Comstock Park, Michigan — June 29, 2015 — That gallon of milk you consider a staple in your refrigerator is missing from the homes of many of Michigan’s most vulnerable.
And despite being one of the most frequently requested items at food pantries, it’s often hard for hunger-relief organizations to come by. In fact, food bank clients receive the equivalent of less than one gallon of milk per year. Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA), a member-owned-and-operated dairy cooperative, is doing its part to change that in our state.
On July 24, MMPA donated more than 22,700 gallons of milk to Michigan’s food banks, including 5,162 gallons of milk to Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank, in the hopes of providing Michiganders the nutritional benefits of local, natural milk.
“Our dairy farmer owners are happy to make this donation to the children, seniors and families struggling with hunger in our local communities,” MMPA president and dairy farmer Ken Nobis said. “We’ve been a Michigan company for nearly 100 years, and we’re proud to continue our cooperative’s tradition of giving back. What better way to serve those struggling with hunger than the healthy, natural, nutrient powerhouse that is milk?”
In total, MMPA donated 200,000 pounds of milk to the Food Bank Council of Michigan, processed at cost by Prairie Farms Dairy Inc. The resulting 22,700 gallons of 2 percent white milk are being distributed to food banks serving all 83 Michigan counties.
Hunger has no boundaries and is a problem that exists in urban, suburban and rural communities. It affects one in seven people in West Michigan and the Upper Peninsula, including nearly 114,000 children who do not have access to adequate nourishment to help them reach their full potential. But Feeding America West Michigan believes the solution lies in collaboration between nonprofits, food producers and generous individuals who give to support the effort.
“We want to recognize the Milk Producers for their generosity,” said Feeding America West Michigan CEO Ken Estelle. “This is exactly the kind of partnership that will allow us to solve hunger in our region.”
About the Food Bank Council of Michigan. Founded in 1984, the Food Bank Council of Michigan (FBCM) provides statewide leadership to food banks in their efforts to alleviate hunger. FBCM works with its seven regional food banks and over 3,000 hunger relief agencies, private companies, farmers, state and federal officials and other allies to make sure Michiganders do not go without food. For more information about the Food Bank Council of Michigan, visit fbcmich.org or call 517-485-1202.
About Michigan Milk Producers Association. Michigan Milk Producers Association, established in 1916, is a member owned and operated dairy cooperative serving approximately 2,000 dairy farmers in Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin and Ohio. Each year, MMPA’s dairy farm families produce over half a billion gallons of milk for families in Michigan, the U.S. and the world. For more information about Michigan Milk Producers Association, visit mimilk.com or call 248-474-6672.
About Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank. Serving local families in need since 1981, Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank reclaims safe surplus food from farmers, manufacturers, distributors and retailers. We distribute that food through a network of more than 1,100 food pantries, youth programs, and other hunger-relief agencies in 40 counties from the Indiana border through the Upper Peninsula. Each year, an estimated 492,100 people receive food from Feeding America West Michigan. For more information, visit feedwm.org.