As our nation struggles to heal, Americans are going back to basics, and that includes grocery staples. Milk and dairy products have been high on shoppers’ lists as they do more cooking, baking, and meal-making at home. They are also highly sought by feeding programs serving those in need during the economic downturn.
Maryland & Virginia is proud serve a number of food banks across our milkshed. Food banks are experiencing a greater demand for milk than ever before, and many now have more resources with which to purchase it.
Many of our members are taking action in their communities to ensure those that need it most have fresh milk.
Member Molly McWilliams has volunteered at Love Outreach, a food pantry in Orange, Virginia, to help package food for distribution. She noticed that the food pantry didn’t have the capabilities or coolers to offer dairy products, and decided to take action.
“There is such a need to get a staple like milk into people’s hands,” Molly said. “Helping to make sure food pantries have a supply off milk is the right thing to do.”
Molly connected Love Outreach with The Dairy Alliance and specifically their grant program to install milk coolers. The program is part of the Undeniably Dairy Grant Program to support refrigeration needs of local food pantries. To date The Dairy Alliance has placed 20 coolers in food banks across eight states.
The Dairy Alliance installed the cooler at the end of May and as part of the grant, provided the first delivery of Maola milk to Love Outreach. Since the beginning of June, Love Outreach has purchased both gallons and half gallons of Maola milk on a weekly basis to distribute to over 130 local residents in need.
Molly was there to see the first delivery of Maola milk was distributed.
“With all that was going on with the COVID pandemic, it was just instinct to pursue the milk cooler grant and make this happen,” she said. Molly is the fifth generation at J-Team Dairy where they milk 200 Holsteins in Culpeper, Virginia.
Member Ken Smith of Cool Lawn Farm in Remington, Virginia connected the Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC) with Maola milk.
Through a grant with the PATH Foundation, PEC has purchased Maola milk for several food banks including the Fauquier County Food Bank. Thanks to PEC and their donors, the Fauquier Food Bank purchases over 1,200 gallons of Maola milk each week. To learn more about the PEC’s effort, click here.
Milk prices may have taken a hit, but that has not dampened the charitable spirit of our membership.
Thank you to our members for your resilience and your determination to help feed your neighbors and local communities. Keep up the good work, and know that Maryland & Virginia is doing all we can to help with those projects and events.
Do you need some help figuring out what you can do locally? Give us a call or send an email to Daniela Roland. We have worked with members in various states and can suggest ways that you can have an impact in your local community.