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Monday, January 11th

12:00 pm Registration

1:00 pm Opening Remarks, The Honorable Kevin Concannon, Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, USDA

Keynote, Debra Eschmeyer, Executive Director of Let’s Move! and Senior Policy Advisor for Nutrition Policy at the White House.

1:50 pm Plenary Panel:

Where We Are - Healthy Food Incentives within the Food System Landscape

Facilitator: Lorelei DiSogra, EdD, RD, Vice President, Nutrition and Health – United Fresh Produce Association

  • Dominque Hazzard, Outreach Specialist – DC Greens
  • Janie Simms Hipp, J.D., LL.M., Director – Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative, University of Arkansas School of Law
  • John Piotti, President and CEO – Maine Farmland Trust
  • Kathlyn Terry, Executive Director – Appalachian Sustainable Development

Nutrition incentives have played a transformational role in providing affordable access to healthy fruits and vegetables for hundreds of thousands of low-income consumers. This plenary panel will be a free-flowing conversation that discusses where nutrition incentives are within the larger food system and what nutrition incentives can accomplish for consumers, communities, and farmers.

3:15 pm Session One

Successful Strategies in Nutrition Incentive Programs Today: Farmers Markets, CSAs and More

Panelists: FRESHFARM Markets, New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, No More Empty Pots & Our Harvest Cooperative

Hear from practitioners in the field on successful strategies in nutrition incentive programs across a variety of program types, scales, regions, and venues. This session will focus on sharing stories of successful programs in DC Metro Area, Ohio, New York City, and Nebraska at farmers markets, CSAs, and market box programs. Real world examples will feed into discussions of program sustainability, building community partnerships, day-to-day operations, and more.

Putting the Access in Affordable Access: Innovations in Nutrition Incentive Programs

Panelists: City of Somerville- Massachusetts Department of Health and Human Services, Community Farmers Market, Fresh Approach & University of South Carolina Center for Research in Nutrition and Health Disparities

The field of affordable food access is evolving rapidly, and innovative and complementary food access programs designed to reinforce and amplify the impact of nutrition incentive programs are meeting the needs of customers in diverse communities. This session will discuss innovative approaches to improving access to healthy, local food in Georgia, Massachusetts, California and South Carolina. Participants will learn about: programs designed to reach limited mobility customers; reaching customers in their communities with mobile markets; and coordinating with public transportation systems to improve access to farmers markets offering nutrition incentive programs.

Clinic-Community Partnerships to Improve Healthy Food Access

Panelists: Community Farm Alliance, Forsyth Farmers’ Market, Mercer University School of Medicine & St. Christopher’s Foundation for Children in Philadelphia

Building partnerships between the clinical and community settings is critical to improving patient access to preventive health care services and to healthy, affordable foods. This session will explore creative approaches to clinic-community partnerships in order to improve the health of people and the communities in which they live. Leaders from community organizations in Kentucky, Georgia, and Pennsylvania will share about their program models and communities served, key successes and challenges, and best practices in developing clinic-community partnerships.

Healthy Corner Stores: Building Sustainable Community Engagement

Presenters: DC Central Kitchen & EatSF

Our presentation will focus on creating and sustaining partnerships and corner stores in two different urban communities across the country. This includes understanding the relationship between vendors, such as farmers, grocery stores, corner stores and local community partners. Participants will be able to identify the strategies for engaging underserved populations and the various barriers to sustainability.

Food Access in Rural General Stores: A Maine Case Study

Presenter: Coastal Enterprises Inc., Healthy Acadia & The Food Trust

Healthy retail programs nationally focus mainly on large stores in urban neighborhoods or on city corner stores. However, in a rural, low population state like Maine, most small towns lacking a large supermarket have a combination of general stores, convenience stores, and farm stands to meet the daily food needs of their populations. In order to make healthy food the easy choice CEI, Healthy Acadia, and The Food Trust launched the Healthy General Store Initiative (HGSI) in 2014 to increase healthy food options in isolated rural convenience stores. This session will look at the challenges and successes of establishing a healthy retail program in a rural community.

