The Thrifty Food Plan (TFP), a fundamental part of the U.S. food guidance system and the basis for maximum food stamp allotments, has been revised by USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP), with assistance from USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), Economic Research Service (ERS), and Agricultural Research Service (ARS). The TFP provides a representative healthful and minimal cost meal plan that shows how a nutritious diet may be achieved with limited resources. The Plan assumes that all purchased food is consumed at home. The TFP was last revised in 1999. The newly revised (2006) TFP differs from, and improves upon, the previous TFP in a number of ways. The 2006 TFP: • Is based on the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans as well as the 2005 MyPyramid Food Guidance System. • Uses the prices low-income people paid for many foods. • Uses the latest data on food consumption, nutrient content, and food prices: the 2001- 2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and 2001-2002 Food Price Database. • Offers a more realistic reflection of the time available for food preparation, especially with increased expectations for work in assistance programs. Hence, it allows more prepared foods and requires somewhat fewer preparations from scratch. Although different from the previous TFP, the revised TFP is similar in one important respect : It is set at the same inflation-adjusted cost as the previous TFP. CNPP determined it was possible, for the 2001-2002 period, to obtain a healthful diet meeting current nutritional standards at a cost equal to the previous TFP’s cost.


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