Western Dairy Board Director and fourth generation dairy farmer Shelly Dickinson is no novice when it comes to community interaction. After all, her family has lived and worked in Larimer County for four generations and good relationships with the community are paramount to her farm’s continued success. This January, Dickinson decided it was time to make a difference in a new way – so she worked with Western Dairy to donate over 800 gallons of milk to the Food Bank for Larimer County.

“Helping others have access to food is so important to me as a farmer,” said Dickinson. “Our family is so lucky to have what we do and we are happy to share it with others.”

Milk is the most requested item at America’s Food banks, but it is a difficult product for people to get their hands on because it is perishable. Local food banks can get dairy donations through the Great American Milk Drive – donate at milklife.com/give today to donate to your local Feeding America food bank.

“The Food Bank for Larimer County strives to offer our clients the foods they need for a balanced meal,” said Liz Donovan, MS, RD, Nutrition and Programs Manager at the Food Bank for Larimer County. “Dairy is an essential component of a healthy diet, but is often difficult for our clients to purchase and can be difficult for the Food Bank to source.”

Western Dairy and Dickinson understand the importance of making sure everyone – regardless of income or social status – has access to dairy products. Few foods can offer the amount of nutritional value that dairy can, and donations like this one help the community get the nutrients that dairy offers. To make the donation, Dickinson and WDA worked with Royal Crest Dairy, who sold the milk at cost to ensure the donation was maximized.

“Our community is so important to us,” said Scott Jones from Royal Crest. “Helping our less fortunate neighbors get access to delicious, nutrient-rich milk is something the whole Royal Crest team gets excited about.”

Dickinson also worked with Western Dairy to involve local Larimer County 4-H clubs in donating food by hosting a contest amongst the clubs to win a tour of her dairy farm. The Spring View 4-H Club won the contest by collecting and donating 34 pounds of food in November to the Food Bank for Larimer County. The club is looking forward to their tour this spring, and to hearing about the positive impact of their donations.

If you are interested in donating milk to your local food bank and would like help coordinating, please contact Jaclyn Alkhatib, Director of Nutrition Affairs at Western Dairy, or to donate through the Great American Milk Drive, visit www.milklife.com/give.

Categories: Dairy Farmers, Food banks