IARN — U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue this month announced plans for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to purchase 317-million-dollars in dairy products, as part of its Farmers to Families Food Box Program. Additional work is being done to ensure dairy producers and food insecure citizens receive necessary support during the coronavirus pandemic.
Representatives Ron Kind (WI-3rd District), Mark Pocan (WI-2nd District), and Gwen Moore (WI-4th District) last week introduced the Farmer’s Milk in Low-Income Kitchens (MILK) Act. The bipartisan legislation seeks to assist citizens faced with food insecurity. Representative Kind says it is also “another attempt to bring focus where it is needed the most, to our family farmers.”
“We would give the Department of Agriculture, Secretary Perdue additional authority, additional resources to buy up surplus dairy products and get them distributed to food banks throughout the country,” Representative Kind said.
Dairy producers will also be supported by the Farmers to Families Food Box Program. Michael Dykes, president and Chief Executive Officer of the International Dairy Food Association (IDFA), says industry stakeholders “want to see that food help people whose lives have been affected by COVID-19.” Similarly, the MILK Act presents unique ways to distribute milk and milk products.
“(We are) looking at setting up food distribution centers where food banks don’t exist, in order to address the hunger needs that have arisen throughout our country,” Representative Kind said. “It’d be a win for our farmers to get a decent price; it’d be a win for those families struggling to meet their food needs.”
Story courtesy of the Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network.