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USDA PROVIDES NOTICE OF RETROACTIVE REIMBURSEMENTS, ENCOURAGES DONATION OF SURPLUS DAIRY PRODUCTS
Source: USDA news release

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will soon implement the Dairy Donation Program (DDP) as established in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. The program will facilitate the timely donation of dairy products to nonprofit organizations who distribute food to persons in need and prevent and minimize food waste.

Because the statute allows retroactive reimbursements of donations made before donation and distribution plans are approved, USDA is providing advance notice of the minimum provisions to be included in the program to encourage the dairy industry to process and donate surplus milk supplies as it moves through the spring surplus milk production season.

Although the DDP regulations have not yet been published, the following are the minimum key program requirements included in the statute: 1) a donation and distribution plan must be submitted and approved by USDA; 2) the reimbursement will be at least equivalent to the minimum classified value of milk used to make the donated product on the date of manufacturing; 3) records related to donating and receiving products must be maintained and available for review and/or audit; 4) eligibility is open to dairy farmer cooperatives and processors who "account to" a Federal milk marketing order (FMMO) and donate dairy products to any private or public nonprofit food distribution entity.

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