Former NFL Stars, Dairy Farmers, Industry and State Leaders, and Philanthropic Partners team up to sack hunger. Milkshake celebration showcases extraordinary statewide distribution of more than three million servings of milk since inception and major financial commitment.
HARRISBURG, Pa. – Flanked by former NFL stars, state and dairy industry leaders, and philanthropic partners, the Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association, Feeding Pennsylvania, and American Dairy Association North East kicked off the 2017 award-‐winning Fill a Glass with Hope® fresh milk distribution program during the opening milkshake celebration of the 101st PA Farm Show Food Court. The PA Farm Show, the nation’s largest indoor agricultural exhibition, runs January 7-‐14, 2017 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center, with the Food Court opening today.
Unveiled in 2016 as the first-in-the-nation statewide charitable fresh milk distribution program, Fill a Glass with Hope® has now provided over three million servings of milk to clients of Feeding Pennsylvania’s statewide member food banks. The Fundraising for the 2017 campaign launched today with major donations of $127,864, including $25,000 contributions each from FirstEnergy Foundation and Weis Markets. To date, a record $640,389 has been raised for food bank clients’ milk needs.
“Pennsylvania farmers are among the hardest-working and most generous people in America and are dedicated to expanding access to fresh milk through Fill a Glass with Hope®,” said Dave Smith, executive director of the Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association. “Milk not only is delicious, it provides essential nutrients that our bodies need to grow and thrive. I encourage every Pennsylvanian to support Fill a Glass with Hope® to ensure that children and families in need get the nutritious benefits that only a cold glass of fresh milk can provide.”
“No one in Pennsylvania should be denied access to nutritious food, including fresh milk, especially the half million children in our commonwealth who do not have access to enough food,” said Jane Clements-Smith, Executive Director of Feeding Pennsylvania. “Milk is one of the most requested items in our charitable food network, yet it is rarely donated. Through Fill a Glass with Hope®, Feeding Pennsylvania’s food banks can purchase milk at a reduced price directly from their local dairies and distribute it to Pennsylvania families in need. Receiving milk has been meaningful for the households and families our food banks serve. We are grateful for this partnership with the dairy industry and for the many donations made to support it around the state, and we look forward to the continued growth of Fill a Glass with Hope® in 2017.”
With a celebratory Farm Show legen-DAIRY milkshake toast, Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding, former Philadelphia Eagles kicker Sean Landeta, former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch, Dairy Princesses, food banks, and dairy leaders and sponsors officially kicked off the 2017 fundraising campaign and urged supporters to make donations at www.feedingpa.org/milk. During the celebration, Olivia Farabaugh, former contestant on “The Voice” also performed. “Teamwork requires all of us to get involved and we hope folks across the state will join our winning team. Together, we can ensure that every child in Pennsylvania has access to the health benefits of dairy products, including fresh milk,” said Charlie Batch, who played in the NFL for 15 years.
Sean Landeta added, “I’m proud to support Fill a Glass with Hope® which is delivering important nutrients to children and families across the state. As a representative of the NFL and American Dairy Association’s Fuel Up to Play 60 program, I’m so pleased that kids are getting milk and fueling up with healthy foods so they can play and grow.”
“As I often say, you can’t have a charitable food system without a food system that is charitable,” noted Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “Pennsylvania’s dairy industry has set the bar high, partnering with Feeding Pennsylvania and their statewide network of food banks to help connect Pennsylvanians at-risk of hunger with fresh, nutritious milk. I salute the Dairymen and Feeding Pennsylvania for their work to help our neighbors, and in making sure every resident in the Commonwealth can enjoy the benefits of fresh milk.”
“On behalf of fellow dairy farmers, we are proud to support the Fill A Glass With Hope® campaign,” said local dairy farmer Jeff Raney. “Dairy farmers work hard every day to produce nutritious, wholesome milk, and we take our responsibility to feed families in our communities and across the state very seriously.”
Fill a Glass with Hope® connects Feeding Pennsylvania member food banks with their local dairy processors to be able to purchase milk at a reduced rate and then distribute the milk to clients in need. Each $1 donated provides approximately eight servings of milk. In addition to online donations at feedingpa.org/milk, Farm Show visitors can drop their donations in vintage white milk jugs located around the Dairymen’s booths and at the Milkshake Food Booth.
Sponsors announced at the celebration included:
FirstEnergy Foundation, Weis Markets, The Rothermel Family, Giant, Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association, Land O’Lakes, Valley Grange #1360, PNC Foundation, Our Family Foundation, Community Foundation Western PA & Eastern Ohio, AgChoice Farm Credit, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, Cabot Oil and Gas, Chuck’s Auction Service, PSECU, Allstate, Seneca Resources, Fulton Financial Corporation, Pennsylvania State Education Association, Modjeski and Masters, Circolo Nazionale Lodge No. 122, Clarion County Rod and Gun Club, Monk Heating and Air Conditioning, Knights of Saint John Building Association, Proshort Stamping Services, Standard Bank, Presque Isle Downs & Casino, and WM T. Spaeder Co., Inc.
About Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association
The Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association is the oldest dairy group in Pennsylvania. The Dairymen’s Milkshake is the top-selling, sought-after “PA Preferred Product” at the Food Court with more than 160,000 sold on average there each year. The Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association has been promoting “Fill a Glass with Hope®” with agriculture partners, Feeding PA, the American Dairy Association North East, the PA Dairy Promotion Program, corporate partners and food banks since 2015. The Association has surpassed the $1 million mark in funding to dairy youth development and education programs, securing a bright future for Pennsylvania’s dairy industry. For more information, visit www.padairymens.com.
About Feeding Pennsylvania
Feeding Pennsylvania is a partnership formed among Pennsylvania’s Feeding America member food banks. Collective efforts promote and aid members in securing food and other resources to reduce hunger and food insecurity for their communities and across Pennsylvania, and provide a shared voice on the issues of hunger and food access. Member food banks serve close to 2 million people annually by distributing more than 140 million pounds of food throughout Pennsylvania through more than 2,600 agencies. Throughout 2016, each member food bank became licensed as a charitable milk sub-dealer by the Pennsylvania Milk Marketing board, allowing them to purchase milk from dairies at a reduced price. For more information, visit www.feedingpa.org.
About American Dairy Association North East (ADANE)
The American Dairy Association North East made up of the Pennsylvania Dairy Promotion Program, Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association, and American Dairy Association and Dairy Council is one of 19 state and regional milk product promotion organizations working under the umbrella of United Dairy Industry Association, a federation of state and regional dairy promotion organizations. ADANE is also the local affiliate of National Dairy Council® which has been conducting nutrition education and nutrition research programs since 1915. Supported by 13,000 dairy farmers in Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and northern Virginia, ADANE works to bring local dairy promotion programs to the 50-million consumers throughout the Northeast region. For more information, visit dairyspot.com