Access to Dairy and Refrigeration Helps the Food Insecure

The footprint of Harvesters – The Community Food Network serves a 26-county area of northwestern Missouri and northeastern Kansas. As a regional food bank, Harvesters sees generous donations of canned and dry foods, however perishable foods, such as fresh milk, are less frequently donated. Similarly, some food pantries in the Harvesters network lack refrigeration to store milk and other local dairy products. Due to these barriers, consumers, many with children, have an unmet demand for dairy.

With grant funding from Midwest Dairy, Harvesters purchased five refrigeration units for five food pantries with a desire to distribute more milk. Compared to milk distribution data from the previous year, 2,013 more gallons of milk (an equivalent of 17,312 pounds) were distributed to food pantry clients. One client shared gratitude for the new offering saying, “This is the first time I have ever received fresh milk from a pantry. It’s greatly appreciated. I have never received such a blessing during my hard times. God bless.”