In an April 3 letter, the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), National Milk Producers Federation and 15 other food and beverage industry groups urged leaders in Congress to provide targeted financial aid to workers in the critical industries as they work to care for, feed and protect Americans through the coronavirus outbreak.

Essential critical infrastructure workers are fighting a war against the coronavirus at great personal cost, and these workers should be recognized and supported by the federal government, IDFA noted. Whether by exempting these essential critical infrastructure workers from federal taxes and requiring immediate adjustments to their tax withholdings, or by providing direct payments, the federal government should stand by these workers as they serve as the nation’s lifeline during this difficult time.

“On behalf of the many men and women continuing to work in our food industry, we urge Congress to deliver targeted financial aid to these workers in its next coronavirus response package,” said Michael Dykes, D.V.M., president and CEO of Washington, D.C.-based IDFA. “The people diligently showing up to work for our nation’s essential critical industries each and every day through this outbreak — despite the challenges posed by coronavirus — deserve the recognition and support of the federal government in these trying times. They are absolutely essential to our nation’s security and welfare.”