Last Monday, the American Dairy Association Indiana donated dairy products to the Community Action Relief Effort (CARE) Mobile Pantry program. This is the first time that dairy products have been donated to this cause, and they will be distributed during the first week of June, July, and August. Dairy has historically been an unmet need of food pantries. Being able to donate dairy to the mobile food pantry to help people have a complete meal, that includes delicious dairy products is phenomenal!
At the event, Jenni Browning, our Senior Director of Communications and Wellness, was a distinguished guest speaker. Browning shared that, “Milk is one of the most requested but least donated items in food banks today.” She additionally said that, “The average food bank customer receives only one gallon of milk per year.” These facts are astonishing when considering that the state of Indiana has over 1,000 dairy farmers. As an organization, the American Dairy Association Indiana is proud to be a part of the Mobile Pantry event, and plans to establish the precedent of donating dairy products every year.
The Mobile Pantry program is a partnership between Gleaners Food Bank, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, the Indianapolis Fire Department, and the Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services Department. The CARE Mobile Pantry has served over 170,000 residents of Indianapolis since its beginning in 2015. To be able to include dairy products in its distribution is great because dairy products have so much nutritional value to them. Browning said that she believes it to be very valuable to children’s growth and development, and has tremendous nutritional value. Including these products will ensure that the residents served will have well-balanced meals.
“Dairy farmers, many of whom are active in their community’s food pantry and community support efforts, see this need,” said Browning. “For those of us who are fortunate enough to know where our next meal is coming from, it is our responsibility to help those who don’t know. Thank you to Hard working people at Gleaners, our friends at Prairie Farms for the dairy foods and all community members that make CARE mobile pantries possible.”