Organizing for State Nutrition Incentive Policies

Presenters: Ecology Center, Experimental Station, Maryland Farmers Market Association  & New Mexico Farmers’ Marketing Association

A number of states throughout the US have begun developing strategies for state support of nutrition incentive programs, by creating statewide incentive programs, allowing or directly providing state funding for nutrition incentive programs, or other efforts. These nascent structures have come about through a variety of strategies ranging from state legislation, to budget initiatives to independent organizations. The presenters have developed successful models for organizing and generating support for state policy that supports innovative nutrition incentive programs, and will share the critical factors in their successes, as well as challenges and opportunities they see for the future.

4:45 pm Plenary Session: 

Building Equity — Participant Leadership in Nutrition Incentive Programs

  • Alison Meares Cohen, Senior Director of Programs –
  • WhyHunger
  • Dominque Hazzard, Outreach Specialist – DC Greens
  • Kim Hines, Executive Director – Augusta Locally Grown
  • Suzzane Babb, MPH, Community Partnerships Manager, Nourish Network for the Right to Food
  • Angel Newman, Program Participant, G.R.O.W. Harrisburg Takisha Burke, Program Participant, G.R.O.W. Harrisburg

This interactive plenary session will feature incentive programs that engage program participants in order to build towards more equitable systems and foster leadership by those most impacted by systemic inequities. The goals of this session are to help Summit participants understand the ways that structural oppression and other systemic factors can be addressed through nutrition incentive programs and opportunities to develop leadership by those most impacted by their programs over the long term. This session will create opportunities to share experiences and ask questions in order to develop peer learning and support individuals to examine the way that these dynamics play out in all of our work.

6:30 pm  Welcome Reception: Chefs’ Potluck (Sold Out)

Tuesday, January 12th

7:30 am Continental Breakfast

8:30 am Panel Introduction, John Auerbach, MBA, Associate Director for Policy – CDC

9:00 am Plenary Panel:

Voices from the Field: The Intersection of Food, Health & Communities

Facilitator: Maggie Biscarr, Program Manager – AARP Foundation

  • Cynthia Woodside, Senior Domestic Policy Analyst – Bread for the World Institute
  • Karen Glanz, PhD, MPH, George A. Weiss University Professor, Professor of Epidemiology and Nursing
  • Lauren Nocera, MSW, MPH, Associate Vice President – Thundermist Health Center
  • Martelle Esposito, MS, MPH, Government Affairs Manager/CDC Community Partnerships Grant Director – National WIC Association

In America, diet related diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and hypertension are the most common cause of death. Confounded by poverty and access, addressing this epidemic will require the collective will of institutions grounded in community. How can prevention efforts grounded in community-clinic partnerships build these links? Given nutrition incentives’ potential to impact both individual and population health, what role can they play as part of broader prevention efforts?  In this plenary session, experts will examine the potential of current innovative initiatives to address hunger, prevent disease, reform health care delivery, and build more equitable health outcomes. Across multiple sectors, we will strive to understand the evaluation needs and policy opportunities that can be leveraged to produce real change.

10:10 am Plenary Speaker, Jane Clary Loveless, PhD, RN, MS, MCHES, National Program Leader, Nutrition/Extension – USDA, National Institute of Food and Agriculture

10:45 am Session Two:

Feeding Ourselves - Making the Case for Food Access Built Around Food Sovereignty in Indian Country

Presenters: COPE, Echo Hawk Consulting & Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative, University of Arkansas School of Law

This session uses the recent report on the state of food access in Native American communities, “Feeding Ourselves” to engage in a panel discussion on healthy food access and the resulting health disparities in Native Americans. Leading Native voices will highlight the transformations that must occur in Indian Country and in all programs regarding feeding access in Indian Country in order to stem the growing health disparities and food access injustices that affect Native peoples.

