LANSING, MI -- The Food Bank Council of Michigan (FBCM) announced June 24 Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA) has donated approximately 22,700 gallons of milk to its statewide hunger-relief efforts.
The donation was announced this morning at a special press event hosted on the farm of MMPA dairy farmers Mark and Fred Halbert in Battle Creek. The milk will be divided among the state's regional food banks, which serve all 83 Michigan counties. Currently over 20 percent of Michigan children are considered food insecure. The donation will help improve nutrition for children who struggle to have enough food to grow healthy minds and bodies.
"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?"
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.
Milk is one of the most requested, yet underprovided items at local donation centers. Prior to this donation, the average food bank was only able to provide the equivalent of less than one gallon of milk per person per year.
"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."