Milk is one of the most requested, yet least donated items at food banks, a generous donation of milk goes a long way in the community.
On Tuesday, the dairy farm families of Montana donated 2,000 gallons of milk to the Montana Food Bank Network to ensure that their friends and neighbors who don’t normally have access to fresh, nutritious milk have the opportunity to take it home to help feed their families for the holidays.
Approximately 1 in 7 Montanans struggle with hunger, including nearly 48,000 children living in food insecure homes. Donating milk is a great opportunity for the dairy farm families of Montana to provide the nutritional impact milk and dairy products have to the people in their communities that are struggling with hunger. Although milk is one of the most requested items at food banks, it’s one of the least donated – that’s because while Americans are generous with canned and dry goods, most can’t donate milk because of its perishability.
Western Dairy Association worked with the Meadow Gold plant in Billings to arrange for 2,000-gallon donation to arrive at the food bank on Tuesday afternoon.
“Dairy farmers are grateful for the opportunity to help the food bank and their outstanding volunteers,” said Jaclyn Alkhatib, Director of Nutrition, Health and Wellness at Western Dairy. “We know milk is such an efficient and cost-effective way to get protein and hope this donation will help families in Montana stretch their budgets a little further this time of year.”
Western Dairy and the dairy farm families of Montana hope that this donation will spur many more donations of milk to the Montana Food Bank Network, not only for the holiday season, but through the upcoming year. The best way for individuals to help donate milk to the food bank is through the Great American Milk Drive or by donating cash to their local food bank or pantry for the purchase of fresh milk.
“This generous milk donation will have a great impact for people in need throughout our Montana communities that the Montana Food Bank Network serves,” said Bill Matthews, Chief Development Officer at Montana Food Bank Network. “We are very grateful to the Western Dairy Association, Meadow Gold and the dairy farmers!”
The Montana Food Bank Network distributed over 8 million pounds of food to more than 150 partner agencies in 39 counties across Montana in 2015. In addition to providing emergency food, the Montana Food Bank Network works to increase participation in the public food programs and supports policies to bring sustainable long-term solutions to hunger.