Coronavirus: Kroger, cooperatives to donate surplus milk to food banks

Kroger will process and donate about 200,000 gallons of surplus milk from local farmers to Feeding America food banks and community organizations through the end of August, the company announced Thursday.

“Kroger recognizes the growing need for fresh, highly nutritious food in our community, especially for children as schools remain closed during the pandemic to flatten the curve,” said Erin Sharp, Kroger’s group vice president of manufacturing, in a release. “At a time when dairy farmers have surplus raw milk, we’re doubling down on our mission to reduce hunger and waste.”

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The Dairy Rescue Program is expanding its existing partnership model between Kroger and its dairy cooperative suppliers during the pandemic to direct even more fluid milk — one of the most requested but harder to stock items at food banks — to food-insecure communities. Dairy cooperatives will donate surplus milk normally sold to restaurants, schools and hotels, while Kroger will donate the processing and packaging. Additionally, in some areas, Kroger will donate the transportation of the milk to local food banks.

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“With so many families struggling with unemployment and food insecurity today, providing access to fresh, nutrient-rich milk has never been more important,” said Blake Thompson, chief supply chain officer, Feeding America, in the release. “Kroger’s Dairy Rescue Program is keeping America’s farmers productive, avoiding unnecessary food waste, and helping families in need.”

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