Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Grant for coolers from Southeast U.S. dairy group helps food banks in Lexington and Winchester provide milk to the needy

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles announced the gift.
Clients of the God's Pantry Food Bank in Lexington and Winchester have greater access to fresh milk thanks to a $30,000 grant from The Dairy Alliance, formerly the Southeast United Dairy Industry Association.

God’s Pantry used the grant to put a total of seven milk coolers in its four food pantries in Fayette and Clark counties. The grant was part of the group's Milk 2 My Plate initiative to get Kentucky milk into Kentucky homes, and was announced by state Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles as part of his Hunger Initiative.

“As a bonus, our hard-working dairy farm families will get a new market for their products. This is one small step that hopefully will lead to more such initiatives to help Kentucky’s dairy farmers. We are extremely grateful to The Dairy Alliance for its support,” Quarles said in a news release.

Winchester Farms Dairy delivered milk to God’s Pantry as part of the May 29 announcement. The pilot project is providing 60 gallons of milk a week to the food bank; God’s Pantry CEO Michael Halligan is hoping to increase the volume.

“Hungry families, particularly those with young children, often lack calcium-rich milk in their diet. This pilot project will help us establish a consistent, sustainable flow of milk to those in need,” Halligan said. “In the first few weeks, we’ve witnessed so much joy and excitement through a cold glass of milk.”

Map the Meal Gap 2017, an annual study by Feeding America, found that one in six Kentuckians – including one in five children – were food insecure in 2015, meaning that consistent access to adequate food is limited by a lack of money and other resources at times during the year, the news release said.

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