IDFA Joins USDA for Historic Fluid Milk Food Bank Delivery

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) this year announced plans to purchase up to $135 in cheese and, for the first time ever, pasteurized fluid milk for delivery to food banks across America. IDFA collaborated with the Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP) and Feeding America, a national hunger relief organization, to undertake significant efforts to involve processors and aid USDA to make the program a success. Cary Frye, IDFA senior vice president of regulatory affairs, joined Greg Ibach, USDA undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs, other USDA officials and dairy stakeholders at the Capital Area Food Bank this week in Washington, D.C., to participate in one of the milk deliveries.

“It’s a win for milk processors, dairy farmers and families to have 18 million half gallons of fresh fluid milk delivered to food banks from October through April 2019 under this historic program,” said Frye. ‘We’re proud to join USDA in these efforts to give more access to nutritious milk to Americans in need.”

USDA will soon announce plans to purchase additional fluid milk for donation in 2019. This purchase will be a part of a mitigation package USDA is implementing to lessen the impact of trade disruptions.

IDFA Efforts

To make the program a success, IDFA informed milk processors about the new opportunity to bid on USDA commodity purchases of pasteurized, fresh fluid milk.

IDFA connected companies with resources on how to become qualified vendors to sell to USDA and facilitated these partnerships with the department.

IDFA also worked closely with USDA as it developed this buying program for fluid milk, a perishable food item. In the past, USDA has typically only purchased butter, cheese and some yogurts, which have longer shelf life.

For more information, contact Frye at

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