WASHINGTON, June 22, 2022— Michael Dykes, D.V.M., president and CEO of the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), released the following statement today on the bipartisan Keep Kids Fed Act that aims to provide healthy meals to children across the country this summer and ensure schools and daycares have the financial resources needed to weather continuing supply chain challenges and high food costs in the 2022-2023 school year.
“IDFA applauds leaders in the U.S. House and Senate who delivered certainty to millions of kids today with the introduction of the bipartisan Keep Kids Fed Act. We thank Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow of Michigan and Ranking Member John Boozman of Arkansas from the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry along with House Committee on Education and Labor Chairman Bobby Scott of Virginia and Ranking Member Virginia Foxx of North Carolina for their foresight in moving this important piece of legislation before the summer nutrition gap widens for school children. This bill will make sure our nation’s children, especially the most vulnerable kids who rely on school meals, get the nutrition they need over the summer. U.S. dairy is committed to playing a proactive role in enhancing access to nutritious foods for kids during the summertime when the nutrition gap is deepest for our nation’s most vulnerable and underserved individuals.
“IDFA is also grateful to these leaders for bolstering balance sheets for school meals professionals during the upcoming school year so they can continue to serve nutritious milk and other nutritious dairy foods that contribute to making school meals the healthiest meals our children consume each day. We look forward to working with Congress and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to get this bill passed into law and implemented so that nutrient-rich dairy products and other healthy foods remain central to child nutrition and school meals programs.”
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The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Washington, D.C., represents the nation’s dairy manufacturing and marketing industry, which supports more than 3.3 million jobs that generate $41.6 billion in direct wages and $753 billion in overall economic impact. IDFA’s diverse membership ranges from multinational organizations to single-plant companies, from dairy companies and cooperatives to food retailers and suppliers, all on the cutting edge of innovation and sustainable business practices. Together, they represent 90 percent of the milk, cheese, ice cream, yogurt and cultured products, and dairy ingredients produced and marketed in the United States and sold throughout the world. Delicious, safe and nutritious, dairy foods offer unparalleled health and consumer benefits to people of all ages.