Frequently Asked Questions
What are Nutrition Incentives?
Nutrition incentives provide extra food dollars to help shoppers with low incomes include more fruits and vegetables in their diet. These programs are provided by retailers who are then reimbursed by their partner grant agency. Two primary nutrition incentive approaches relevant to retailers engaged through this program are SNAP incentives and produce prescriptions.
SNAP incentives link extra produce dollars to purchases made with the shopper’s SNAP benefits. Benefits are often matched at a 1:1 ratio, meaning $1 spent in SNAP triggers a $1 incentive to be offered. However, there are several models across the U.S. that have different ratios, or require the SNAP purchase to be spent on produce in order to trigger the incentive.
Produce Prescriptions are issued by healthcare providers to low-income patients whose health conditions could be improved by eating more fruits and vegetables. Rather than prescribing specific fruits or vegetables healthcare providers will often prescribe a dollar amount to be spent on produce. This dollar amount varies depending on program, family size, and other factors.
This site focuses on SNAP incentive programs in farm direct settings.
What does Farm Direct mean?
Farm Direct refers to a food outlet that is focused on connecting the farmer directly to the consumer. For example: farmers markets, farm stands, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs, and some box programs and mobile markets.
Are there already nutrition incentive programs in my state?
There is great work being done in communities across the United States. Find out about GusNIP-funded nutrition incentive projects in your state with The Nutrition Incentive Hub’s National Map.
Who is this site for?
This site is open to everyone who wants to learn more about nutrition incentives. It was created with those who operate farm direct outlets in mind. Each resource in the library was chosen to support farm direct operators interested in implementing or expanding a nutrition incentive program. Organizations that administer nutrition incentive programs across a broader region or state may benefit more directly from the Nutrition Incentive Hub’s Resource Toolkit, which includes resources designed for recipients of the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP) grant.
I have a resource I want to share or see on the site. How do I submit an existing resource or suggest a new one?
Thank you for your interest in contributing to the nutrition incentive guide site! We aim to keep a robust resource database and appreciate your help in keeping resources up-to-date, relevant, and comprehensive. Please submit your existing resources to the library or suggest new resources for creation by filling out this form. Send any additional questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include “Farm Direct Resource” in the email subject line.
How often do you update resources?
We strive to keep our resource library current and relevant. We regularly go through and check resources to make sure the information they contain is still accurate. If you see anything that is not accurate or is out of date, or if you are the creator of a resource and you would like us to remove it from the library for any reason, please email email@example.com. Please include “Farm Direct Resource” in the email subject line.
Who made this site?
This site is a collaborative project. It is led by the Farmers Market Coalition, with consulting support from Amanda M. Edmonds, who created the information taxonomy the site uses, and gathered hundreds of core resources. We also drew heavily on the resources and expertise of the Ecology Center, the Michigan Farmers Market Association (MIFMA), and Fair Food Network as partners of the Nutrition Incentive Hub. Finally, as an aggregation of resources from hundreds of organizations, this site is a collaboration across the field of nutrition incentives and beyond.
Photographs on the site are drawn primarily from images that FMC has collected ourselves or from our member organizations. We have attributed each photo to the site of origin directly beneath the photo where possible. Our hero image comes from from Farmers Market Ogden in Utah. If you’d like to share photographs for use on the guide site from your farm direct site, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is the Nutrition Incentive Hub?
The Nutrition Incentive Hub, created by the GusNIP Training, Technical Assistance, Evaluation and Information Center (NTAE), is a coalition of partners that provides training, technical assistance, reporting, and evaluation for those administering SNAP incentive or produce prescription programs. The Nutrition Incentive Hub is focused on supporting the organizations that receive federal GusNIP funds, as well as those who are considering applying for GusNIP, and may be useful to other regional and statewide administrators of nutrition incentive programs. Learn more about Nutrition Incentive Hub partners on the NTAE website. The Nutrition Incentive Hub website contains many valuable resources for supporting GusNIP grantees who administer networks of nutrition incentive sites. This guide site, however, is specifically for farm direct practitioners who are administering incentives at a site such as a farmers market, CSA, or farm stand.
What is GusNIP?
The Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP) is a grant funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture through the 2018 Farm Bill. GusNIP allows the Secretary to fund projects that incentivize the purchase of fruits and vegetables by low-income consumers. This grant program has existed since 2014, although before 2018 it was known as the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) grant. Learn more about the grant here!
Do I have to be a GusNIP Grantee to have a nutrition incentive program?
No. You can implement a nutrition incentive program at your farm direct site without a GusNIP grant. GusNIP offers funding, resources, and support, which may be useful to larger organizations administering nutrition incentive programs at several sites across a region or state. GusNIP also offers grants to support pilot projects for networks that are just getting started. This site can help you find resources to support your program whether or not you work with a GusNIP Grantee.
I’m interested in nutrition incentives but I operate a grocery store or corner store, where can I go for resources?
National Grocers Association Foundation Technical Assistance Center is also a partner of the Nutrition Incentive Hub and has created a resource library for brick and mortar sites operating nutrition incentive programs.
I’ve looked over the resources and haven’t found what I need. Where can I get assistance?
All requests for further technical assistance should be emailed to email@example.com. Please mention that you were directed by the Farm Direct Incentives Guide Site. If you are looking for grantee-level templates and resources, you can also visit the grantee resource library at nutritionincentivehub.org.