The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced it will accept applications through March 31, 2021, for participation in the Milk Donation Reimbursement Program during fiscal year 2021 (FY21).
Under the program, eligible dairy organizations partner with non-profit organizations to distribute food to low-income individuals and donate fluid milk products to the non-profit partner. After donations are made, the eligible dairy organization may apply for and receive limited reimbursements to cover expenses related to their fluid milk product donations.
Interested partnerships must apply for FY21 program participation by submitting a completed Milk Donation and Distribution Plan no later than March 31, 2021. Applications submitted for FY21 can reflect fluid milk product donations made or anticipated to be made from Oct. 1, 2020, through Sept. 30, 2021. A partnership may submit documentation for retroactive reimbursement of eligible expenses after its application has been approved by USDA. Details about program eligibility and participation are available at www.ams.usda.gov/mdrp.
An eligible dairy organization is a dairy farmer, either individually or as part of a cooperative, or a dairy processor that incurs qualified expenses to a Federal Milk Marketing Order pool for fluid milk product donations. Program reimbursements offset a portion of the raw milk cost for milk donated to food assistance programs.
Congress directed USDA to develop the program to reduce food waste and provide nutrition assistance to low-income individuals and has authorized $5 million for the program in FY21.
USDA is continuing to accept applications through Oct. 30, 2020, for participation in the Milk Donation Reimbursement Program for fiscal years 2019 and 2020.