Milk Donation Reimbursement Program (MDRP): What Do I Need to Know?

Q: What is the program timeline?

  1. Program established on September 16, 2019
  2. Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) and Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) Plans due by October 30, 2020
  3. Plans will be approved within 45 days of receipt
  4. FY19 Claims due by December 31, 2020
  5. FY20 Claims will be processed quarterly once plans have been approved. Deadline for claim submissions: December 31, 2020

Q: What will AMS reimburse?

A: AMS will approve a reimbursement rate (not to exceed 100 percent) and a total dollar amount for the fiscal year.  Approvals will be based on the quantity of proposed donations and price forecasts.

Q: Who is eligible to participate?

A: This program requires participation by a participating partnership made up of an eligible dairy organization and an eligible distributor

An eligible dairy organization is a dairy farmer, either individually or as part of a cooperative, or a dairy processor, that accounts to an FMMO pool and incurs qualified expenses by accounting to the pool for fluid milk product donations. 

An eligible distributor is a public or private non-profit organization able to distribute donated milk.

An eligible partnership is a partnership between an eligible dairy organization and an eligible distributor. A participating partnership is an eligible partnership whose application has been approved by AMS.

Q: What is the application and reimbursement process?

  • Step 1: Eligible dairy organization partners with eligible distributor
  • Step 2: Eligible partnership submits a joint Milk Donation and Distribution Plan
  • Step 3: Pending review, AMS approves eligible partnership to become participating partnership
  • Step 4: Eligible dairy organization donates fluid milk products via eligible distributor
  • Step 5: Eligible dairy organization submits MDRP Reimbursement Claim; and relevant documentation
  • Step 6: AMS reimburses eligible dairy organization

Q: Can my organization be reimbursed for donations made prior to the start of this program?

A: Eligible dairy organizations may claim reimbursements for donations made during FY19 (October 1, 2018, through September 30, 2019). Organizations must still apply for eligibility by submitting a Milk Donation and Distribution Plan (link) and Spreadsheet (link). Once the plan is approved, eligible dairy organizations can then submit documentation to receive reimbursement.

Q: My organization donated milk without partnering with a non-profit. Is my organization still eligible for reimbursement?

A: To be eligible for retroactive reimbursement for FY19 and FY20, your organization will still need to apply to be a participating partnership by submitting a Milk Donation and Distribution Plan with your distributor by the announced deadline. 

Q: In addition to the claim reimbursement form and spreadsheet, what kind of documentation does my organization need to provide to receive reimbursement?

A: Your organization needs to provide proof of donation through documentation that might include, but is not be limited to: processing and shipping records; bills of lading; storage records; and/or receiving records from the eligible distributor.

Q: My organization wants to donate dairy products, not beverage milk. Are my donations eligible for reimbursement?

A: Only Class I fluid milk products (including flavored milks) produced and processed in the United States are eligible for reimbursement under this program. 

Q: What specifications must the donated milk products meet?

A: Milk products for donation must meet the commodity specifications detailed in the Commodity Specifications for Fluid Milk and Milk Products Eligible for the Milk Donation Reimbursement Program (pdf).

Q: What if my organization donates more milk than anticipated in our Donation and Distribution Plan?

A: Your organization may apply for a reimbursement increase using the MDRP Reimbursement Increase form.  In this form, your organization must detail the changing conditions that warrant the increase.

Q: How often will AMS issue reimbursement payments?

A:  Once your plan has been approved, claims can be submitted at any time.  AMS will review, process, and issue payments for reimbursement claims on a quarterly basis.

Q: Can my organization be reimbursed for transportation expenses?

A: Reimbursements are limited to no more than 100 percent of the difference between the Class I milk price at the plant location (where the donated milk was processed) and the lowest class price for the applicable month (either Class III or Class IV).

Q: Where can I find information on class prices in my area?

A: Refer to the Market Administrator Website for your area to find data on class prices, as well as other statistics.

Q: When will I know if my organization’s plan was approved?

A: Within 45 days of the announced application deadline, AMS will review applications and notify applicants regarding approval or disapproval for program participation.