The California Association of Food Banks (CAFB) has joined with Land O’Lakes Inc. and Producers Dairy Foods Inc. to distribute 12,000 one-half gallon cartons of milk to food banks located in the Southern San Joaquin Valley, where an estimated 500,000 children and adults live in poverty. According to Sue Sigler, CAFB executive director, “Because the demand for food assistance remains so high, food banks have to count their pennies and as a result do not often have a steady supply of milk. We are deeply grateful for this donation from Land O’Lakes and Producers Dairy Foods, that will help us to provide a nutritious and well-rounded diet to people in need.”
The holiday donation began last week with the delivery of a tanker-load of milk from the Tulare-based Western Operations of Land O’Lakes to Producers Dairy Foods, Fresno, where it will be processed and packaged for consumer use.
Once the milk is processed and packaged into half-gallon cartons, the milk will be delivered to the Community Food Bank of Fresno, Food Link of Tulare County and the Community Action Partnership of Kern Food Bank for distribution to needy families in Fresno, Kern, Kings and Tulare Counties.
“Land O’Lakes is proud to support this event. We have an ongoing commitment to fighting hunger in the communities where our members and employees live and work,” said Lydia Botham, executive director of the Land O’Lakes Foundation. “Thanks to this partnership with the local food banks, we’re pleased to help deserving families in the Southern San Joaquin.”
Scott Shehadey, vice president of Producers Dairy adds, “We are excited about partnering with the food banks to bring healthy nutritious dairy products to those in need. We are strong supporters of building a healthier community and believe that healthy foods, such as milk, play an important role in the overall health of our community.”
Karen Ross, secretary of the California Department of Agriculture, said, “This is a great example of California dairy producers working together to improve food access for our neediest citizens. We will work to support and facilitate many more opportunities like this in the future.” PD
—From Western United Dairymen Weekly Update