Governor Mike DeWine signed an executive order to provide nearly $5 million in emergency funding to respond to an unprecedented need for emergency food created by the COVID-10 pandemic.
This funding, requested by the Ohio Association of Foodbanks, would allow Ohio’s 12 Feeding America foodbanks and its statewide pantry network of 3,600 local organizations to immediately procure nutritious milk and dairy products, as well as other food and essential items, to feed families in need.
The Ohio Dairy Producers Association and the American Dairy Association Mideast, who represent the state’s 1,750 dairy farm families, thank Governor DeWine, Lt. Governor Husted and the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services for their leadership and swift action to provide hunger relief to millions of Ohioans.
“Milk is one of the most requested items for food banks, and Ohio’s dairy community is grateful that the state is taking the necessary steps to help get nutritious milk and dairy foods to those in need,” says Scott Higgins, CEO for both ODPA and ADA Mideast. “Ohio’s dairy farmers are proud to produce a product that is essential in nourishing our families and communities. We have a plentiful supply of milk, and all families should have access to dairy foods.”
ODPA, with support from Dairy Farmers of America-Mideast Area and the National Farmers Organization, sent a letter last week to Governor DeWine urging him to approve emergency funding for foodbanks.
ADA Mideast, who is a long-standing partner with the Ohio Association of Foodbanks and Feeding America, has been facilitating milk donations from dairy companies in Ohio and West Virginia to area foodbanks.
Last week, 20,000 gallons of milk was provided to Cleveland area foodbanks by Dairymens, which is owned and operated by Borden.
ADA Mideast will continue to work with milk cooperatives and dairy processors to support hunger relief systems in Ohio and West Virginia.