Thanks to one driven dairy farmer, six dairies in the Yakima Valley of Washington state are working together to donate much-needed "white gold" -- fresh milk -- to local food banks.
Bill Wavrin, a dairy farmer in Mabton, Wash., started the Dairy for Life campaign in 2012 when he and five other dairy farmers donated 25,000 gallons of fresh milk, valued at $60,000, to food banks throughout 2013, according to Slate Magazine.
The generosity of Dairy for Life has led Rod Wieber, chief resource officer at Second Harvest, to describe the donation as “white gold, because it's something the food banks rarely see. And to have it on a recurring basis is a huge boon.”
Now, Wavrin has plans to expand these efforts to reach even more hungry families.
“Rural America is generous, but quietly so. I want it to be a group effort, because if we could pull together and get this program established, we could get a lot of milk to a broader geographical base of young families in need,” Wavrin says.
Highly perishable donations. such as dairy. are changing traditional mind-sets.
“Food banks and smaller pantries have had to change to accommodate perishable items. They had to change their mind-set and start building that infrastructure and capacity and invest in larger fridges and coolers,” says Wieber.