IDFA Applauds Significant USDA Investments in School Meals Programs and Food Banks

WASHINGTON — Michael Dykes, D.V.M., president and CEO of the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), released the following statement today applauding the U.S. Department of Agriculture on its investments in funding for schools and food banks:

“On behalf of America’s dairy processing industry, IDFA applauds USDA’s substantial support for schools and food banks to meet the nutritional needs of Americans young and old.

“Today’s announcement of an additional $500 million in funding for the Supply Chain Assistance program will bring the program total to $2.5 billion—a significant boost for school procurement for domestic, unprocessed foods, which includes nutritious milk, cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products. This funding will help ensure the professionals working to serve our kids breakfast and lunch in schools can continue to serve nutritious dairy foods that contribute to the growth, development, healthy immune function, and overall wellness of our children.

“In addition, IDFA applauds the nearly $1 billion in funding for emergency food providers like food banks to bring nutritious foods like dairy products to those in need.

“U.S. dairy remains committed to playing a proactive role in enhancing access to nutritious foods and reducing hunger and food insecurity. We are grateful to USDA for its continued support to schools and food banks amid supply chain disruptions.”

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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.