Clinic-Community Initiatives: Pathways to Sustainability

Presenters: CareOregon, Health Partners Plans & MANNA

From the diverse perspectives of an insurer, researcher and a community-based nourishment organization, learn about: why they are engaged in initiatives that incorporate incentives for healthy food, critical insights, partnerships and needs that led to programming. Presenters will also reflect on current challenges and gaps within research that are necessary to identify in order to increase scale.

Building Community Partnerships for Nutrition Incentive Program Success

Panelists: Farm Fresh Rhode Island, NOFA Vermont, The Food Trust & Wholesome Wave Georgia

Increasing the reach and impact of your nutrition incentive program relies upon building strong and mutually-beneficial partnerships with a diverse array of agencies, organizations, and community leaders. Join leaders in the field of incentive programs from Vermont, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and Georgia to learn how their programs work with public schools, departments of agriculture, social service agencies, food banks, churches, retailers, and others to amplify the impact of their programs.

Mobile Markets: Taking Healthy Food Access on the Road

Presenter: Hartford Food System, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation & Regional Environmental Council

Getting to the heart of healthy food access requires addressing challenges in food distribution. Mobile farmers’ markets are proving to be an effective means of providing access to healthy foods, particularly in urban neighborhoods poorly serviced by traditional food retailers. This session will feature two mobile market operators in differing stages of implementation – one in year 4 of operation, and one in the pilot year. Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation funding was instrumental to establishing both markets. Panelists will discuss the conditions for success that needed to be present to establish the market program within their organization, as well as insights for other potential program operators about how to navigate the regulatory and logistical barriers to establishing a mobile market.

Getting the Word Out: Outreach Models from Across the Country

Presenters: DC Greens, Fresh Approach, Washington State University Cooperative Extension, & Fair Food Network

For a nutrition incentive program to be truly successful, customers and community stakeholders must know the program exists and understand how to take advantage of it. Clear and impactful communication is critical, and this group of presenters will present their models for how to design and conduct effective outreach that bring customers to their markets and to their programs. Hear presenters from Fresh Approach in California, Washington State University Extension, DC Greens in Washington DC, and the Fair Food Network in Michigan discuss innovative approaches such as a volunteer “Farmers Market Brigade” program and using social marketing strategies to create a welcoming market environment.

The Role of Technology in Supporting Nutrition Incentives

Presenters: Ecology Center,  Fair Food Network, Mandela Marketplace & Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods/CWRU

This session will feature a group of incentive program specialists who have experience understanding the opportunities and challenges for new technology uses to support innovation in incentive programs. This will include both farmers market and brick and mortar contexts and focus on building a shared language for the many innovative technologies that are developing in both private and public sector environments around the country. By understanding overall points of friction in the system, we will build a common understanding of the areas most ripe for further technological innovation, new strategies or additional resources.

12:15pm  Lunch

1:40 pm Panel Introduction, August Schumacher, Vice President & Founding Board Chair – Wholesome Wave

1:50 pm Plenary Panel: 

Levers for Changing Policy and Systems to Support Affordability of Healthy, Sustainable Food

Facilitator: Elanor Starmer, Senior Advisor to the Secretary – United States Department of Agriculture

Alexandra Ashbrook, Director of Special Projects and Initiatives – Food Research and Action Center (FRAC)

Gary Matteson, Vice President for Young, Beginning, Small Farmer Programs and Outreach – Farm Credit Council

Jack Rayburn, MPH, Senior Government Relations Manager – Trust for America’s Health

Patricia Smith, Senior Policy Advisor – The Reinvestment Fund

Stephanie Cihon, Associate Vice President, Community Relations, Advocacy and Grants – ProMedica

3:40 pm Session Three:

Community-Clinic Partnerships and Policies: Leveraging Policies and Partnerships to Improve Healthy Food Access

Presenters: Health Care Without Harm & The Network for Public Health Law

Icons: Health, Policy

This session will explore the potential for partnering with the Food Insecurity Incentive Program, included in the most recent Farm Bill, with the Affordable Care Act’s Hospital Readmission Reduction Program, which requires the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare to reduce payments to hospitals with excessive patient readmissions. It will also look at ways to leverage non-profit hospitals’ community benefit initiatives, to improve health in communities and increase healthy food access.

