The U.S. Department of Agriculture yesterday issued the first of two bid solicitations for fluid milk as part of the previously announced $84.9 million purchase of fluid milk and other dairy products to protect agriculture markets from trade disruption. The first solicitation covers up to 5.49 million gallons of fluid milk products for delivery April through June 2019. The deadline for submitting bids is Feb. 15.
This solicitation is for whole, 2% reduced-fat, 1% low-fat and fat-free milk in gallon containers. The second and final solicitation will occur in April for delivery July through September 2019.
IDFA and the Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP) support USDA’s efforts to provide additional benefits to Americans who don’t have regular access to nutritious milk and dairy products, while helping to alleviate some of the financial difficulties facing dairy farmers and companies that stem from lost export sales.
Milk in Demand at Food Banks
Milk is one of the most requested nutrition staples at food banks, yet it is rarely available. Since 2014, The Great American Milk Drive – a nationwide effort to deliver highly desired milk to children and families in need – has delivered more than 1.8 million gallons, or more than 28 million servings, of milk to Feeding America® food banks. Together, the dairy community has set a goal of providing 50 million servings of milk, and its essential nutrients, to kids and families in need by 2020.
This $84.9 million purchase will be made under the authority of the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC). Last August, USDA also announced, under the authority of Section 32 of the Act of August 24, 1935, that it would purchase $50 million in pasteurized fluid milk for distribution to food banks and other feeding programs. Section 32 is a permanent appropriation that supports the farm sector through the purchase of commodities, like fluid milk, to encourage domestic consumption.
“These purchases will address one of our country’s significant challenges – hunger – and, at the same time, have a positive impact on the dairy industry at a time of significant market uncertainty,” said Michael Dykes, D.V.M., president and CEO of IDFA.
The solicitation is available here.
For more information, contact Taylor Boone, IDFA coordinator of regulatory affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org.