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NMPF Teams with Feeding America to Encourage Cheese Purchases

November 3, 2009


NMPF Teams with Feeding America to Encourage Cheese Purchases

In a joint letter to USDA's Tom Vilsack, NMPF and Feeding America asked last month for the Secretary's support for using the $60 million appropriated in FY 2010 Agriculture Appropriations by January 2010 to fund programs for purchases of processed cheeses, including American, cheddar, and mozzarella, among others, that can in turn be used to provide emergency food assistance to feed American families experiencing economic hardship.

In addition to helping food-insecure households, the purchases of cheese would help dairy producers currently struggling through the economic crisis as well.

NMPF and Feeding America recommended that the product purchases from the market be done at a price level necessary to pay for processing, packaging, and delivery to the emergency food network. The plan would include targeted assistance, which would maximize the cost-effectiveness of emergency feeding programs and limit disruptions in the commercial market.

The USDA is expected to announce soon how that $60 million figure will be spent, along with the $290 million in direct payments to producers.