Food pantries throughout western Illinois and eastern Iowa are being inundated with milk donations through a federal program to buy and distribute almost $50 million in dairy products to compensate farmers impacted by trade tariffs.
The Quad City Times reported around 80,000 half-gallons of milk will be given to food pantries throughout the region until March. The increase in donations comes from a USDA program which assists dairy farmers stuck in the midst of President Trump’s trade disputes with Mexico, Canada and now China. Experts say tariffs have cost American dairy farmers over $1 billion since May.
River Bend Foodbank CEO Mike Miller says the program is helpful but challenging at the same time since milk has a limited shelf life and the program lacks distribution volunteers.