The Economics of Local Healthy Food Retail Access

Presenters: University of Kentucky, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, University of Georgia, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Drawing on USDA’s ambitious new Food Acquisition and Purchase Survey (FoodAPS), this session offers fresh new research about where low-income Americans shop, how they make budget decisions, and what prices they are willing and able to pay for food. Healthy food retail access depends not only on alternative distribution channels such as farmers’ markets and prescription programs, but also on more conventional supermarkets (which remain the source for most SNAP purchases). FoodAPS used a home scanner data collection system and oversampled low-income Americans and participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Parke Wilde will present research on how low-income Americans choose food retail channels (supermarkets versus smaller markets), travel distance, and mode of transportation. Xiaosi Yang, Joshua Berning, and colleagues will use FoodAPS data disaggregated by food category to understand how SNAP participants allocate their resources, with implications for their overall dietary quality. Alison Gustafson will discuss differences between SNAP and Non-SNAP households in regard to the effect of the neighborhood food store availability on the types of stores where these household choose to shop and food purchasing choices. The moderator will be Sarah Sliwa from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta.

Six Regional Partnerships Working to Increase SNAP Redemptions at Farmers Markets

Presenter: Farmers Market Coalition

Running a SNAP program as an individual market can be a daunting task. Even with proper equipment and signage, significant outreach and education efforts are required to turn SNAP recipients into farmers market shoppers. To step up to the task, markets are reaching out to neighboring markets, state associations, nonprofits, local governments and state agencies to coordinate creative outreach and education solutions. Through strategic networking and collaboration on the regional and state-levels, markets are reducing the administrative burden of operating SNAP programs, while increasing redemptions. The presentation will showcase six different regional partnerships taking place right now in Washington State, Vermont, Illinois, Connecticut, North Carolina, and Virginia. Each case study will identify the partners and participants involved, funding sources, goals of the partnership, activities taken on, and lessons learned.

Building Partnerships and Creating Food Access for Patients

Presenters: Farm Fresh Rhode Island, Thundermist Health Center & WellCare Health Plans

This session will be a detailed look about how a health care system and health insurance company are working to improve healthy food access for their communities. Learn how to leverage a myriad of strategies to help patients, staff and community members increase consumption of local, healthy foods. Strategies discussed will include: successful approaches to partnership, raising funds to support food access initiatives and best practices for program implementation in community and clinical settings.

Participatory Workshop for Future Policy Collaboration on Healthy Food Incentives

In this interactive session, participants are invited to share their most critical policy concerns that relate to nutrition incentives and give input into how national policy collaboration on nutrition incentive policy could engage them in the future. Results from this input will inform the development of potential future national policy work to support healthy food incentive programs.

How to Measure the Success of Your Incentive Program

Presenters: Emory University & University of North Carolina

This workshop will provide an introductory training in food access program evaluation to increase knowledge and familiarity of participants with program evaluation. Topics covered will include the steps of evaluating a program that are described in the CDC Framework for Evaluation in Public Health, as well as helping program operators determine when and how to use various types of evaluation approaches. Examples will be used to illustrate how these topics can be applied to evaluations of nutrition incentive programs and other food access initiatives. Participants will be provided with resources and tools to use in future evaluation projects. Workshop participants will have an opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills learned in this workshop during a skill-building activity. The workshop will also include a presentation of research conducted with Community Food Works in Washington, DC as a case study of a successful approach to incentive evaluations.

5:30 pm Break


Wednesday, January 13th

7:30 am Breakfast

8:30 am Plenary Panel: 

Meeting the Challenges of Large Scale Sustainable Sourcing

Panelists: Linton Hopkins, Chef/CEO – Resurgens Hospitality Group

Michel Nischan, Founder and CEO – Wholesome Wave

John Mitchell, Chief Innovation Officer and Executive Chef – Luvo

Sustainable food sourcing has become an increasing focus of large companies in such diverse sectors as air travel, restaurant chains, and grocery retail. What are the challenges unique to local and seasonal sourcing on a large scale and how does it affect the bottom line? Why are large companies interested in changing their sourcing practices, and how can they continue to improve?What are the potential impacts on agriculture, jobs, and the supply chain when these institutions shift how they buy food? How can the efforts of these institutions link up with the work of grassroots organizations to make local, affordable food the new normal?

