The federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) augments the food budgets of low-income people and families so they can purchase nutritious foods, including milk, cheese and yogurt. The program is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) and funded by Congress. More than 36 million Americans have taken advantage of SNAP benefits in 2019, according to FNS.
IDFA and others in the dairy industry worked successfully with Congress to add a milk incentive program for SNAP participants to the 2018 Farm Bill. The new Healthy Fluid Milk Incentives Projects program will allow participants to buy more milk and help them to make nutritious choices that support a healthy lifestyle. The varieties of milk currently are limited, and participants may be confused about which products are eligible.
Also, milk consumption among children is dropping at faster rate than for other age groups, and 43% of SNAP households have children. IDFA wants to remove retail barriers so participants and their children can get at least the minimum number of daily dairy servings recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. (Link to Dietary Guidelines sub-issue)
Although the 2018 Farm Bill established the incentive program, the funding must come from Congress through the appropriations process. Thanks to IDFA’s advocacy in partnership with IDFA members, the FY2020 Congressional appropriations bill included first-time ever funding for the SNAP pilot program designed to test milk incentives authorized in the 2018 Farm Bill. The Healthy Fluid Milk Incentives Projects (HFMIP) received $1 million that will launch this initiative with USDA and partner institutions, putting more healthy milk on the tables of Americans in need.
For more information, contact Tony Eberhard, IDFA vice president, legislative affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org.