WASHINGTON – Michael Dykes, D.V.M., president and CEO of the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), released the following statement today on the report released by the Task Force Informing the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health.
“The report released yesterday by the Task Force on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health contains many prudent recommendations and opportunities to improve our nation’s federal nutrition programs and health interventions. Chief among the report’s key recommendations is the need to strengthen and expand nutrition incentive programs, especially those aligned with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. The International Dairy Foods Association and our members are committed to ending hunger and malnutrition while improving health outcomes and reducing diet-related chronic diseases by making it easier for all Americans to access healthy, affordable foods, including nutritious dairy products. In the 2018 Farm Bill, Congress authorized the SNAP Healthy Fluid Milk Incentives Projects (HFMIP) to double the dollars of SNAP participants when they purchase qualifying fluid milk and dairy products. As this pilot program expands to more retail outlets across the country, IDFA encourages Congress and the Administration to take the Task Force’s recommendations to heart. Incentives are a prudent, proven intervention to increase access to and consumption of healthy food options, so let’s expand the Healthy Fluid Milk Incentives Projects, give it adequate funding to reach more SNAP participants across the country, and ensure it gathers and utilizes reliable data from retail and implementing partners.
“The Dietary Guidelines underscore that 90% of Americans are not meeting the recommended intake of dairy foods, thereby under consuming several critical nutrients they need to grow and thrive, including potassium, calcium, and vitamin D. As the Task Force report points out, it should be our shared goal to expand programs like the Healthy Fluid Milk Incentive Projects and others like it that prioritize removing barriers to bring wholesome, nutritious dairy and other foods to those who need them most.”