9:00 am Plenary Panel:

From Market to Supermarket: The Next Wave of Nutrition Incentives

This final plenary will highlight the power of the SNAP shopper in determining what goes on the shelves in their local grocery store. Panelists will discuss how nutrition incentives can be introduced into retail spaces and succeed for the customer, the store, and the local farmer. This panel will include a diverse group of stakeholders, representing business, nutrition incentives, healthy retailing, and local farming.

10:20 am Session Four:

Statewide Incentive Networks: Scaling Up

Panelists: Ecology Center, Maine Farmland Trust, New Hampshire Food Bank, Utah Department of Public Health & Wholesome Wave Georgia

Facilitator: Farmers’ Market Coalition

In states that have many high capacity markets running strong incentive programs, convening organizations have taken on networking together diverse groups of practitioners to connect, align and act to scale up their impact and increase the ability of their programs to reach customers, policy-makers, funders, communities, and other stakeholders. This session will share stories of the many paths to a robust statewide incentive program network from the perspective of groups at multiple stages along the way. Learn and be inspired by stories of what is possible when partners come together to make a big impact!

Increasing Health Equity and Food Access through Food Hubs: Strategies, Challenges and Opportunities

Presenters: Farm Fresh Rhode Island & New Venture Advisors

In this session, we will explore innovative strategies that are being tested or studied that enable food hubs to move food to price sensitive and resource constrained buyers. We’ll discuss the merits, successes and challenges of these different strategies, potential funding sources, and implications of these on food hub profitability. We’ll draw from the direct experience of Farm Fresh Rhode Island, and real data and insights gathered from New Venture Advisors’ surveys and interviews with hundreds of growers, buyers, food hub operators and nonprofit service providers.

The Economics of a Just Food Supply Chain

Presenters: Common Market, Eastern North Carolina Organics, RSF Social Finance & Self Help Credit Union

The food access movement has brought grocery stores to communities that lacked them, but often that inexpensive food comes at the expense of the people who grow, distribute and process the food. This session will explore the economics of food distributors that pay their employees a just wage, growers’ a fair price and shrink the distance from farm to fork. We will look at a for-profit and a non-profit model, discuss with their founders pricing, sourcing and workplace practices. The session will also explore whether these enterprises are niche or actually representing an alternative supply chain, the hurdles standing in the way of each achieving scale, threats to their status quo and what they would do differently. The session will also look at the burgeoning niche meat supply chain and one of their processors. Two national food supply chain lenders will talk about how they understand which of these models is sustainable.

Tools for Advocacy: A Skill-Building Workshop

Presenter: Aliza Wasserman, MS, MPH, Policy Associate – Wholesome Wave

Participants in this session will gain and skills for the building blocks of engaging in policy advocacy at any level, from their home community, to state and federal policy. This may include practice in communicating with policymakers, developing talking points or framing of key messages and understanding some of the strategy involved in advocating for effective policy change. This will be a hands-on, participatory workshop including Q&A, role playing and some handouts for further learning once participants leave the Summit.

Local Successes in Nutrition Incentives and the Road to a more Equitable Food System

Presenters: Union of Concerned Scientists, New Roots, West Broadway Farmers Market, Baltimore City Department of Health & Appetite for Change

The federal policy deck is stacked against an equitable healthy food system, in response local leaders have launched efforts to improve the health of their communities—particularly in communities of color. This session highlights three communities (Baltimore, Louisville, and Minneapolis) that are leveraging federal grants and nutrition incentive programs to increase equitable access to healthy food through innovative approaches. This session concludes with strategies on how to leverage local successes to influence federal policy and join the call for transformative food system reform.

