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USDA Working to Develop More Nutritious Humanitarian Food Aid Packages

Media Contact: Jennifer Martin, (202) 720-8188

WASHINGTON, Feb. 25, 2010 – Roger Beachy, director of USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced a new grant program to develop healthier food products for humanitarian assistance programs.

“Millions of people around the world depend on food aid delivered by the United States for their survival every day,” Beachy said.  “It is our responsibility to make sure that in emergency situations, these people are receiving food that supplies them with the nutrients they need.”
           
NIFA’s Food Aid Nutritional Education Program (FANEP) supports the development and field testing of new ready-to-use foods, fortified blended foods, high-energy foods, micronutrient powders or other food products designed to improve the nutritional delivery and functional form of humanitarian food assistance.  Projects funded by FANEP may also field test existing food products that have not yet been approved for use in food aid programs.

NIFA expects to release the request for applications for the program next month with a 60-day open period.  Approximately $3.8 million in grants will be awarded in Fiscal Year 2010 on a competitive basis. 

Eligible applicants include state agricultural experiment stations and cooperative extension services, all colleges and universities, other research or education institutions and organizations, federal and private agencies and organizations and individuals who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents.  Foreign entities are not eligible to apply; however, award recipients may subcontract to organizations not eligible to apply, provided such organizations are necessary to conduct the project.

NIFA does not require cost-sharing or matching support for FANEP projects.  However, priority will be given to applications that demonstrate active partnership with and in-kind support from the private sector.

FANEP is administered through Section 724 of the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Programs Appropriation Act (Public Law 111-80), which specified for a grant program to enhance the health of individuals, especially infants and young children, at risk for or suffering from malnutrition by further improving the nutritional content, product composition, packaging and other components of food products delivered through the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition program and the Food for Peace Title II humanitarian assistance programs.

Before applying, applicants must complete the Grants.gov registration process, which can take as long as two weeks for new applicants. More info is at the Grants.gov Web site.

Through federal funding and leadership for research, education and extension programs, NIFA focuses on investing in science and solving critical issues impacting people's daily lives and the nation's future. For more information, visit www.nifa.usda.gov.

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USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272(voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).