Milk Donation Reimbursement Program (MDRP)

Congress allotted $9 million for the first year of the Program and $5 million for subsequent years, throughout the lift of the current Farm Bill (plus any rollover funding from previous years) for dairy organizations, such as farmers and processors, to provide donated milk to nonprofit organizations, such as food banks, that distribute food to low-income individuals.


  • The MDRP will allow handlers who participate in the program with an eligible nonprofit organization to receive a partial reimbursement on donated milk. The reimbursement will equal, at most, the difference between the Class I value of the milk and the lowest class value for a particular month (which may be Class III or IV, depending on the month).
  • Shelf life needs to be at least 12 days, or the minimum time allowance mandated by the state, whichever is less.
  • FDA-compliant packaging.
  • White, flavored or organic are acceptable.
  • Milk donations must be 100% donations to the nonprofit organization and pooled under the Federal Milk Marketing Orders (FMMO).
  • Milk sold or donated under other commodity or food assistance programs administered by USDA is NOT eligible for reimbursement under the MRDP.

milk in crates

Who can apply?

Dairy organizations, which includes any dairy farmer, dairy cooperatives or independent dairy processors that accounts to an FMMO pool and incurs qualified expenses by accounting to the pool for fluid milk product donations. These dairy organizations must make a 100% donation to a food bank or nonprofit to apply for reimbursement, but they do not need to be a qualified USDA bidder to apply.

Nonprofit distributors – a public or private non-profit organization able to distribute donated milk, which include food banks, food pantries and soup kitchens – can partner with dairy organizations (such as those mentioned above) to apply to the program.

How to apply

  1. Eligible dairy organization partners with eligible distributor.
  2. Together, the dairy organization and distributor will submit a joint plan to USDA via these forms:
    1. Milk Donation and Distribution Plan
    2. Plant and Distributor Worksheet
    3. Submit all forms to
  3. Pending review, AMS approves the eligible partnership to become participating partnership.
  4. The approved organization donates fluid milk products via the approved distributor.
  5. The dairy organization submits MDRP reimbursement claim and relevant documentation.
  6. AMS reimburses the dairy organization.

Program dates

Currently open and accepting proposals

Applications for Fiscal Year 2020 (Oct. 1, 2019 – Sept. 30, 2020) will be accepted through Oct. 30, 2020. 

Claims for FY19 & 20 reimbursements will be accepted through Dec. 31, 2020.

Applications for Fiscal Year 2021 (Oct. 1, 2020 – Sep. 20, 2021) will be accepted through March 31, 2021.


Questions about this program?

Program details are updated often. Please check back frequently.

Last updated: Sept. 10, 2020