March 15, 2016
The Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA), The Kroger Co. of Michigan and the United Dairy Industry of Michigan delivered more than 12,000 gallons of milk to the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan for distribution to families impacted by the Flint water crisis.
The donation took place on National Ag Day (March 15) —a day to celebrate the abundance provided by U.S. agriculture—as the dairy farmers of MMPA share their product with those in need. The donation offers additional support to Flint families in continuation of a donation of milk by MMPA and Kroger completed in January.
“We are proud to make an additional contribution to the Flint community as it continues to recover from the water crisis," said Ken Nobis, president of MMPA. Nobis (right) with Ken McClure, Customer Communication Manager for the Kroger Co. of Michigan, at the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan in January.
“We are proud to make an additional contribution to the Flint community as it continues to recover from the water crisis. MMPA’s nearly 2,000 dairy farmers produce a wholesome, nutritious product able to protect those grappling with lead poisoning,” said Ken Nobis, president of the MMPA. “Our members were thrilled to hear how their cooperative was helping Flint with our donation in January and often asked how we could do more to help. I’m happy to announce today we are making an additional donation of 12,000 gallons of milk.”
Foods rich in calcium, iron, and vitamin C, including calcium-rich dairy products, can help protect children and families from the harmful effects of lead poisoning.
“Overall good nutrition is important to families who are impacted by the effects of lead contamination,” explained Jeff Dwyer, interim director of Michigan State University Extension, which is a member of the Pediatric Public Health Initiative. “Our health and nutrition team has been vigilant in demonstrating the need for good nutrition during this public health crisis. Making sure that nutritious foods, such as milk, are available to the residents of Flint is key to recovery. We are proud that our partners in agriculture, including MMPA, are helping in that recovery.”
The donated milk was produced by members of MMPA, a dairy farmer-owned cooperative based in Novi, Michigan. The Kroger Co. of Michigan led processing of the milk and packaging into gallon jugs.
“The Kroger Co. of Michigan is pleased to be able to continue supporting the people of Flint with this donation of calcium-rich milk, and continues to work with our partners to raise funds and provide service to those impacted by this situation,” Ken McClure, Customer Communication Manager for the Kroger Co. of Michigan said.
Through the support of a grant from UDIM, The Food Bank of Eastern Michigan will distribute the milk to their network of partner agencies in the coming days, ensuring that it reaches families in need who are impacted by the Flint water crisis.
“On behalf of Michigan dairy farm families, UDIM is proud to provide a grant to the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan to help defray the cost of transportation and distribution, while educating consumers on the role of milk as part of a healthy diet,” added Sharon Toth, CEO of UDIM.
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