Local checkoff staffs are taking a proactive, comprehensive, integrated approach to move more milk through the Great American Milk Drive during June Dairy Month and all year long. Here are some local highlights:
Midwest Dairy Association (MDA): MDA is collaborating with Northern Illinois Food Bank (NIFB) to expand the Milk2MyPlate model. NIFB recognized the need for milk for their clients and approached a local processor to purchase milk on an ongoing basis.
To date, they have purchased more than 5 million servings of milk for clients in a 13-county area. MDA provided educational resources and promotion materials. Check out the story about Milk2MyPlate on the National Dairy Council website.
United Dairymen of Idaho (UDI): UDI partnered with the Idaho Girl Scout Council and Albertsons food stores on a twofold GAMD effort. First, UDI matched a gallon of milk for every box of cookies purchased and donated the milk to the Idaho Food Bank.
Second, Albertsons held an in-store promotion where customers could donate at the register and raised more than $25,000 for the Idaho Food Bank. In all, this equates to more than 11,500 gallons of milk available for needy families.
American Dairy Association Northeast: A partnership with the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York began in June of 2014 when the nonprofit received a $10,000 grant from the National Dairy Council.
These funds helped purchase a refrigerated truck for their retail store food donation program. This truck allows the food bank to service more stores, which are an excellent source for a variety and large quantity of dairy donations on a regular basis.
Dairy Council of Arizona: Farmer-funded grants to St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance in Phoenix purchased two refrigeration units to increase the amount of dairy foods it distributes to thousands of low-income clients.
The Dairy Council of Arizona partnered with the agency that combines the four Feeding America food banks in Arizona to provide refrigerator/freezer combo units to smaller agencies. The refrigerators are wrapped with graphics highlighting child feeding programs so parents can learn more about school breakfast and lunch programs and summer feeding programs.
Washington Dairy Products Commission: The Northwest Farmers Fighting Hunger, benefiting Food Lifeline, Second Harvest and Oregon Food Bank, is a unique partnership among dairy farmers, government, private business and nonprofits.
The effort raises awareness of food insecurity during the summer and collects non-perishable food and cash for food banks in Washington and Oregon. To date, more than a quarter-million pounds of food, including dairy, have been donated.
New England Dairy Council: Dairy farmers provided the New Hampshire Food Bank, the state’s only food bank, with a $10,000 grant so its member pantries could purchase freezer blankets to keep food cold during transportation.
This simple solution has greatly improved the amount of food that agencies can bring back from the food bank and other closer “fresh rescue” donations of foods close to their sell-by date. These improvements ensure more milk, yogurt and cheese get to local families in need.
Southeast United Dairy Industry Association (SUDIA): SUDIA is supporting several key retailers during GAMD events. In May, when customers at Food Lion purchase four specially marked Kellogg’s products, a gallon of milk will be donated to the GAMD.
In August, Georgia 4-H will host a challenge for students to see which region can raise the most money for GAMD. To celebrate September’s Hunger Action Month, Kroger will again host its successful Pour it Forward campaign.
PHOTO 1: A farmer-funded grant secured a refrigerated truck to help New York food banks handle more fresh fluid milk and other dairy items.
PHOTO 2: Refrigerators in Arizona food banks tout the importance of milk for children. Photos provided by DMI.