American Rescue Plan funding for

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General public library invests grant into wellness and conditioning systems

LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) – The Lawton General public Library has made a decision to spend their yearly wellness literacy grant toward a plan that focuses on a balanced lifestyle.

Our library is one of the 36 public libraries that received this a long time grant, awarded by the Oklahoma Section of Libraries.

All 36 grants totaled around 220 thousand dollars, courtesy of the Institute of Museum and Library Providers.

Local community Engagement Librarian Tanya Organ reported they made a decision to commit the 9 thousand greenback grant into plans that will motivate the community to get lively.

”This year we acquired some library of items, individuals can look at out to use whether they want to use it 1 time or see if it’s some thing they want to buy for their dwelling,” Organ explained. “We ordered some bike mend stations. And we are heading to host some Thai Chi Lessons through OHAI.

Organ stated the Library of Points plan allows everyone who is about the age of 18, and has a library move, to look at out balanced living things for 2 weeks.

The objects variety from, weights, leap ropes, headphones, and even a metal detector.

The grant gave them the option to incorporate mild therapy packing containers and weighted hula hoops as very well to persuade movement and exercising.

”Some of these matters are products that if they are at the park participating in with their children, they may well not have the accessibility to get their tire aired up or everything,” Organ explained. “So it’s critical for us to get the information out there so individuals can use them.”

Apart from the overall health constructive assortment of goods, they also selected to develop 3 bike fix stations all all over city.

At the library, Elmer Thomas Park and Greer Park, which several of us know as Kid Zone.

”Our group being so sturdy in the bicycling, we having 2 substantial bicycle races, just one of them becoming the Tour of the Wichitas,” Organ said. “It’s just a good way to present an opportunity, if they’re out there schooling, they have a position to stop if some thing breaks on their bicycle.”

They hope to get these bike stations finished by February of this calendar year.

And and finally, they are likely to get started a cost-free Thai Chi class, starting off January 24, that focuses on harmony

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Biden admin invests $100 million on health care labor shortage

The Biden administration announced Thursday that it will direct $100 million to the National Health Service Corps to help address the health care worker shortage.

Pulled from funding in the American Rescue Plan, the $100 million represents one of the nation’s biggest investments in a program that helps place primary care doctors in communities that have difficulty recruiting and retaining them. It’s a five-fold increase from previous years, the Department of Health and Human Services said.

The National Health Service Corps offers loan repayments and scholarships to clinicians in exchange for multiple years of service in areas that have a health care provider shortage.

“Whether you’re in rural America, or in a low income part of America, that shouldn’t be a reason why you can’t access good quality health care,” Health Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a phone interview. “And so we want to help states that are going to try to do what they can to keep that public health workforce in those rural communities, those low-income communities, they’re where people need them.”

The announcement comes after the United States lost 17,500 health care employees in September, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. With the industry’s employment figures now sitting at just under 16 million, the agency reported the country has lost 524,000 health care employees since the start of the pandemic. Job losses in nursing, hospitals and residential care saw the biggest drops in the industry last month.

Losing employees has in turn increased labor costs. Hospitals and other medical facilities have had to sharply increase spending on recruiting and retaining employees, according to a report published last week by Moody’s Investors Services. That has led to boosted benefit options and sign-on bonuses that can go well into five figures since the start of the pandemic.

“Covid has basically caused a laser focus on the glaring gaps and dysfunction across the American health care system,” said Tener Veenema, a scholar focused on workforce issues at Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Health Security. “Making investments to redistribute health care providers into rural areas, low-resourced areas, is so important because we know how much they are suffering from a lack of access to good health care.”

States will be able to apply for grants until April and the Department of Health and Human Services predicts it will make up to 50 awards as high as $1 million per

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