NPI researchers receive additional funding to evaluate the California Nutrition Incentive Program at farmers’ markets during the COVID-19 pandemic

Feb 1, 2022

Families with low-income that participate in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program–known as CalFresh in California–receive monthly benefits to spend on food. The California Nutrition Incentive Program (CNIP), operated by the California Department of Food and Agriculture, is a strategy to increase CalFresh participants' intake of fruits and vegetables by making them more affordable with financial incentives for purchasing them at venues such as farmers markets. The COVID-19 pandemic led to major disruptions to the food system, resulting in many challenges for farmers and low-income shoppers. Additional federal funds were provided during the pandemic to increase CNIP incentives to better support farmers and CalFresh shoppers. Wendi Gosliner from the University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Nutrition Policy Institute received funding from the California Department of Food and Agriculture to evaluate CalFresh farmers market shoppers' experiences of the additional funds for CNIP-type incentives during the pandemic, expanding on her previous CNIP evaluation work. Gosliner will work in partnership NPI researchers Sridharshi Hewawitharana, Celeste Felix and Ron Strochlic, CDFA and the Gretchen Swanson Evaluation Center on the one-year project, which began in January 2022.

By Danielle L. Lee
Author - Director of Communications & Research Engagement
By Wendi Gosliner
Contributor - Project scientist