FY 2023 Healthy Fluid Milk Incentives
Purpose and Key Objectives
The primary purpose of the HFMI project is to develop and test 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. “Qualifying fluid milk” includes all varieties of pasteurized cow’s milk that:
- Is without flavoring or sweeteners,
- Is consistent with the most recent dietary recommendations,
- Is packaged in liquid form, and
- Contains vitamins A and D at levels consistent with the Food and Drug Administration, state, and local standards for fluid milk.
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. 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.
Legislative authority: 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, 2023, PL 117-328, provides $4,000,000 for HFMI for fiscal year (FY) 2023.
FNS announces, through this Request for Applications (RFA), the availability of a maximum of $4,000,000 in total grant funding to award as many as 2 cooperative agreements. Eligible entities who can submit applications include government agencies (state, local, territory or tribal agencies) and non-profit organizations.
Beginning in 2020, FNS has awarded three HFMI grants to develop and test methods to increase the purchase and consumption of healthy fluid milk. The first project in 2020 was implemented at Lowe’s Food King Supermarkets in West Texas. In 2021, FNS awarded a second grant for implementation at Wakefern ShopRite grocery stores in New Jersey, and one Jubilee grocery store in West Texas. The latest grant award in 2022 substantially expanded the project to JMBL, Inc Supermarkets and Wright’s Market in Alabama, Mother’s Nutritional Center in California, Little Giants Farmers Market and Carver Market in Georgia, and G.F. Buche Co. in South Dakota.
The 2023 HFMI grant 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. Prior HFMI projects mainly tested the impact of dollar-for-dollar paper coupon incentives, while a small set of retailers tested the delivery of a dollar-for-dollar coupon delivered electronically through a retailer’s loyalty accounts or as an automatic discount at the point of purchase.
Key Requirement for FY2023 Applicants:
This year, FNS is limiting proposals to project designs that will either deliver HFMI incentives as an automatic discount at the point of purchase or through integration with State Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) systems to automatically deposit earned HFMI incentives onto SNAP households EBT cards.