Less fortunate families in Central Pennsylvania will now have improved access to one of the holiday season’s simplest treats, but one that isn’t always the most accessible to those in need: Milk.
The Central Pennsylvania Food Bank (CPFB) and the American Dairy Association North East have teamed up to donate a cold milk storage cooler unit to New Hope Ministries’ food pantry in Mechanicsburg.
It’s all part of a larger-scale partnership between the CPFB, ADANE, Fill a Glass with Hope, the Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association and dairy farmers, all of whom have come together to donate more than 60 milk refrigeration units to food banks across Pennsylvania and New York.
New Hope Ministries’ Mechanicsburg location was among the first to receive a donated cooler, and the employees and volunteers there could not be more thrilled.
“What an amazing Christmas gift!” Molly Helmstetter of New Hope Ministries told the Harrisburg CBS affiliate. “We’re going to be able to feed more families with healthy nutritious food. [Dairy] is not something people are not thinking to donate when they go to their local food pantry. It’s being able to feed people with such an amazing product like fresh, nutritious milk.”
“It’s going to help us update our refrigeration, which is an expensive part of doing our work,” New Hope Ministries’ Eric Saunders said. “It’s just great to have the Pennsylvania dairy farmers supporting us, not only with a great product, but also with this wonderful equipment donation.”
According to the CPFB, 1 in 10 Central Pennsylvania residents has some type of food insecurity and 1 in 6 children in the region faces hunger each day.
So, for the CPFB, it was a no-brainer to be involved in a campaign like this that provides a new route to deliver healthy dairy products and their vital nutrients.
“Milk is one of the healthiest things we can provide,” Amy Hill of the CPFB said. “We like to promote what we call ‘foods to encourage’ and milk is one best things people can make a part of their regular diet. It’s healthy, it’s good, it’s great. But it needs to be kept fresh for it to be good, so the cooler is something we’re really, really grateful for, to the American Dairy Association North East and dairy farmers in Pennsylvania particularly.
“People can donate milk, and now that we have coolers and with some of our partner agencies like New Hope Ministries, we have a safe place to keep it until we can pass it on to people in need.”
Coolers will continue to be donated across Pennsylvania and New York throughout the Holiday Season. And, of course, food donations, especially milk donations, are encouraged to help those in need.