LYNN, MA – Community organizations across Massachusetts teamed up today to hand out free milk and meals to address increased rates of food insecurity in the community of Lynn. Families were able to walk or drive up to the pick-up location to receive a free half gallon of milk courtesy of HP Hood and non-perishable food items donated by Massachusetts Military Support Foundation. Volunteers from Austin Square Baptist Church were present to assist families, while New England Dairy was onsite to hand out recipe and meal planning guides from their Mobile Dairy Bar.
The pandemic continues to negatively affect families across the country as data shows the struggle to afford food has worsened significantly. Feeding America reports that, “food banks across the country are serving 55 percent more people now than before the pandemic.” In Eastern Massachusetts the number of people struggling with access to healthy food has increased by 66 percent, with 1 in 5 children in Eastern Massachusetts now living in a home that is food insecure.
Milk remains one of the most requested, yet least donated items at American food banks according to Feeding America. Milk provides a unique package of 13 essential nutrients including calcium, potassium, and Vitamin D – a nutritional powerhouse for individuals, families, and children in need. Today’s milk donation is made possible by local dairy farmers and dairy processors who have been supporting their communities for over a century.
“Dairy farmers are an essential part of our New England community,” explained New England Dairy Experiential Marketing Manager Carly Ciarletta. “They provide us with local and nutritious dairy products, support school nutrition programs and youth wellness, and now in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, help to ensure our neighbors in need are nourished.”
The people of Austin Square Baptist Church, which has been in Lynn for more than 100 years, identified the food insecurity situation and connected with New England Dairy to help meet the needs of the community. “For many years we have ministered to people’s spiritual and physical needs,” said Elder Richard Hahn. “We care about the people around us and throughout the city of Lynn. This opportunity to provide food is one way we can show that we love our neighbors.”
This milk and meals donation event was made possible by the generous contributions of HP Hood, Massachusetts Military Support Foundation, Austin Square Baptist Church, and support from the Patriots Foundation and Julia F. Callahan School.
ABOUT NEW ENGLAND DAIRY
New England Dairy (NED) is a non-profit education organization based in Boston that serves as a voice of dairy farmers in New England and Eastern New York. We champion these dairy farm families and the nutritious foods they produce by connecting people to dairy farms, supporting youth wellness in schools, and delivering the latest nutrition and sustainability science to educators, health professionals, scientists, and media. NED is a state and regional affiliate of the National Dairy Council® (NDC).
Founded in 1846, today Hood is one of the largest branded dairy operators in the United States. Hood is the number-one dairy brand in New England, and Hood’s portfolio of national and super-regional brands and franchises. For more information about Hood, please visit www.Hood.com.
ABOUT MASSACHUSETTS MILITARY SUPPORT FOUNDATION
Our mission is to provide programs, services, and goods that help satisfy critical needs and enhance the well-being and quality of life for Veterans, active-duty Military, and their families in Massachusetts. Each of our programs is designed to have maximum impact on the many issues Veterans and active-duty Military face. We provide solutions that make a long-lasting, life-changing difference for these brave men and women.
ABOUT AUSTIN SQUARE BAPTIST CHURCH
Austin Square is a Reformed Baptist, sovereign grace church that has upheld the truth of the Gospel in the city of Lynn, MA for over 100 years. We are situated in the middle of a community of over 125,000 and reach out to both our urban and suburban neighbors. We see around 100 worshippers out each Sunday, and minister to another associated 50 throughout the week. We are also partnered with a Cambodian Fellowship that has met in our building for over 30 years.