Through its DFA Cares Foundation, Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), a national farmer-owned dairy cooperative, is making good use of Northeast-Area milk this holiday season by providing a donation of more than 37,000 pounds or the equivalent of 4,300 gallons of milk to the Capital Area Food Bank in Washington D.C, which is part of the national Feeding America network.
The milk donation, which was processed at DFA's Dairy Maid Dairy plant in Frederick, Md., was picked up by representatives of the Capital Area Food Bank on Tuesday, November 29. The milk will help feed the more than 540,000 adults and children served by the food bank in the local DC metro area.
"There's no doubt that hunger and food insecurity are serious issues affecting Americans in large cities and small towns across the country," said Jerrel Heatwole, dairy farmer from Greenwood, Del., and co-chairman of Dairy Farmers of America's Northeast Area Council. "Our famer members are passionate about giving back to their local communities. As a Cooperative, we are honored to help make an impact in the fight against hunger by providing better access to healthier food options, like milk."
In the Washington D.C. area, 700,000 residents are at risk of hunger and rely on the Capital Area Food Bank and its partners for food assistance each year. Nationally, according to FeedingAmerica.org, an estimated 46.5 million people, including 12 million children, look to food banks for food assistance.
"Milk is a high-value item for our food bank, because it's not only frequently requested by clients, it's also a nutritional powerhouse and quite frankly rarely donated, since it's perishable," said Nancy E. Roman, President and CEO of the Capital Area Food Bank. "This donation will help improve the health and wellness of our community."
The Capital Area Food Bank donation was made possible through the DFA Cares Foundation, which was established in 2005 as a nonprofit charitable organization. Through the DFA Cares Foundation, DFA provides disaster relief via product and monetary donations, invests in the future of the industry with scholarships to students pursuing careers in dairy, and contributes dairy and food products for those in need. The American Dairy Association North East (ADANE) and DFA's Dairy Maid Dairy, which donated packaging and processing resources, also played a key role in helping coordinate the donation to Capital Area Food Bank.
Additionally, plans are in the works for DFA to make even more milk donations for other Northeast-Area food banks throughout December.