Milk saved and people served through generous donations
When Cargill dairy customers are told their milk must be dumped because it has nowhere to go, the news is devastating for the customer and Cargill. We know many families are in need of this nutritious product, but donating milk directly from a farm to a food bank is not possible. Milk must be transported, processed, and bottled before it can be delivered and the cost is often more than a farm can bare.
That was the situation Montana Milk Producers Association, made up of twenty-nine Hutterite Colonies, were facing in April when they reached out to their Cargill representative, Ken Bryan. Working together, we were able to donate 12,000 gallons to the Montana Food Bank Network on April 13. Ken’s ‘How can we help?’ attitude helped him find a way to give back to the communities he and so many others live, work, and thrive in every day. Visit Northern Ag Network to read the full story.
Inspired by what Ken had done in Montana, Brad Saunders, Cargill Eastern Sales Manager and Ed Varnam, Cargill Dairy Focus Consultant, led the efforts of donating 3,000 gallons of milk from Dykeman Farms of New York’s Mohawk Dairy Co-op, that otherwise would have gone to waste, to the Food Bank of Central New York and Regional Food Bank of Eastern New York.
Annually, the Food Bank of Central New York supports 264,000 households through the 282 emergency programs they serve across 11 counties; and the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York supports 355,000 individuals through 1,000 agencies that stretch across 23 counties in eastern New York. Due to the effects of COVID-19, distribution for the central and eastern food banks are up 20 percent and 50 percent, respectively – making these donations more critical than ever. Managing the entire donation process, Brad and Ed are not only helping families in need of milk, but supporting their customers, and the local Mountainside Creamery during these challenging times.
The good new doesn’t stop there. In Wisconsin, Leroy Wiersma, Midwest Sales Manager for Cargill, contributed to the efforts of a local milk hauler, Rich Miller. Due to COVID-19, the creamery was forced into asking farmers to lower production. Leroy contributed to the donations that are going towards covering the costs of processing milk into cheese curds. Those cheese curds are then given to two local Wisconsin food pantries that serve nearly 300 families weekly. Since the project started at the beginning of April, the outpour of generous donations have been enormous, forcing the creamery to limit production to 500 pounds of curds a day in order to keep up with packaging. You can read the full story here from APG Wisconsin.
It is truly amazing to see our teammates, communities, and even complete strangers come together and support one another during these uncertain and troubling times. Keep the inspiration going by sharing stories like this!