LUBBOCK, Texas (NEWS RELEASE) — The following is a news release from the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty:

A partnership between the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Lowe’s Supermarkets, and the South Plains Hunger Solutions is expanding its reach into the Lubbock community. The Add Milk! pilot project, created in the 2018 USDA Farm Bill, is designed to research whether incentive programs for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will increase the consumption of healthy fluid milk among SNAP recipients. Add Milk! gives participants a dollar-for-dollar match to purchase additional milk to promote a healthy, well-rounded diet.

The Add Milk! program began in May with three Food King locations in Lubbock, Littlefield, and San Angelo, which will continue to operate the year-long project. A fourth location, Food King #82 at 5795 19th St in Lubbock, will begin the program on September 1, 2021.

SNAP recipients at all participating Littlefield and Lubbock locations who purchase any size pasteurized, unflavored, and unsweetened 1% or fat-free fluid cow’s milk will receive a dollar-for-dollar coupon to purchase any size pasteurized, unflavored, and unsweetened cow’s milk, which may include 2% and whole milk. Coupons may be redeemed as early as the day after the initial purchase and will expire 30 days after the initial purchase.

The Add Milk! pilot project seeks to build on the success of other USDA incentive programs designed to positively impact the health outcomes of SNAP recipients and determine whether a fluid milk incentive program will provide similar outcomes. As an example, the Healthy Incentive pilot found that those who received incentives to purchase fruits and vegetables saw a 26% increase in their overall fruit and vegetable consumption.

The benefits of fluid milk include providing 13 essential nutrients; promoting and maintaining proper brain and bone development; providing a natural source of protein; and aiding in heart health and the prevention of diabetes.

The South Plains Hunger Solutions Coalition is leveraging its network to promote the program.

The Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty is a capacity-building project that develops and implements strategies to end hunger through policy, education, research, community organizing and community development. BCHP works to make the state food secure by ensuring that every individual has access to three healthy meals a day, seven days a week. BCHP convenes federal, state and local government stakeholders with non-profits, faith communities and business leaders to create an efficient system of accountability that increases food security in Texas, the United States, and globally. Along with its office located within the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work at Baylor, BCHP has offices located in Austin, Dallas, Houston, Lubbock, McAllen and San Angelo.

(News release from Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty)