INDIANAPOLIS, IN (December 12, 2022) – Local food pantries throughout Indiana have been awarded milk refrigeration units on behalf of Hoosier dairy farmers as part of an American Dairy Association Indiana (ADAI) grant program.
The program provides area food pantries with a cooler to help store milk and other dairy foods at proper temperatures. Dairy farmers applied for the units based on strong community relationships with food pantries in their areas.
“Through our long-standing work with the food bank system, we know that milk is regularly requested by those visiting food banks, but due to its perishability it is not often provided,” said Jenni Browning, ADAI CEO. “Food pantries may not have the equipment to keep milk cold. This pilot program provides food pantries with the coolers they need to get milk to more families in their community.”
In Indiana, one in eight people and one in six children are food insecure (Feeding America). Food pantries play an essential role in helping to bridge the hunger gap, especially as families face the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As dairy farmers, we want to ensure our milk is available to everyone,” said Richard Thomas, Middlebury dairy farmer and ADAI president. “I applied for the grant to benefit the local food pantry because they didn’t have a way of keeping milk cold. We have seen firsthand how important these pantries are to local communities, and know the milk coolers will make a positive impact for the pantries and their clients.”
ADAI has awarded milk coolers on behalf of local dairy farmers to the following food pantries:
- Neighbor to Neighbor at Winamac Nazarene Church, Tina Knebel (Pulaski County)
- Bread of Life Community Food Pantry, Wim Hulsbosch (Decatur County)
- Central Noble Food Pantry, Doug Keenan (Noble County)
- Community Action Program, Inc of Western IN, Linda Sevenhuysen (Benton County)
- Love Inc of Huntington County, DJ de Groot (Huntington County)
- English Wesleyan Church Food Pantry, Craig Lindauer (Crawford County)
- The Lord’s Pantry, Don Steinmetz and Steve Obert (Gibson County)
- Combined Community Services, Andy Fosnaugh (Kosciusko County)
- Redemption Life Church Food Bank, Julie Bommer (Franklin County)
- Middlebury Food Pantry, Richard Thomas (Elkhart County)
- St. Martin’s Cloak Food Pantry, Somula Schwoeppe (Perry County)
- TTR Haven over the Hilltop Food Pantry, Somula Schwoeppe (Pike County)
In addition to the dairy cooler program, ADAI works alongside Indiana’s Feeding America food banks throughout the year to help ensure their clients have access to dairy foods.
Media Contact: Allie Rieth
Agriculture Affairs Manager
American Dairy Association Indiana