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News Release

California Department of Food and Agriculture

Media Contacts: Steve Lyle (CDFA), 916-654-0462 ,

California Department of Food and Agriculture
Release #21-097



SACRAMENTO,  August 18, 2021 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute for Food and Agriculture has awarded the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) a Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program COVID Relief and Response (GusCRR) grant of $6,325,464 to support low-income shoppers through the California Nutrition Incentive Program (CNIP). Click here to view USDA’s news release.
“CDFA is grateful to receive a COVID Relief and Response grant,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “It will go a long way toward helping our families afford healthy food and supporting California farmers.”
CDFA’s CNIP provides nutrition incentives to CalFresh (formerly known as food stamps) shoppers at participating farmers’ markets and retail sites, allowing shoppers to purchase more California-grown fruits and vegetables. For every CalFresh dollar spent, CNIP provides an additional dollar to spend on California-grown fresh fruits and vegetables.
CNIP has been popular during the COVID-19 pandemic, as more shoppers looked for ways to stretch their food budgets, signed up for CalFresh, and visited farmers’ markets to shop outdoors and support local farmers. Because of the increased demand for nutrition incentives, CNIP has been distributing them much faster than anticipated. The GusCRR grant will keep CNIP solvent while meeting the increased demand. 
The newly awarded GusCRR grant builds upon CDFA’s current GusNIP grant. The GusCRR grant will provide additional funds for nutrition incentives at farmers’ markets, farm stands and mobile markets that have seen high demand during the COVID-19 pandemic. These incentives provide crucial support to low-income Californians using their CalFresh dollars at California’s Certified Farmers’ Markets, and to California farmers and the local economy, bolstering the resilience of the food system in our state.

CNIP is administered by CDFA’s Office of Farm to Fork, which leads CDFA’s food access work. More information on the California Nutrition Incentive Program, grantees and participating retail outlets can be found at


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California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814