OPELIKA, ALA. – The Hunger Solutions Institute (HSI) at Auburn University’s College of Human Sciences and select retailers in Alabama launched the Add Milk! program, which gives Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants a dollar-for-dollar match when they purchase low-fat or non-fat milk.

Nineteen participating stores in Alabama will offer the program, thanks to the US Department of Agriculture awarding HSI a $3 million cooperative agreement, expanding Healthy Fluid Milk Incentive (HFMI) projects.

International Dairy Foods Association president and chief executive officer Miachael Dykes said expanding HFMI projects means “the most vulnerable Americans” have greater access to affordable, nutritious dairy products.

“During this time of chronic food insecurity, it’s critical that we find ways to stretch the SNAP dollar further in support of the purchase of nutrient-dense foods,” Dykes said. “We’re pleased to see the Add Milk! program expand to support the approximately one in seven Alabama residents who participate in SNAP.”

The HFMI pilot program was established in the 2018 Farm Bill to promote milk as part of a healthy, balanced diet – consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

By the end of 2023, HFMI pilot projects are scheduled to be up and running in more than 150 locations across six states. Plus, Congress increased funding for the program to further expand it in the years ahead.

Cindy Long, administrator of USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service, said the organization was thrilled to see the HFMI project launch in Alabama.

“The Add Milk! Program is bringing healthy, nutritious milk options to SNAP consumers and driving economic development in underserved communities,” Long said. “It is a win-win for both participants and America’s dairy farmers.”

Alicia Powers, managing director of Auburn’s HSI, said nutrition incentive programs help “SNAP households access healthy foods by not only providing financial incentives but also by collaborating with local, independent retailers who already provide incredible customer service to SNAP households.”