A milk passion project brought to life!
Two problems existed. 1. As Dairy Producers, we are being told that there is an "abundance of milk." "Slow down Bessy, we don't need so much milk." 2. There is a population of children and adults alike that we are aware of, that aren't able to access fresh, nutritious dairy milk and other products. There seemed to be a very large disconnect somewhere.
The keyword here, being fresh. Although many food bank distributors try their best to deliver fresh dairy products, we kept hearing that many of the products were nearing or close to their expiration date. And although still safe to drink, the taste of a nearly expired jug of milk does not taste the same as a fresh product. This doesn't leave a very, pardon the pun, good taste, when it comes to the dairy industry. When a small child's first taste of an expired glass of milk tastes, 'off' what makes them want to request another glass?
There are far too many people, children who come and go in life with hungry bellies. A few years ago a couple of dairy farming ladies, a very passionate friend and I put our heads together to figure out what we, just two milk producers, could do about this problem. We just knew we had to do something to help! We are both very busy people, managing dairy farms, raising our families, and working jobs, but this needed a hand.
Kristi Tveten started donating milk two years ago on her own after she called a local food shelf to ask if she could donate fresh milk.
“They were ecstatic at the idea of someone bringing in milk, as the availability of fresh milk on a regular basis was rare,” she recalls. “I’ll never forget when I made my first delivery and carried in 15 gallons of milk. A gentleman was there getting his groceries and asked if that milk was for him. My first gallon of milk went to someone in need, it never even made it to the cooler.”- Kristi
We wanted to keep this process as simple as possible. We'd just buy milk from a local store at taking it directly to the food shelf, or community food service events. This way we are ensured that the product is fresh, cold, and ready to nourish bones and fill tummies. Using only our own pocket money, we decided to reach out to others to see if they wanted to help. Once per month, we would take our collected monies and stock coolers with as much milk as we could afford.
One Gallon at a Time would love to partner with more food banks and other distributors to provide a variety of nutritious dairy products to food-insecure households who have faced uniquely difficult challenges throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, as hunger has risen significantly during the last year.
"Bringing milk to events like 'Food for Families' is such a humbling experience and I am thankful that the kids and I get to experience this gift of giving."- Emily
Just before the pandemic hit, Project: One Gallon at a Time was born right here, on my kitchen table and folks got on board with donating funds so that we can continue to deliver milk! Our prayer and hope is to be able to reach out as far as we possibly can to help those who are in need of fresh dairy products and build on what we have already established with food shelves and foodservice events.
Provide fresh milk to those in need.
Thanks to our generous donors and supporters, we have been able to help several food shelves find resources for coolers in order to get set up for refrigeration of dairy products and would love to be able to reach out as far as we can with assistance and support.
Our family is so thankful for the fresh milk that we would have otherwise not gotten because of One Gallon at a Time!
In case you feel so moved to Donate: Checks can be written to: MDI (Minnesota Dairy Initiatives) Write "Milk" in the memo and sent to P.O. Box 151 Lewiston, MN 55952
Venmo Local Milk (Local-Milk) https://venmo.com/code?user_id=293326...
Your donations go directly to purchase milk, fresh dairy products and to support our mission. We thank you so very kindly!
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