California Nutrition Incentive Program
The California Nutrition Incentive Program (CNIP) was established by Assembly Bill 1321 (Chapter 442, Statutes of 2015) to encourage the purchase and consumption of healthy, California-grown fresh fruits, vegetables, and nuts by nutrition benefit clients. Housed within the Office of Farm to Fork, the program provides monetary incentives for the purchase of California grown fruits and vegetables at Certified Farmers Markets and small businesses.
Phase 1 of the program provides nutrition incentives to CalFresh shoppers who purchase California grown fruits and vegetables at Certified Farmers Markets and mobile markets. For every CalFresh benefit dollar they spend, CalFresh shoppers receive an additional dollar that can be spent on fruits and vegetables at the market, within set parameters. Any CalFresh shopper can benefit from the program simply by spending their benefits at participating Certified Farmers Markets. The incentive is intended to encourage CalFresh shoppers to purchase healthy food and empower them to increase their consumption of fruits and vegetables. To find farmers’ markets participating in CNIP/Market Match, please visit the Ecology Centers’ Farmers Market Finder
In summer of 2018, CNIP expanded and began offering incentives to low-income seniors participating in the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program, WIC families, and CalFresh shoppers at a variety of additional retail outlets, including neighborhood retail stores, Community Supported Agriculture programs, and Certified Farmers Markets.
The California Nutrition Incentive Program is made possible through a robust public-private funding structure—including a federal Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive grant, state general funds, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education SNAP-Ed (the federally funded nutrition education program for SNAP and SNAP eligible consumers) funds, and local partner support, including private donations, grants and in-kind contributions.
CNIP Expansion Partners
In 2018, CDFA solicited proposals to expand CNIP to reach low-income shoppers participating in WIC and the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program, in addition to CalFresh, and to expand into CSAs, farm stands, and neighborhood retail stores. The following organizations and their projects are partners in the CNIP Expansion:
Interfaith Sustainable Food Collaborative works to advance the production of and access to healthy food by empowering faith communities with models and resources to impact local food systems. Through CNIP, Interfaith will provide nutrition incentives to low-income seniors participating in the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program and to CalFresh shoppers purchasing produce through CSAs and farm stands. The project will operate at faith-based sites in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Mandela MarketPlace works in partnership with local residents, family farmers, and community-based businesses to improve health, create wealth, and build assets through cooperative food enterprises in low-income communities. Through CNIP, Mandela MarketPlace will expand its incentive program for CalFresh shoppers purchasing California grown fruits, vegetables, and nuts at retail stores and farm stands in Alameda County.
The Ecology Center has been operating the Market Match program since 2012, and has been a previous CNIP grantee. This expansion grant will provide incentives to CalFresh shoppers at 103 Market Match farmers markets throughout the state.
The Visalia Farmers Market operates farmers markets at three locations in Tulare County – two in Visalia and one in Porterville. The Visalia Farmers Market Association will offer nutrition incentives at all three of its markets to WIC shoppers and to seniors participating in the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program.
CNIP Phase 1 Partners
For the first phase of CNIP, CDFA solicited proposals for partner organizations to provide nutrition incentives for CalFresh shoppers purchasing California grown competitive grant process, the following four organizations and their projects were selected to be partners in CNIP Phase 1:
The Ecology Center – California Market Match Expansion and Innovation Project
The Ecology Center has been operating the Market Match program since 2012. The Ecology Center partners with a network of experienced Implementation Contractors, the majority of which operate farmers' market sites; however, some are community based organizations that provide an array of services including regional farmers' market coordination, CalFresh and nutrition incentive distribution on site, and shopper education. Through the Ecology Center and its partners, CNIP will distribute nutrition incentives at 300 Certified Farmers' Markets and 39 mobile markets.
Wellington Square Certified Farmers' Market – Nutrition Incentive Festivals
Wellington Square Certified Farmers' Market currently provides nutrition incentives to its CalFresh shoppers through the Market Match Program. With funding through CNIP, the Market will throw monthly Nutrition Incentive Festivals to attract more CalFresh customers to the Market and provide an array of family-friendly, nutrition focused activities – including kids' healthy, hands on, cooking classes, adult cooking demonstrations and live music.
North Figueroa Association – Market Match of Northeast LA
The North Figueroa Association operates two markets in Northeast LA – Highland Parks and Old LA Certified Farmers' Markets. Funding from CNIP will provide nutrition incentives for CalFresh shoppers at these markets and promote the markets and the consumption of California grown fresh fruits and vegetables to CalFresh shoppers in the area.
Downtown Napa Farmers' Market – Token Match Program
Downtown Napa Certified Farmers' Market will provide nutrition incentives to CalFresh shoppers at the market. In addition, the Market will also provide nutrition education programming, including cooking classes for families, at the market to encourage healthy eating.