Michael Dykes, D.V.M., president and CEO of the Washington, D.C.-based International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), released the following statement on Aug. 5:

“The funding bill passed yesterday by the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations is a win for the health and wellness of all Americans. The committee voted to triple the amount of funding going to support the SNAP Healthy Fluid Milk Incentives Projects (HFMIP) as part of the fiscal year 2022 appropriations bill for the USDA, FDA and related agencies. This program incentivizes SNAP beneficiaries to purchase fluid milk, making it easier for families to get more of the nutrition benefits of milk similar to other programs that encourage purchase of fruits and vegetables.

“The first HFMIP pilots kicked off earlier this year at three locations in Texas in partnership with the Baylor University Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty. Today’s show of support by the Senate and last week’s vote by the House demonstrates growing awareness in Congress about the important role dairy plays in family health and nutrition especially among our most economically and nutritionally vulnerable families.

“The budget passed yesterday is a major win for dairy and child nutrition, considering it also preserves the ability for schools to offer 1% flavored milk to students. The bill also continues to fund research at the USDA Agricultural Research Service to address food waste in the ice cream making process.

“IDFA will continue to work with members in both chambers of Congress to ensure our priorities remain intact through final passage of the FY22 appropriations bills.”