A partnership among the USDA, Lowe’s Supermarkets and South Plains Hunger Solutions is expanding its reach into the Lubbock, Texas, community. The Add Milk! pilot project, created in the 2018 USDA farm bill, is designed to research whether incentive programs for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will increase the consumption of healthy fluid milk among SNAP recipients, according to The Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty (Baylor University).

Add Milk! gives participants a dollar-for-dollar match to purchase additional milk to promote a

healthy, well-rounded diet. The Add Milk! program began in May with three Food King locations in Lubbock, Littlefield and San Angelo, Texas, which will continue to operate the year-long project. A fourth location, Food King #82 at 5795 19th St in Lubbock, will begin the program on Sept. 1, 2021.

SNAP recipients at all participating Littlefield and Lubbock locations who purchase any size pasteurized, unflavored and unsweetened 1% or fat-free fluid cow’s milk will receive a dollar-for-dollar coupon to purchase any size pasteurized, unflavored and unsweetened cow’s milk, which may include 2% and whole milk. Coupons may be redeemed as early as the day after the initial purchase and will expire 30 days after the initial purchase, the collaborative noted.

The Add Milk! pilot project seeks to build on the success of other USDA incentive programs designed to positively impact the health outcomes of SNAP recipients and determine whether a fluid milk incentive program will provide similar outcomes. As an example, the Healthy Incentive pilot found that those who received incentives to purchase fruits and vegetables saw a 26% increase in their overall fruit and vegetable consumption.

The South Plains Hunger Solutions Coalition is leveraging its network to promote the program, the collaborative said.

"IDFA is very pleased to see the Add Milk! campaign expand in Lubbock, Texas, to provide more insight on the best strategies for encouraging consumption of nutritious dairy products through the SNAP program,” said Michael Dykes, D.V.M., president and CEO of the Washington, D.C.-based International Dairy Foods Association. “This collaborative effort between the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Baylor Collaborative on Hunger & Poverty, Lowe’s Supermarkets and the South Plains Hunger Solutions offers a dollar-for-dollar match for SNAP beneficiaries to add milk to their healthy diets. The timing could not be more important — the most recent 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans report noted that about 90% of Americans do not meet U.S. recommendations for dairy consumption, and the percent who do drink milk on a given day is only 65% among young children, 34% in adolescents and about 20% for adults.

“IDFA greatly appreciates leaders on the Senate and House Agriculture Committees who authorized the Healthy Fluid Milk Incentives Projects in the 2018 farm bill, as well as the Appropriations Committee members who have requested and secured funding each year,” he added. “We look forward to this collaboration continuing through upcoming projects, and to expansion of the program to ensure the incentives work for varying needs of communities across the country."