Secretary of agriculture Tom Vilsack announced the purchase of 200 million pounds of nonfat dry milk (NDM) by the Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service for use in domestic feeding programs.
The goal is to support low-income families provide nutritious food for their children and to support dairy farmers who have been challenged by high feed costs and low dairy prices, Vilsack said.
The NDM was acquired under the Dairy Product Price Support Program at statutorily mandated prices. These purchases support the prices of NDM, butter and cheese and the price farmers receive for milk, according to a department release.
USDA will make available about 200 million pounds of NDM for further processing or barter. About 40 million pounds of NDM will be fortified and instantized and made available for use in the National School Lunch Program.
Another 30 million pounds of NDM will be donated to states to acquire fortified fat-free fluid milk and macaroni and cheese for use in the National School Lunch Program; and an additional 50 million pounds will be bartered for reduced fat and lite cheeses for use in the school lunch program.
USDA also plans to make NDM available to international food assistance programs.