PA Preferred™ Milk Set to Benefit Western Pennsylvanians through Innovative Food Bank Distribution Program – Cowsmo

PA Preferred™ Milk Set to Benefit Western Pennsylvanians through Innovative Food Bank Distribution Program

Pittsburgh – Agriculture Secretary George Greig today unveiled a pioneering regional PA Preferred™ milk distribution program that will meet the needs of western Pennsylvanians.

Greig joined partners from the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, Schneider’s Dairy and representatives from the Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association and Pennsylvania Dairy Promotion Program at the food bank in Dusquene, Allegheny County, which will distribute the milk to its affiliates across western Pennsylvania. This program will help 55,000 people served by the food bank.

“No single person can fight hunger,” said Greig. “It takes all of us working together. And by working together we are growing a stronger Pennsylvania.”

Through the public-private partnership, milk will be shipped to Schneider’s Dairy by the region’s dairy farmers to be processed for the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. The department will work to ensure that milk is provided at a discounted price to the food bank to better serve Pennsylvanians who use the food bank’s services.

“Milk is always one of our most requested food items,” said Lisa A. Scales, chief executive officer of Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. “We are proud to work with our partners locally and across the commonwealth to make fresh milk more readily accessible to those we serve through more than 400 agencies in 11 counties.”

The food bank serves 110,000 people each month and distributes more than 2.5 million pounds of food to needy Pennsylvanians.

“It breaks my heart to know that some small child, or adult for that matter, has never had a glass of fresh cold nutritious milk,” said William Schneider, president of Schneider’s Dairy Inc. “That is all going to change. Any challenges that may have stood in the way to get fresh nutritious milk to our neighbors in the past will not exist anymore. We will do whatever it takes to make this work.”

“As dairy farmers, we are committed to producing fresh, wholesome milk. This starts on the farm with the care we provide our animals, from nutritious feed and fresh water to comfortable housing,” said Richard Kind, owner of Grassy Crest Farms in Butler County.

Pennsylvania’s pilot milk distribution program began in June 2014 with partners Central Pennsylvania Food Bank and Harrisburg Dairies. The program is distributing 2,000 quarts of milk per week, with plans to ramp up delivery to 5,000 quarts per week within the next six months. To date, they have distributed 3,000 gallons of wholesome milk to the food bank’s 800 food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, low income child-care centers and senior centers.

Pennsylvania, home to more than 30 milk bottling operations, is the nation’s fifth-largest milk producer, with more than 7,800 dairy farm families and 532,000 cows.

“Milk is desperately needed in America’s feeding programs and families who depend on food banks are missing out on milk’s nutrient powerhouse,” said Harold Shaulis, chairman of the Pennsylvania Dairy Promotion Program. “Dairy farmers and processors are committed to closing that gap.”

“We’re now serving a brand new market with Pennsylvania-produced milk,” said Greig. “This shows the best of what Pennsylvanians – in government, business and nonprofits – can do when we work together.”

Provided by  Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

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