WASHINGTON, Nov. 17, 2021—Michael Dykes, D.V.M., president and CEO of the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), released the following statement on USDA’s recent solicitations to purchase a substantial quantity of fresh fluid milk and cheese for food banks in 2022:
“IDFA has been working with USDA for a number of months to ensure dairy products including fresh fluid milk and cheese are included in emergency food assistance purchases for food banks. IDFA is pleased to see those efforts come to fruition with yesterday’s series of announcements that USDA aims to make purchases of fresh fluid milk and cheese for food banks across the country using funding outlined in USDA’s Build Back Better strategy. In all, USDA announced its intent to purchase more than 16 million pounds of cheese and more than 2.186 million gallons of fresh fluid milk (here and here) through its solicitation process. The purchases of milk and cheese will help to keep shelves stocked with nutritious dairy foods at food banks in 2022 in response to persistent food insecurity caused by the pandemic and other factors. IDFA encourages USDA to continue to put funding from the COVID relief bills toward solving supply chain disruptions, improving and expanding refrigeration and storage capacity, and adding refrigerated transport at our nation’s food banks to meet the growing demand for fresh, wholesome milk and dairy foods among Americans in need. IDFA will continue to work with USDA, the national food bank network, and other partners to bring fresh, nutritious dairy foods to Americans in need.”
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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.