Nutrition Services Incentive Program (NSIP)

Balanced Diet Food Background


The Nutrition Services Incentive Program (NSIP) supplements funding for food used in meals served under the Older Americans Act. From its authorization in 1978 until 2004 the program was administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, but in 2003 the Older Americans Act was amended to transfer the program to the Administration on Aging, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The NSIP is intended to provide incentives to efficiently and effectively deliver nutritious meals to older individuals through additional funding to help providers adjust meal rates, which in turn positively affects the quality and number of meals provided to needy clients.


The NSIP reimburses Area Agencies on Aging and service providers for the costs of congregate and home-delivered meals, through a supplement of approximately $0.72 per meal, as of 2015 (reimbursement rate varies annually).


The Department administers the program through reimbursement contracts with Area Agencies on Aging and service providers.


To be eligible for NSIP assistance, individuals receiving congregate and home-delivered meals must be at least age 60 and qualified to receive services under the Older Americans Act. Spouses, adults with disabilities, and volunteers younger than 60 may be served meals under some circumstances.