Increase Access to Nutritious Dairy Products and Support Dairy Farmers

U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Senator Roger Marshall (R-KS) introduced the Dairy Nutrition Incentives Program Act, bipartisan legislation to increase access to nutritious dairy products for SNAP participants and support dairy farmers across the country. The Dairy Nutrition Incentives Program Act would allow SNAP participants to purchase more milk, cheese, and yogurt with their benefits, expanding access to affordable and nutritious options.

“Making sure more Americans have better access to nutritious foods like yogurt and cheese while also supporting our dairy farmers is a win-win,” said Klobuchar. “Our bipartisan legislation will help support a healthy diet and make sure families are able to bring home more of the foods they love.” 

“Milk, cheese, and yogurt serve as an excellent source of nutrients for nutritionally insecure populations, and dairy product’s role in a diet can ensure stronger bones and a healthier cardiovascular system in the long term. Expanding incentives for dairy purchases in SNAP ensures that vulnerable populations may access nutritious, high cost foods regardless of income,” said Marshall.

The latest federal Dietary Guidelines for Americans report showed that more than 90% of Americans do not consume enough dairy products to meet daily nutrition requirements. The Dairy Nutrition Incentives Program Act would increase access to dairy products by expanding the existing Healthy Fluid Milk Incentives program to include products like cheese and yogurt. Under this plan, SNAP participants would receive a coupon for additional cheese or yogurt when they purchase these items with their groceries.

This legislation is endorsed by the International Dairy Foods Association, National Milk Producers Federation, Associated Milk Producers Inc., FMI – The Food Industry Association, National Grocers Association, Northeast Dairy Products Association, Dairy Institute of California, and Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association.

“In this time of chronic food insecurity, it is critical that we increase access to foods that nourish and promote good health and well-being, particularly for our nation’s most vulnerable people. Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt are nutritional powerhouses, packing essential nutrients that promote healthy immune function, hydration, cognition, mental health, bone health, and lower the risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. IDFA applauds Sens. Klobuchar and Marshall for their leadership on the Dairy Nutrition Incentives Program Act of 2023, which would greatly improve access to these nutritious and healthy products for SNAP participants,” said Michael Dykes, D.V.M., president and CEO, International Dairy Foods Association. 

“Dairy foods are critical to providing the nutrients needed for healthy lives, including high-quality protein, calcium, vitamin D, and potassium. Unfortunately, nearly 90 percent of Americans do not meet their dairy intake recommendations. We thank Senators Klobuchar and Marshall for introducing the Dairy Nutrition Incentives Program Act, which would help encourage SNAP participants to choose healthful dairy products at the grocery store. Ensuring all Americans have access to nutritious food is a key priority for NMPF and our dairy farmer members, and we look forward to continuing to work with the senators on ways to improve nutrition and health across the U.S.” said Jim Mulhern, President and CEO of National Milk Producers Federation.

“The Dairy Nutrition Incentives Program Act will increase access to nutritious dairy products among SNAP participants and remind people of the important role dairy plays as part of a healthy lifestyle. We thank Senators Klobuchar and Marshall for introducing this legislation,” said Steve Schlangen, AMPI Chairman of the Board and dairy farmer from Albany, MN.