Dairy farmers donated one hundred gallons of milk to St. John’s Food for the Poor Program in Worcester, MA on February 18. This donation was part of the Home Fridge Advantage initiative between New England Dairy, dairy farmers of the region, New England Patriots’ Defensive Lineman Chase Winovich, and 98.5 The Sports Hub: Patriots Radio Network. Food banks and hunger relief organizations continue to experience a significant increase in the need for nutritious foods, like milk, and strive to make sure millions of people have access to the food they need.
The Home Fridge Advantage promotion was launched in 2020 to coincide with the Patriots’ season as a way for New England Dairy to engage partners, build awareness of the need for milk, and give back to the region’s communities. For each New England Patriots regular season home game, a food pantry was selected as the recipient of at least 100 gallons of milk for distribution within their community. Milk remains one of the most requested, yet least donated items at American Food Banks according to Feeding America. The fluid milk donation to St John’s Food for the Poor Program increased the campaign total to over 600 gallons.
“We would like to thank New England Dairy, local dairy farmers and their partners for their generous donation of milk to the St. John’s Food for the Poor Program through the Home Fridge Advantage Initiative. We continue to be visited by an increased number of neighbors who come to us seeking physical and spiritual nourishment,” explain Bill Riley, Manager of the St. Francis Xavier Center – where the program is administered. “This generous donation of milk will help to serve these sisters and brothers in need. Support from our local dairy community also offers encouragement to the volunteers who come each day to provide both food and friendship to our guests. May your kindness and concern for the poor be returned in many blessings for you and your loved ones.”
The fluid milk donation to St. John’s supported the organization’s community feeding program where volunteers serve up to 700 hot meals a day five days a week. In addition to weekday meals, they offer over 20 important programs including services such as a free medical clinic, job matching, and food assistance.
Over the course of the three month initiative, more than 800 gallons of milk will have been donated to food pantries across New England. Those milk donations are made possible by regional dairy farmers and local dairy processors who have been supporting local schools for more than a century. Thursday’s donation in Worcester is made possible by Oakhurst Dairy, owned and operated by Dairy Farmers of America (DFA).
Massachusetts dairy farmer Randy Jordan also attended the milk donation. The Jordan family milks 300 cows and cares for nearly 1000 acres of land in central Massachusetts. Their farm is a member-owner of Dairy Farmers of America (DFA). “As a DFA farmer it’s inspiring to see milk that our farm produced ending up back in our community. We’re proud to create a nutritious food source and we’re proud to help support those in need,” stated Jordan.
“Efforts like these speak to the essence of farming in New England. Our dairy farms are a vibrant part of their communities. They seek out opportunities to enhance, enrich, and improve as many aspects of local life as possible. Nutrition and healthy eating are near and dear to their hearts,” explained Diane Krol RD, LDN, Manager Youth Wellness, New England Dairy.