On July 30, a group of Fond du Lac County, Wis., dairy farmers and volunteers from area food pantries distributed 480 boxes of dairy products to individuals and families in need of food at the county fairgrounds in Fond du Lac. Prairie Farms Dairy received a grant from USDA through the Farmers to Families Food Box Program to give dairy products to people in need.
Amanda Miller, FoodWIse coordinator and health and well-being educator for Fond du Lac County Extension, coordinated the food distribution event. Miller applied for a grant from Prairie Farms to receive the food boxes. Fond du Lac County food pantries spread the word to patrons that the food distribution was being held. A refrigerated truck full of food and boxes from Prairie Farms headquarters in Edwardsville, Ill., delivered the food to Fond du Lac on July 30.
Four hundred vehicles lined up to receive the 480 boxes of food. Each recipient popped the trunk of their vehicle and waited as a volunteer placed the box of dairy products inside. Included in each box were 2 gallons of milk, cottage cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, four bottles of flavored milk and French onion dip.
DISTRIBUTING FOOD: A refrigerated truck filled with boxes of dairy products from Prairie Farms Dairy headquarters in Edwardsville, Ill., delivered the food to Fond du Lac, Wis. Volunteers unloaded the boxes from the truck.
“It was an entire drive-through event from start to finish,” Miller says. “I figure there was at least $15 worth of food in each box. The recipients were happy to get the food.”
Volunteers who helped distribute the boxes included people who work with area food pantries and a couple of dairy farmers. “We went through 480 boxes in less than an hour. We hope to do this again,” Miller says. “It’s very gratifying to see the positive response by both recipients and volunteers.”
DONATION: Included in each box were 2 gallons of milk, cottage cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, four bottles of flavored milk and French onion dip.
Prairie Farms worked with Birdseye Dairy to transport the dairy products. The event was coordinated by Miller and the Fond du Lac County Extension Food Providers Group, a network of local food pantries. Through the Farmers to Families Food Box Program, USDA is partnering with national, regional and local distribution to purchase up to $3 billion in dairy, fresh products and meat products from U.S. producers of all sizes.
Any group interested in distributing 480 boxes or 960 boxes (a semitruck load) of dairy products to people in need may call Prairie Farms at 618-659-5700 and request an application for the food, boxes and delivery of the products in a refrigerated truck.