California Nutrition Incentive Program (CNIP) beneficiaries report lower levels of food insecurity, greater ability to consume fruits and vegetables, and overwhelmingly positive appreciation for the program. This is according to an evaluation by the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources (UCANR) Nutrition Policy Institute (NPI).
“I’m eating better because I can afford to get fresh food, fresh vegetables and fruit that I wouldn’t get otherwise,” one participant said about CNIP in NPI’s research brief. “It gives me the chance to taste and to eat foods that I might not otherwise be exposed to, and foods that I wouldn’t feel like I could afford. … I just think it’s fabulous.”
Housed within the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Office of Farm to Fork, CNIP encourages the purchase and consumption of healthy, California-grown fresh fruits and vegetables by shoppers using nutrition benefits, including CalFresh (formerly known as food stamps), the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), and Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program. For every benefit dollar spent, CNIP provides an additional dollar that can be spent on fruits and vegetables at participating Certified Farmers’ Markets and other retail outlets.
CDFA contracted NPI researchers to evaluate CNIP and learn what beneficiaries think of the program. NPI researchers interviewed 386 CalFresh shoppers at 10 farmers’ markets and nine supermarkets. Key finding include that CNIP was “very important” to decisions to shop at farmers’ markets for California-grown products, and shoppers overwhelmingly reported a desire to see CNIP continue and expand.
Click here to read NPI’s research brief. Visit the CNIP website to learn more about this CDFA program battling food insecurity while supporting California farmers in providing their nutritious fruits and vegetables to as many Californians as possible.