Senator Stabenow Helps Michigan Dairy Farmers and Families Through Milk Donation

Thursday, February 13, 2020

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, announced the Michigan Milk Producers Association will receive $45,000 to offset costs from donating over 109,000 gallons of milk over the past two years. The funding is part of the new Milk Donation Reimbursement Program, which Stabenow authored in the 2018 bipartisan Farm Bill to encourage dairy farmers to partner with food banks and charities to donate milk and reduce food waste.


“In Michigan, many families struggling with hunger turn to food banks in times of need,” said Senator Stabenow. “By making it easier for dairy producers to donate their excess milk to charities, we are feeding families and reducing food waste all across Michigan.”


Dairy farmers face several barriers that make it difficult to donate milk. In order to remove these hurdles and encourage donation, Stabenow created the Milk Donation Reimbursement Program, which refunds milk producers for donation costs.


The national program was inspired by the Michigan Milk Producers Association successful milk donation initiative. Since 2015, the Association, in partnership with the Kroger Michigan Dairy plant, has donated nearly 250,000 gallons of milk through the Food Bank Council of Michigan.


“We are grateful for Senator Stabenow’s leadership to alleviate hunger while supporting dairy farmers through the milk donation initiative incorporated into the 2018 Farm Bill,” said Sheila Burkhardt, Senior Director, Member and Government Relations for Michigan Milk Producers Association. “Recognizing how milk is one of the most requested food bank items, the dairy farmers of MMPA have donated nearly 250,000 gallons of milk to food banks around Michigan over the last five years. This reimbursement program helps ease the process and get milk in the hands of those who need it.”