Measuring the Impact of Voucher Programs at Farmers Markets

Presenter: University of Delaware

To date, a limited number of studies have rigorously explored the benefits of farmers’ markets beyond improved access, community development and economic impacts to understand their role in providing improved health for consumers, especially low-income individuals. Nutrition and diet outcomes, however, are of critical interest nationally, especially given investments in chronic disease prevention. Such investments have successfully increased the number of voucher and “double-bucks” programs for SNAP users at markets, which lay a strong foundation for research. This session will provide an overview of the largest national farmers’ market randomized controlled trial undertaken, to date. The presentation will review goals, strategies, tools and a status report on the trial’s progress and timeline. Furthermore, discussion will include a brief historical perspective on farmers’ market measurement efforts in the U.S.

12:10 pm Session Five:

Community Health and Wealth - Food Access Through Anchor Institutions

Presenter: Common Market

Conversation will focus on the capacity of anchor institutions, such as hospitals, schools, universities and government agencies, using local/regional food procurement decisions, to drive economic development, create jobs, and facilitate community engagement. We will take a look at the power of anchor institutions to increase their social and economic impacts, contribute to improving health outcomes in the community, and the systems that must be in place to support these efforts. From there, we will discuss how to make regional procurement policies happen in your community.

Measuring Markets’ Economic, Ecological, Social and Human Capital

Presenter: Farmers Market Coalition

This session will introduce the Farmers Market Coalition’s farmers market metrics initiative and theory of data collection. It will include an overview of the areas of capital (benefits) that markets contribute to vendors, shoppers and community. These include but are not limited to social, human, economic and ecological capital. This presentation will discuss how markets can identify relevant metrics to gather meaningful data that can inform decision making, communication and strategic planning processes. Additionally, we will share how researchers can effectively collaborate with markets to design and implement data collection and analysis processes and what the return on investment may look like over time.

Incentives and Empowerment: Building Capacity through Community Engagement and Organizing

Presenters: Appalachian Sustainable Development, Community Farmers Market & Fondy Food Center


The work of improving healthy, fresh, local food access for low-income communities is firmly rooted in the desire to see individuals and families increase their overall health, wealth, and well-being. This session will focus on ensuring that nutrition incentive programs work in true partnership with the communities in which they operate by employing grassroots community organizing, culturally appropriate messaging and activities, and identifying multiple forms of capital to increase capacity for farmers, program participants, and communities in both rural and urban settings.

Strategies for Funding Nutrition Incentives through Cities and Counties

Presenters: City of Baltimore, Columbus Veggie SNAPS, DC Greens & University of Texas School of Public Health

As leaders from throughout the country, the presenters in this session have been involved with successful efforts to develop relationships with municipal or county officials in order to garner public support and resources for nutrition incentives. They will share their experiences creating partnerships with public entities, using data and leveraging political will in order to scale up to city or county level priorities.

Coors to Collards: What Worked, What didn’t and the Next Steps in North Carolina’s Healthy Corner Store Policy

Presenter: Carolina Farm Stewardship Association

In 2013, the only two grocery stores in Southeast Raleigh, NC, closed, leaving a majority-minority community without easy access to a full service grocery store. Responding to constituent concerns, Representative Yvonne Holley helped convene a Food Desert Zone Study Committee at the NC General Assembly. This topic brought a very diverse group of stakeholders together to educate legislators about food deserts. In the course of two years, legislators moved from being unfamiliar with the concept of “food deserts” to a bipartisan bill introduced in both the House and Senate to devote state resources to a Healthy Corner Store Initiative, building upon pilot projects throughout the state. Three state agencies were actively involved in the effort to pass this legislation. The bill moved through the House in 2015, and will be considered in the Senate in the next legislative session. The presenters will discuss how a legislature with a conservative majority came to seriously consider this initiative and offer ideas to advocates in other conservative states considering food access initiatives.

1:45pm -3:00pm  Lunch *
*Boxed lunch will also be available on a limited basis for pick-up between 11:50 am and 2:00 pm, to accommodate specific travel needs.

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