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Food And Nutrition

Thrifty Food Plan Re-evaluation Puts Nutrition in Reach for SNAP Participants

More than 42 million of our neighbors rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to feed their families. USDA recently re-evaluated the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP), used to set SNAP benefits, which increased the purchasing power of the plan by 21% for the first time since it was introduced in 1975. As a result, on October 1, SNAP maximum benefit amounts will increase.

The Thrifty Food Plan: What It Is and Why It Matters

At the direction of Congress and with the support of President Biden as part of the administration’s Build Back Better initiative, USDA is re-evaluating the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP) to ensure that it reflects the cost of a practical, nutritious, budget-conscious diet. The re-evaluation is based on four factors: the cost of food, nutrients in food, nutrition guidance, and what Americans eat. USDA plans to publish its re-evaluation soon.

You Spoke, We Listened: The Challenges of Purchasing Healthy Food with SNAP Benefits

As directed by Congress in 2018, USDA is re-evaluating the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP)—the estimated cost of an affordable, nutritious diet. The TFP is used to calculate SNAP benefit levels. To complement the re-evaluation efforts and gather insights from those who will be impacted by the result, USDA recently hosted five listening sessions with SNAP participants, researchers, advocates, and others. Here’s some of what we heard:

Do Meal Kits Reduce Food Waste? An Interview with Dr. Brenna Ellison

Meal kits became more popular during the pandemic, as many households opted for food delivery due to stay at home orders and preferences for maintaining social distancing. Do these kits also help reduce food waste? Dr. Brenna Ellison, Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, provides insights based on her study with USDA on meal kits.

Virtual USDA Food Loss and Waste Innovation Fair Available On-Demand

In the United States, more than one-third of all available food goes uneaten through loss or waste and when landfilled it contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. On May 26, 2021, the U.S. Department of Agriculture hosted our first ever USDA Food Loss and Waste Innovation Fair. This free, virtual fair highlighted businesses that are creating or implementing state-of-the-art technical solutions to reduce food loss and waste throughout the food system – from farm to table – and highlighted USDA activities in this space.

WIC Making a Difference for Mississippi Mom

When Rebecca and Parker Catt became parents, they faced a new set of challenges, including making the right choices in deciding what their baby James should be fed. After Rebecca heard about the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) from a friend at the gym, she went to a WIC clinic near her home in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. There she discovered she qualified for the program and signed up.