(Woonsocket, RI) – As 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 – 100 gallons of milk are being donated to Community Care Alliance of Woonsocket, Rhode Island. Food banks and hunger relief organizations are experiencing 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 coincides 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. Fuel Up to Play 60 Player Ambassador Chase Winovich is a strong supporter of dairy farmers and lover of dairy foods and is the face and voice of the partnership. From Sunday through Wednesday of each home-game week, listeners of the Patriots Radio Network are hearing live radio reads and pre-recorded messages by Winovich about dairy farming, dairy nutrition and important programs happening around the region and across the country.
Staying grounded to the challenges and situations that continue to be caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it was strongly felt milk donations should be a part of the campaign. Milk remains one of the most requested, yet least donated items at American Food Banks according to Feeding America. The fluid milk donation to Community Care Alliance marks the first of eight donations to be made to food banks and hunger organizations across New England.
“We can’t express how grateful we are for this donation as there is such a great need. Last year, the Family Support Center served 8759 individuals in 3641 households, and that’s not counting if they came in more than once. We receive thanks every day from people who are grateful for food pantry items. This donation surely makes a difference,” said Colleen Joubert, Director of Communications & Development
Madeline Silva, CCA Family Support Center Supervisor added, “At this time many families are struggling and having difficulty making ends meet. Our community appreciates this donation.”
Each Patriots regular season home-game will mark a fluid milk donation around the region. Eight-hundred gallons of milk will be donated on behalf of New England dairy farmers. This first donation is made possible by Guida’s Dairy owned and operated by the dairy cooperative Dairy Farmers of America (DFA).
“New England dairy farmers have played an integral part in supporting local communities since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic,” explained New England Dairy School Nutrition Specialist Jane Vergnani. “The milk being donated to food pantries throughout New England as part of the Home Fridge Advantage follow thousands of other gallons of milk that have already been donated by dairy farmers and dairy processors to help feed families in need.”
Rhode Island dairy farmer Brenda Smith of DaBren Jerseys was on hand for the donation event. The farm is one of 10 licensed dairy farms left in the Ocean State. They are also a member owner of the DFA dairy cooperative.
It’s projected that more than 50 million Americans may need food assistance from food banks and food pantries across the country. In Rhode Island, nearly 121 thousand people are struggling with hunger, and of them, more than 36 thousand are children. Dairy can play a critical role in addressing nutritional needs. Milk provides a unique package of 9 essential nutrients including calcium, potassium and Vitamin D – a nutritional powerhouse for individuals, families and children in need.
Community Care Alliance operates over 50 programs, providing a comprehensive array of family-centered services at various locations, predominantly in northern Rhode Island. Their mission aims to support individuals and families in their efforts to meet economic, social, and emotional challenges and enhance their well-being.
The milk donation was delivered in New England Dairy’s new Mobile Dairy Bar. The innovative, refrigerated vehicle was built in 2020 featuring a three-tap milk system to offer milk samples. It was created to enhance the organization’s events, bringing further taste, meet, learn elements to their experiences.
About Community Care Alliance
Community Care Alliance strives to empower people experiencing economic insecurity, mental illness and addiction, housing issues, and trauma-related concerns. The non-profit, human services agency subscribes to the maxim that people flourish when they have a healthy mind and body, a place to live, enough food, supportive relationships, and sufficient income—and that when people are secure in these, our communities thrive. Over 500 dedicated employees work together to provide the most accessible and appropriate care to over 16,000 people in Rhode Island through outcome-driven, innovative programming and collaborative partnerships. Community Care Alliance is accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA) and is a nationally Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic. Find out more at www.CommunityCareRI.org
About New England Dairy
New England Dairy’s mission is to champion the region’s farm families and the nutritious foods they produce. The non-profit organization does this by sharing the New England dairy story, connecting people to dairy farms, supporting youth wellness in schools and delivering the latest nutrition and sustainability science to health professionals, scientists, media, nutrition professionals and educators.