The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded the Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition, based in Omaha, a $31 million grant to lead a national research project to boost nutrition for our country’s low-income residents. It is a fitting choice. The longtime research group has earned national respect for its expertise on hunger and nutrition issues.
The grant project will examine the effectiveness of 22 incentive programs intended to promote the purchase of fruits and vegetables through Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits. Nationwide, 40 million Americans use SNAP for food purchases.
This project is just the latest example of how the Swanson Center, established in 1973, is a leading research institution in analyzing issues connecting food, hunger, public health, nonprofit operations and government policy.
The more that policy-makers and nonprofits understand how well or poorly the incentive programs are working, the better such efforts can be adjusted to encourage nutritional eating and address child obesity. The Swanson Center and other partner organizations will be pursuing commendable, important work.