The holiday season is a time when many people donate a variety of non-perishable items to local food banks. However, people do not realize that milk is one of the most requested, but least donated food items.
Why? There are two reasons: many people don’t know that you can donate milk and most food pantries do not have the equipment needed to store the milk and keep it cold.
That’s why dairy farmers throughout the American Dairy Association North East (ADANE) territory are contributing more than 60 coolers to food panties throughout Pennsylvania and New York, as a part of its Fill A Glass With Hope® (FGWH) program.
“Dairy farmers are in the business of feeding people,” says Rick Naczi, CEO, American Dairy Association North East. “With the donation of these coolers, our dairy farmers will ensure that families are receiving not only what they want, but what they need—milk.”
Beginning in Pennsylvania, FGWH was the first statewide charitable milk donation program in the U.S. Since its inception in 2015, the program has distributed more than 11-million servings of milk through pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and feeding programs. This program is now being expanded to include New York state.
More than 37-million Americans suffer from food insecurity with limited or uncertain access to enough food, including more than 11-million children. Many of these households do not qualify for federal nutrition programs, so they must rely on hunger relief organizations and food banks to help fill their nutrition gap.
The coolers are being delivered to the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank in Harrisburg, Pa., Food Bank of the Southern Tier in Elmira, N.Y., Food Bank for Westchester in Elmsford, N.Y., and Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York in Latham, N.Y. Each of these organizations will receive 10 coolers. The Food Bank For New York City will receive 21 coolers.
“During this time of year, food pantries are deluged with families who want to make sure that their children are getting balanced meals. Milk is an important component of a balanced meal,” said Lolly Lesher, Way-Har Farm, Bernville, Pa. “Having milk available will make a lot of families happy during this holiday season.”
To find out how you can donate milk, please contact your local food bank.