Nutrition Incentives for New Yorkers in Need



Funding Area

Healthy Food, Healthy Lives


September 17, 2019

Healthy Food, Healthy Lives

Research shows that nutrition incentive programs lead to increases in the purchasing and consumption of healthier foods—namely fruits and vegetables, including more fresh produce from local farmers markets—by low-income families and individuals.

Over the last decade, nutrition incentive programs have grown throughout New York State and continue to expand. These programs are funded and administered by different entities and vary in how they operate, including eligibility requirements, geographic availability, distribution method, and incentive amount. To date, however, there has been no comprehensive inventory of nutrition incentive programs in New York State, and comparative information is limited.

To help fill these gaps, this issue brief provides a high-level profile of many of the existing programs and next steps for their continued development. The brief also offers recommendations on how to make it easier for both New Yorkers and vendors/food producers to participate in these programs and the need for a comprehensive evaluation to identify best practices for greater participation and more purchasing of healthier foods.