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

Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty is partnering with the United States Department of Agriculture, Lowe’s Supermarkets, and the South Plains Hunger Solutions Coalition to implement a year-long pilot project designed to increase access to healthy fluid milk products for recipients of the publicly funded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The “Add Milk!” incentive program is a part of the 2018 Farm Bill and designed to encourage the consumption of milk, which is part of a well-rounded, nutritious diet.

Lowe’s Supermarket locations in the South Plains region participating in the program are Food King #8 at 102 E Waylon Jennings Blvd in Littlefield and Food King #81 at 8208 Slide Rd in Lubbock. A third location in San Angelo will round out participating stores.

Under the program, SNAP recipients at participating locations who purchase any size pasteurized, unflavored, and unsweetened 1% or fat-free fluid cow’s milk, including lactose-free, will receive a dollar-for-dollar coupon to purchase other eligible milk products. At the Littlefield and Lubbock locations, eligible products for purchase with coupons will include any size pasteurized, unflavored and unsweetened cow’s milk, which may include 2% and whole milk. Coupons can be redeemed at the same location as early as the day after the initial purchase and will expire 30 days after the initial purchase.

The Add Milk! pilot program will seek to build on the success of other USDA incentive programs designed to positively impact the health outcomes of SNAP recipients. One such program, the Healthy Incentive Pilot, found that those who received an incentive to purchase fruits and vegetables saw a 26% increase in fruit and vegetable consumption. The benefits of healthy fluid milk include providing 13 essential nutrients and promoting proper brain and bone development in children. In addition, cow’s milk is a natural source of protein, and has been found to reduce the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. The Add Milk! project will help stakeholders determine whether a fluid milk incentive program will provide the same health returns as other similar projects.

The project is being supported by the South Plains Hunger Solutions Coalition, which 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)