Appetite for a Healthier Future
In early 2020, the Family Nutrition Program partnered with the WVU Foundation, the WVU School of Public Health, the WVU Food Justice Lab, the West Virginia Food and Farm Coalition and Turnrow Appalachian Farm Collective to apply for and receive a $658,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation.
Over the next two years, Appetite for a Healthier Future will bring together partners in education, health care, agriculture and emergency food assistance sectors to help those experiencing food insecurity in some of our most vulnerable communities.
This grant will increase access to locally grown produce in 10 West Virginia counties — Barbour, Boone, Cabell, Greenbrier, Lincoln, McDowell, Mercer, Mingo, Roane and Upshur — through the simultaneous layering of four programs: FARMacy, Kids Markets, SNAP Stretch and Farm to Food Pantry.
FARMacy is a weekly program allowing doctors to “prescribe” fresh, healthy, locally grown foods to food-insecure patients with chronic diet-related diseases. Grant funding will create FARMacy programs in the 10 included counties.
Kids Markets are designed to increase children’s preference for fruits and vegetables by giving them ownership in the shopping process. The Walmart Foundation grant will allow FNP to expand the markets to 20,000 students in participating counties over the next two years.
SNAP Stretch allows shoppers to multiply their spending power at farmers markets statewide. Grant funding will allow SNAP Stretch to expand into six additional counties. The grant also allowed markets to purchase card readers if they did not already have them. This alone will make markets more accessible for shoppers using WIC, senior vouchers, and credit and debit cards.
The Farm-to-Food Pantry program provides two pantries in each participating county with a cold storage unit, which will increase capacity to provide fresh food to patrons.