A group of volunteers representing Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) provided a substantial charitable donation this week to the Roadrunner Food Bank of New Mexico. Volunteers assembled 2,000 lunch bags filled with nutritious, non-perishable foods.
Nearly 60 DFA volunteers donated their time to compile lunch bags that were donated to the food bank's mobile food pantry. The volunteers were in the area for the Cooperative's annual July Board Meeting and Strategic Information Conference. The annual gathering includes a program dedicated for spouses of DFA's farmer leaders and management, which engages them in the dairy industry and provides deeper insight into DFA's business.
"Serving our community is a core value for DFA," said Joyce Bupp, Board director and chair of DFA Cares Foundation. "This annual meeting takes place in a different city each year, and it is so rewarding to see our group give back in different ways in each new community we visit."
Roadrunner Food Bank of New Mexico is a statewide network of nearly 600 partner agencies and four regional food banks. As the largest food bank in the state, last year the agency distributed nearly 26 million pounds of food to residents throughout New Mexico.
Programs such as the food bank's mobile food pantry are beneficial for an abundantly rural state such as New Mexico, where food banks are not easily accessible for all its residents, said Stephanie Miller, director of development for Roadrunner Food Bank of New Mexico.
"The mobile food pantry is a very effective way to reach the underserved in our state who may not otherwise have access to such a program," Miller said. "Donations mean the world to us. Sadly, New Mexico is the number one state in the country for childhood food insecurity, and with few food manufacturers located nearby, we must rely almost completely on donations."
The lunch donations were made possible through the DFA Cares Foundation, which was initially established to assist DFA's dairy farmer members and others in agriculture communities affected by natural disasters. Today, the foundation has expanded to include community outreach programs, such as this food bank donation, as well as the DFA Cares Hotline, DFA's Member Assistance Program and DFA Scholarship Program.
Funding for DFA Cares comes from private, public and corporate donations. To donate to DFA Cares Foundation, visit www.dfamilk.com/dfacares or send a check made payable to DFA Cares Foundation to: DFA Cares Foundation, c/o Ron Hilmes, 10220 N. Ambassador Drive, Kansas City, MO 64153.