Celebration hosted by the Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association and Pennag Industries Association
Only $55,000 still needed for feeding Pennsylvania’s “Fill a Glass With Hope®” 2016 campaign goal
Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor Mike Stack and Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding Celebrate June as Dairy Month, Highlight Importance of Addressing Food Insecurity
Every $1 donated = 8 servings of milk
1.76 Million Pennsylvanians are at risk of hunger, including 521,000 children (1 in 5)
Harrisburg, Pa. (June 7, 2016) — Pennsylvanians enjoyed legendary Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association Farm Show milkshakes today while donating to a great cause, Feeding Pennsylvania’s “Fill a Glass with Hope Campaign®” to provide fresh milk to the hungry. During a special “Dairy Month Farm Show in June” event hosted at the State Capitol, it was announced that more than $370,000 has been raised since the inception of the program in 2015. The 2016 fundraising campaign has raised more than $195,000, with a goal to provide 2 million servings of fresh milk to the hungry, doubling the volume from last year. PA Lieutenant Governor Mike Stack and Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding joined the Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association, PennAg Industries Association, Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association, the Pennsylvania Dairy Promotion Program, statewide food bank representatives and donors to celebrate the successful first-of-its-kind statewide charitable fresh milk program in the country.
“As dairy farmers, our goal is to make sure no child or family goes without nutritious fresh milk in the Commonwealth,” said Dave Smith, executive director of the Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association. “Milk is one of the most requested items at food banks, yet it is rarely donated. Since launching this fresh milk program, we have been delighted to see it expand statewide and are appreciative of the generosity from corporate leaders, agricultural organizations and the public
who are joining our public-private partnership.”
PA Department of Agriculture Sec. Russell Redding applauded the public for their role in providing vital dairy supplies to those in need. “Our collective task is to help find ways to make those connections between production agriculture/food production and those in need of food. The Fill a Glass with Hope® campaign is the right model,” Secretary Redding said. “This program is a lifeline to ensure access to milk and the needed calcium, potassium and vitamin D necessary for overall health and wellness. Thank you to each of the partnering organizations who have worked to make this program a reality.”
With the dairy industry being the largest component of Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry, milk production alone contributes to more than 35 percent of the state’s agricultural income, generating $2.7 billion in revenue to the economy. Lt. Gov. Stack proclaimed June as Dairy Month and recognized the industry’s accomplishments and contributions to fighting hunger.
“The Fill a Glass with Hope® event should be a valuable reminder to everyone at the state Capitol of our responsibility to make sure Pennsylvanians who are in need have adequate access to milk and other nutritional food items,” Stack said. “I commend the food banks in Feeding Pennsylvania, along with our dairy industry and other agricultural and business partners for the work they do year-round to serve the community.”
Adding to the day’s excitement, Jane Clements-Smith, Feeding Pennsylvania executive director said, “Feeding Pennsylvania and our eight member food banks across the state are proud to stand with our dairy partners to offer this innovative program. It’s not only Pennsylvania’s first statewide charitable fresh milk program, but it’s the first of its kind in the nation. With support from their generous donors, our members are committed to continuing to expand the Fill a Glass with Hope® program to provide fresh milk to the 1.76 million Pennsylvanians who do not have access to enough nutritious food. ”
Before leading a milkshake toast during the press conference, Joe Arthur, Central Pennsylvania Food Bank’s executive director noted they now distribute more than 8,000 quarts of fresh milk weekly to clients, thanks to this valuable program. “With one in five children going to bed hungry every night, it’s our responsibility to leverage resources to feed them,” Arthur said.
Throughout the day, free milkshakes were provided to visitors and donations were encouraged to the “Fill a Glass with Hope®” campaign launched during the January 2015 Farm Show. Olivia Farabaugh, a singer/songwriter from Palmyra and contestant on the hit television show, “The Voice” performed for attendees. Also participating in the festivities were Lolly Lesher, Pennsylvania Dairy Promotion Program and Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association; Pennsylvania Dairy Princesses and statewide Food Bank representatives.
Speaking on behalf of the Fill a Glass with Hope’s dairy industry partners, Lolly Lesher, a Berks County dairy farmer, said: “Dairy farmers and milk processors are committed to supporting the fresh milk program to help ensure that all Pennsylvania families have access to milk’s powerhouse of nutrients.”
Donations can still be made online at www.feeding pennsylvania.org/milk, or checks can be mailed to the eight Feeding Pennsylvania food banks with “milk program” written in the memo line.
Fill a Glass with Hope® Celebration/ #FillaGlasswithHope
The donations being collected are for Feeding Pennsylvania’s Fill a Glass with Hope® program, a partnership between Feeding Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association, Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association and the Pennsylvania Dairy Promotion Program. It is the nation’s first statewide charitable fresh milk program that connects Feeding Pennsylvania member food banks with their local dairies to be able to purchase milk at a reduced rate to be distributed to Pennsylvania families.
PENNSYLVANIA’S DAIRY INDUSTRY:
- More than 6,770 dairy farm families manage 530,000 cows that produce more than 10.8 billion pounds of the nation’s total supply of milk annually, ranking Pennsylvania fifth nationally in milk production.
- Pennsylvania’s dairy manufacturers continue to lead the country in the production of butter (2nd), cheese (7th) and low-fat ice cream (4th).
- Milk was named the official beverage of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on April 29, 1982, by the Pennsylvania General Assembly.
- The dairy products industry is one of Pennsylvania’s fastest growing sectors because of the high quality and technical innovations on the Commonwealth’s farms.
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 Products” 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 Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association, 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 provides 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 138 million pounds of food throughout Pennsylvania through more than 2,600 agencies. For more information, visit www.feedingpa.org.
About Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association and Pennsylvania Dairy Promotion Program
Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association 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. The Association is the local affiliate of National Dairy Council®. Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association and Pennsylvania Dairy Promotion Program are the local planning and management organizations funded by dairy farmer checkoff dollars to build demand for and sales of milk products and dairy foods throughout the region. Supported by 7,200 dairy farmers in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, southern New Jersey and northern Virginia, they work closely with Dairy Management Inc.™ to bring a fully integrated promotion program to the Mid-Atlantic region. For more information, visit www.dairyspot.com.
About PennAg Industries Association
PennAg Industries Association is the premier agribusiness association in Pennsylvania. PennAg is a full-time, fullservice membership association representing Pennsylvania agribusinesses of all sizes and types that support and serve the entire food chain. PennAg advocates to create and maintain an effective, viable and competitive economic environment for Pennsylvania agribusinesses to grow and prosper. For more information, visit www.pennag.com.