Pouring a Glass of Milk for the Hungry: MMPA Donates Approximately 22,700 Gallons of Milk to Michigan Food Banks
Every year, more than 1.7 million Michiganders – including 20 percent of Michigan children – rely on food banks. And milk is one of the most requested food items. But on average, food banks are only able to provide the equivalent of less than one gallon of milk per person per year. Hungry children and families in Michigan communities are missing out on the essential nutrients supplied by milk because it’s not typically donated to food banks – even though it’s in high demand.
Continuing its support for local communities and Michigan families, in June MMPA donated over 22,700 gallons of milk to the Food Bank Council of Michigan (FBCM), a statewide organization which stocks Michigan’s food banks. The donated milk will be distributed across Michigan to support families from all corners of the state.
“Our dairy farmer owners are happy to make this donation to the children, seniors and families struggling with hunger in our local communities,” MMPA President and dairy farmer Ken Nobis said. “We’ve been a Michigan company for nearly 100 years, and we’re proud to continue our cooperative’s tradition of giving back. What better way to serve those struggling with hunger than the healthy, natural, nutrient powerhouse that is milk?”
The donation was announced at the farm of MMPA dairy farmers Mark and Fred Halbert in Battle Creek on June 24. The milk will be divided by the FBCM among the state’s regional food banks which serve all 83 Michigan counties. The donation will help improve nutrition for food-insecure children who struggle to have enough food to grow healthy minds and bodies.
“This donation comes at a time of great need,” said Dr. Phillip Knight, executive director of Food Bank Council of Michigan. “During summer vacation, thousands of Michigan students are no longer able to rely on the meal they received at school. Thanks to MMPA and Prairie Farms Dairy Inc., food banks throughout the state will be able to provide milk to children and families in need.”
In total, MMPA donated 200,000 pounds of milk which was processed at cost by Prairie Farms Dairy Inc. The resulting 22,700 gallons of 2 percent white milk will offer nine essential nutrients, including 8 grams of high-quality protein per serving and three of the nutrients most likely to be missing in the American diet – calcium, vitamin D and potassium—to Michiganders in need.
“MMPA members are grateful to have the opportunity make milk available to people whose incomes are stretched by various factors,” Nobis said. “In Michigan, our cow’s average production is third highest in the nation, and we are currently experiencing unprecedented growth in our industry. As a result, the MMPA board decided it would be appropriate to share some of the highly nutritious product we produce with Michigan families who could use a little help.”