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Wisconsin Lawmakers Pushing for MILK Act
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 05/20/2020

Three of Wisconsin's congressional representatives are introducing a bipartisan effort to expand the USDA's milk donation program to help get dairy products into the hands of the food insecure. Reps. Ron Kind, Mark Pocan and Gwen Moore say their MILK ACT--which stands for Milk in Low-Income Kitchens--would authorize the government to act as a matchmaker between dairy producers with excess milk and food banks that can distribute that milk to those in need.

"Our nation is facing an economic crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and as a result, demand at food banks is on the rise as many Wisconsinites struggle to feed their families," Kind said. "At the same time, our farmers are being forced to dispose of excess milk due to disrupted food supply chains. This bill will provide an important link between food banks and farmers to ensure that Wisconsin families in need are receiving nutritious, high-quality food and farmers facing a steep drop in demand for their products get relief."

National Milk Producers Federation CEO Jim Mulhern praised the lawmakers for drafting the measure. He says dairy farmers and their cooperatives want to do everything possible to maximize the potential of milk donation and provide much-needed assistance to food insecure populations.

The USDA's current milk donation program requires producers to seek out food banks and apply for reimbursements to cover expenses. But the MILK Act would give the agency authority to pair up farmers with food banks.

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