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Meijer Joins SNAP Healthy Fluid Milk Incentive Program

Beneficiaries will receive a dollar-for-dollar match when purchasing qualifying items
Emily Crowe, Progressive Grocer
More SNAP recipients will now be incentivized to buy 1% or skim milk at participating retail outlets.

The USDA has released grant approval to expand its Healthy Fluid Milk Incentives Projects (HFMI), one of its key nutrition incentive programs for participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). FY2023 congressional appropriations totaling $4 million have been awarded to Auburn University’s Hunger Solutions Institute (HSI) to bring the program to an additional 575 retail outlets across 16 states.

The HFMI projects provide SNAP beneficiaries with a dollar-for-dollar match when they purchase healthy fluid milk options. Michigan-based Meijer is the only retailer in its six-state footprint of Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, and Wisconsin that Auburn is partnering with on the HFMI project.

“As a company committed to enriching lives in the communities we serve, providing our customers with healthy grocery options is at the heart of what we do,” said Becky Bronkema, director of merchandising for dairy/frozen at Meijer. “We are excited to partner on this important project during the holiday season to help families get easier access to milk, which offers so much nutritional value.”

Locations in rural communities, counties with persistently high poverty rates, low-income and low access census tracts, and Tribal Nations and surrounding tribal communities are being targeted with the funding. Participating retailers will work to shift to an incentive model with an automatic discount for qualifying milk purchases of skim or 1% milk. 

“This grant reinforces USDA’s and Auburn University’s joint commitment to putting healthy foods and beverages within reach for all Americans,” said USDA Deputy Undersecretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Stacy Dean stated. “Shifting to an incentive model that provides an automatic discount at the point of purchase is fundamental to ensuring affordability and equitable access to healthy fluid milk for SNAP households.”

Once the current award is implemented, HFMI projects will operate in 700 stores across 19 states, with more locations becoming active by early 2024.

Privately owned Meijer operates 500-plus supercenters, Meijer Grocery, neighborhood markets and Express locations throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. The Grand Rapids, Mich.-based company is No. 23 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. PG also named the company one of its Top 10 Most Sustainable Grocers and Best Regional Grocery Chains in America

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