ShopRite wants its SNAP customers to eat more healthful dairy products.
The store on Marin Boulevard will be offering high-value coupons for such products when they purchase skim or low-fat milk using their electronic benefit transfer cards. Run by the USDA, SNAP is an acronym for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
“Milk is one of our healthiest, safest, and most sustainable beverages, and it is essential for a child’s development,” said Dr. Lori Kanitz, Project Director at the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty,” which runs the incentive program. It “promotes proper child brain and bone development, provides a natural source of protein and reduces the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.” Yet, ninety percent of Americans do not meet the recommended amounts for dairy consumption, she added.
Here’s how the program works: When SNAP customers purchase skim or one-percent milk at participating stores, a dollar paper coupon is generated for every whole dollar spent on the item (or items). Customers may redeem the coupons on future purchases of “any dairy product with cow’s milk or cream from cow’s milk as the first ingredient,” including milk, yogurt and cheese, said Karen O’Shea, a spokeswoman for ShopRite. However, ice cream and “other frozen dairy treats” are excluded from the program, she added.
To participate in the campaign, which is called “Add Milk!” — and which is funded by the USDA — SNAP customers must pay with their EBT cards.
“By taking part in this program we hope to make it easier for families to have access to the foods they need and provide increased stability to those struggling with food insecurity,” said Shoprite spokesperson Karen Meleta.
Shoprite stores in North Bergen, Bayonne, Elizabeth, Newark, East Orange, Kearny, and Hillside will also run the campaign for one year.
ShopRite is a retailer-owned cooperative based in Keasbey, NJ, and the largest supermarket cooperative in the United States. It serves more than six million customers each week.
Since 1999 the coop has donated approximately $75 million to food banks and other charitable organizations throughout the Northeast.