The Thrifty Food Plan (TFP) was most recently revised in 2006 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to reflect current dietary recommendations, food consumption patterns, food composition data, and food prices while maintaining the cost at the level of the previous baskets. The Thrifty Food Plan is based on the National Academy of Sciences' Recommended Dietary Allowances and on food choices of low-income households.
The Thrifty Food Plan (TFP) serves as a national standard for a nutritious diet at a minimal cost and is used as the basis for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamp Program). The cost of the TFP food or market basket is for what is termed "the TFP reference family" (male and female ages 19 to 50, and two children ages 6 to 8 and 9 to 11). The TFP is one of four official USDA food plans (the others being the Low-Cost Plan, the Moderate-Cost Plan, and the Liberal Plan) maintained by the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP).
The TFP market baskets specify the type and quantity of foods that people could consume at home to obtain a nutritious diet at a minimal cost. There are 15 market baskets for 15 specific age-gender groups: children ages: 1 year, 2-3 years, 4-5 years, 6-8 years, and 9-11 years, males ages: 12-13 years, 14-18 years, 19-50 years, 51-70 years, and 71 years and over, and females ages: 12-13 years, 14-18 years, 19-50 years, 51-70 years, and 71 years and over.
Comprehensive information about the Food Plans (including contents and monthly updated cost) is available by following links on the CNPP USDA Food Plans website at:
The Thrifty Food Plan 2006 Report, which details the development and methodology of the TFP (in 64 pages) is available online in PDF format (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader) at:
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