SNAP-Healthy Fluid Milk Incentives (HFMI)
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), authorized under the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008, as amended, is the cornerstone of the Nation’s nutrition assistance safety net. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) certifies low-income Americans to participate in the program and authorizes and monitors retailers to accept SNAP benefits for eligible food products. Currently, around 40 million low-income Americans receive SNAP benefits, and more than 250,000 retailers are authorized to accept SNAP benefits.
Section 4208 of the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, PL 115-334, (“Farm Bill”) authorizes USDA, on a competitive basis, to enter cooperative agreements with governmental entities or nonprofit organizations to carry out Healthy Fluid Milk Incentives (HFMI) projects. The Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022, PL 115-334, provides $3,000,000 for HFMI for fiscal year (FY) 2022.
FNS announces, through this Request for Applications, the availability of a maximum of $3,000,000 in total grant funding to award as many as three cooperative agreements. Eligible entities who can submit applications include government agencies (state, local, territory or tribal agencies) and non-profit organizations. This solicitation is contingent upon the availability of funds and FNS reserves the right to make more than one award, and to use this solicitation and competition to award additional grants in this or the subsequent fiscal year should funding become available.
In 2020, FNS awarded the first pilot HFMI grant to develop and test methods to increase the purchase and consumption of healthy fluid milk at Lowe’s Supermarkets in West Texas. In 2021, FNS awarded a second grant to continue and expand the project goals and objectives at Wakefern grocery stores in New Jersey and one Jubilee grocery store in West Texas.
The 2022 HFMI will continue developing and testing methods to increase the purchase and consumption of qualifying fluid milk by SNAP households by providing them an incentive at the point of purchase at authorized retailer locations in additional regions. “Qualifying fluid milk” includes all varieties of pasteurized cow’s milk that (1) is without flavoring or sweeteners, (2) is consistent with the most recent dietary recommendations, (3) is packaged in liquid form, and (4) contains vitamins A and D at levels consistent with the Food and Drug Administration, state, and local standards for fluid milk.