With a celebratory milkshake toast, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding joined former NFL Philadelphia Eagles star, Torrey Smith, dairy industry leaders, Feeding PA food bank leaders, Pennsylvania dairy royalty, Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association, and American Dairy Association North East (ADANE) at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center to kick off the 2022 Fill a Glass with Hope campaign, a charitable fresh milk distribution program.
Launched in 2015 in Central Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh, Fill a Glass with Hope® expanded in 2016 to become the first statewide charitable fresh milk distribution program in the country. Since its inception, Fill a Glass with Hope® has provided more than 27 million servings of milk to families in need through Feeding Pennsylvania’s nine-member food banks statewide. The fundraising for the 2022 campaign launched today with major donations of more than $180,000 (all donors listed below), including $25,000 Keystone sponsors FirstEnergy, Weis Markets, Columbia Gas, Coterra Energy and Land O Lakes.
“No one should be denied access to fresh milk, especially the half a million children in Pennsylvania who are facing hunger,” said Jane Clements, Executive Director of Feeding Pennsylvania. “Milk is one of the most requested items in our charitable food network and Feeding Pennsylvania’s member food banks are extremely appreciative of our dairy farmers and business leaders for investing in this amazing program so that we can purchase milk, at a reduced price, directly from local dairy processors and distribute it to Pennsylvania families in need.”
Secretary Russell Redding applauded the hardworking dairy farmers — who make up the largest segment of Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry — and more than 5,400 dairy farm families that provide for consumers, the hungry, and the state’s charitable food system.
“This campaign highlights the great work done by our partners in agriculture and the charitable food system to feed those in need throughout the commonwealth,” said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “We cannot have a charitable food system without a food system that is charitable. Thank you for moving Pennsylvania closer to the goal of full nutritional security.”
Former NFL star, Torrey Smith spoke of his appreciation of the program from a personal perspective.
Torrey Smith, former Philadelphia Eagles player said, “Thanks to Fill a Glass with Hope® and with everyone’s help – from our dairy farmers to our Food Banks, to the sponsors – we can work together to get fresh milk to people in need. Fresh milk has become increasingly available at food pantries across Pennsylvania, giving kids and their parents another great choice, which is power packed.”
Dave Smith, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association and dairy farmer Dina Zug, Zugstead Farm, Land O Lakes producer and American Dairy Association NE Board member echoed this sentiment.
“Pennsylvania Dairy farmers believe that all Pennsylvanians should have access to the important nutrition of fresh milk to power them through their day, including making sure food insecure families benefit from this wholesome protein-packed beverage. That’s why we are thrilled to support this amazing partnership and vital program, Fill a Glass with Hope®,” said Dave Smith.