Add Milk! program expands in 500 Meijer stores across the Midwest

The program provides a dollar-for-dollar match to SNAP participants
calendar icon 1 July 2024
clock icon 4 minute read

A nutrition incentive program that helps low-income families purchase healthy milk is expanding in more than 500 stores across six US states, according to a recent news release from the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA). Midwest retailer Meijer recently doubled the Add Milk! program discount it offers to SNAP-eligible participants – upping it to 40 percent off any brand or size of low-fat or non-fat milk. A community event held at Meijer store in East Lansing, Mich., marked the expansion of the program. US Senator Debbie Stabenow was in attendance.

The Add Milk! program is made possible by a $4 million cooperative agreement between the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Auburn University’s College of Human Sciences Hunger Solutions Institute (HSI) through a program named Healthy Fluid Milk Incentives (HFMI) Projects. The HFMI pilot program was established as part of the 2018 Farm Bill to promote milk as part of a healthy, balanced diet consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Overall, Americans are consuming less milk. Low-fat milk is an important part of a healthy diet, and health researchers have warned these declines over time could have health impacts on future generations. Studies have shown that incentive programs, like Add Milk!, increase purchase and consumption of the incentivized food. HFMI pilot projects will be operating in more than 700 locations across 18 states by the end of 2024, and Congress recently appropriated an additional $3 million to expand the program to more stores and more locations in the coming years.

The Add Milk! program operating in Meijer stores provides an automatic 40% discount to SNAP participants to purchase non-fat and low-fat (1%) milk, including lactose-free options. The program is operating in all Meijer stores in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Find more information about Add Milk!, as well as a list of locations here.

“Expanding the SNAP Healthy Fluid Milk Incentives Projects means greater access to affordable, nutritious dairy products for the most vulnerable Americans,” said Michael Dykes, president and CEO, IDFA. “IDFA congratulates Meijer for the tremendous success of its SNAP milk discount to date, and we are excited to see its impact grow as the milk discount doubles. During this time of high food costs and rising food insecurity, it’s critical we find ways to stretch the SNAP dollar further in support of the purchase of nutrient-dense foods.”

“Michigan has helped lead the way in the fight to end hunger and expand access to healthy foods,” said US Senator Debbie Stabenow. “Meijer has been an innovative leader and important partner in this fight. Today’s announcement expands the successful Add Milk program Meijer launched in December with the help of the Healthy Fluid Milk Incentive Program I created in the 2018 Farm Bill. Thanks to these efforts, more families will be able to stretch their budget and put healthy food on the table.”

“As a family-owned company, Meijer values its customers and their needs. That’s why we’re really happy to be collaborating with Auburn University to reduce the cost of milk for SNAP participants and help them get more value from their purchases,” said Calli Schmid, Vice President of Grocery for Meijer. “Milk is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, and with this increased discount, we’re able to stretch our customers’ dollars even further.”

“Healthy Fluid Milk Incentive projects allow more families to add nutritious milk to their meals. This is part of USDA's broader efforts to support SNAP participants in healthy eating. Specifically, the goal of these projects is to promote milk as part of a balanced diet, consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans,” said Cindy Long, administrator for the USDA Food and Nutrition Service. "We are pleased that SNAP participants in the Midwest are being offered special discounts on select milk products."

“The Hunger Solutions Institute at Auburn University is excited to partner with Meijer to expand Add Milk in their more than 500 stores,” said Dr. Alicia Powers, managing director of Auburn’s Hunger Solutions Institute. “By self-funding a fruit and vegetable incentive program for SNAP customers and waiving delivery fees for online SNAP customers, Meijer is a committed leader in addressing food and nutrition security. Through Add Milk, which provides a 40% discount on skim and 1% milk purchased with SNAP dollars, Meijer will expand its support of SNAP families in stretching their food dollars.”

“As a dairy farmer owned cooperative, MMPA members know the vital role of providing healthy, nutritious dairy products across our population,” said Joe Diglio, president and CEO of Michigan Milk Producers Association and Chair of the IDFA Fluid Milk Board.“We are pleased to see the success and continued expansion of the Healthy Fluid Milk Incentives program as a way to bring nutrient dense dairy products to families in need. We thank Senator Stabenow for her leadership on this effort by including the program in the 2018 Farm Bill and building on the initiative in the next Farm Bill through the Dairy Nutrition Incentive Program.”

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