CHARLESTON, W.Va. – U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), members of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced $650,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to the West Virginia Food and Farm Coalition for the West Virginia Lettuce Support SNAP Stretch project.
The funding is allocated through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act and will work to incentivize and increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables among families participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The project also supports both local West Virginia farmers and families by allowing their SNAP dollars to go further with purchases at farmers markets, roadside stands and other local vendors.
In a second award, West Virginia University received $54,768 to support pest control programming for commercial orchardists, High Tunnel growers, vegetable and small-fruit producers, county agents, Master Gardeners, homeowners, and consumer horticulturists across West Virginia.
“Every West Virginian deserves access to quality, healthy foods, but oftentimes produce is more expensive and less available in certain areas. I am thrilled USDA is investing in West Virginia Food and Farm Coalition’s project to increase access to healthy food purchases like fruit and vegetables, while also supporting local West Virginia farmers. USDA is also supporting WVU pest control education efforts across the state, which is vital for many of our growers and farmers,” said Senator Manchin. “I will continue to advocate for important programs like these to help West Virginians put healthy food on the table for their families, and I am committed to supporting West Virginia’s growing agriculture industry.”
“The West Virginia Food and Farm Coalition plays a key role in strengthening our state’s local food and agriculture system, and I’m glad to see this important funding headed their way at such an important time,” Senator Capito said. “This funding will both bolster our food supply chain and help families in need gain access to healthy food options within our most vulnerable communities.”
Individual awards listed below:
- $54,768 – West Virginia University
This project works to increase adoption, implementation and efficiency of effective, economical and safe pest management practices and to develop new practices where needed for West Virginia farmers.
- $650,000 –West Virginia Food and Farm Coalition
This project supports the West Virginia Lettuce Support SNAP Stretch project to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables by incentivizing entire SNAP recipient families. The project matches SNAP purchases at farmers markets, roadside stands, community-supported agriculture (CSA), retail firms, and mobile markets at a dollar-for-dollar rate for adults (1:1), 1:2 rate for families with children, and a 1:2 for senior citizens.