Thrifty Food Plan

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The Thrifty Food Plan (TFP) is one of four USDA-designed food plans specifying foods and amounts of foods to provide adequate nutrition. It is used as the basis for designing Food Stamp Program benefits. It is the cheapest food plan and is calculated monthly using data collected for the consumer price index (CPI). However, it is not the same as the food components of the CPI. The monthly cost of the TFP used for the Food Stamp Program represents a national average of expenditures (four-person household consisting of an adult couple and two school-age children) adjusted for other household sizes through the use of a formula reflecting economies of scale. For food stamp purposes, the TFP as priced each June sets maximum benefit levels for the fiscal year beginning the following October.

Cultural significance[edit]

Jeffrey Steingarten's 1997 book of humorous food essays, The Man Who Ate Everything, was awarded the 1998 Borders Award for literary food writing from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP),[1] The Man Who Ate Everything is often designated as a Julia Child Cookbook Award Winner as the IACP Cookbook Awards were previously known as the Julia Child Cookbook Awards. In The Man Who Ate Everything, Steingarten successfully lived on the same level as the US Department of Agriculture's Thrifty Food Plan, which is the basis for US food stamp calculations.[2]


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  2. ^ Conrad, Jessamyn (2012). What You Should know About Politics But Don't. 304: Arcade Publishing of New York. p. 386. ISBN 978-1-61145-475-8.