When it comes to serving those in need, the community you love is always a great place to start. Kroger and Metro Caring, Denver’s front line hunger-prevention organization, are making a local impact with their Milk 2 My Plate partnership.
The Milk 2 My Plate program was created by Northern Illinois Food Bank and Prairie Farms Dairy Inc. in 2012 to deliver fresh milk directly to local food pantries every week. This model has created opportunities for food banks, processors and dairy farmers across to country to replicate and better serve their communities.
Western Dairy Association’s Jaclyn Alkhatib, Program Manager of Business Partnerships, recognized the importance of the Milk 2 My Plate program and facilitated collaboration between Metro Caring and Kroger Mountain View Foods.
Both organizations jumped at the opportunity to provide more for those in need. Milk was one of Metro Caring’s most requested and nutrient-packed items, but one that was rarely donated. With the help of Kroger Mountain View Foods, Metro Caring has received over 4,500 pounds of milk for individuals and families who typically would not have access to it.
“Without the fresh milk offered in our market, many participants would have to rely on powdered milk, or no milk at all,” Judith Ackerman, Metro Caring’s Corporate Engagement & Marketing Officer, said. “With 2,000 gallons of milk a month, we could insure that every household that shops at Metro Caring leaves with a gallon of milk.”
In addition to helping the local community, Milk 2 My Plate has a positive impact on the dairy industry. Food banks are potential customers with consistent demand for dairy farms and processors. The partnership also gives food banks and pantries the chance to learn about where their milk comes from by interacting with local farmers.
Local dairies and co-ops interested in participating can get involved by meeting with food banks in their area. Discussing a Milk 2 My Plate partnership could be the first step towards new opportunities that change lives. Metro Caring and Kroger have found a way to do just that—supporting the local economy and dairy industry while giving back to their community.
“We are thrilled to be able to share this wonderful partnership with the community,” Ackerman said. “It is making a significant impact on the individuals who come to Metro Caring in order to feed their family.”