Jan. 27 2023 09:32 AM

Event Featured Donation of a New Commercial-Grade Refrigerator, 200 Gallons of Morning Fresh Dairy Milk, Virtual Reality Dairy Farm Tours & Prize Giveaways for CSU Students & Faculty

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Colorado State University (CSU) hosted a formal ribbon cutting event on Monday, January 23 at the Rams Against Hunger Food Pantry (RAH) located on the first floor of the General Services Building. The event commemorated the donation of a new commercial-grade refrigerator provided by CSU partner, Dairy MAX, along with 200 gallons of Morning Fresh Dairy milk.

A CSU campus survey taken during the 2019-2020 academic year revealed 29% of students faced some level of food insecurity; therefore, the RAH was created in an effort to mitigate this issue and support students, faculty and staff.

“One of the things Dairy MAX does really well is look for opportunities to be involved in the community. During the COVID-19 pandemic it became apparent that the need was continuing to rise,” stated Michelle Van Pelt, Dairy MAX Business Development Manager. “So we stepped in with a cooler program to alleviate some of the challenges that come along with providing dairy, such as access and refrigeration.”

Dairy MAX’s partnership with local and regional food pantries provides 64-gallon coolers to increase refrigeration space within the pantries. These coolers are used to store milk, cheese, butter, yogurt and other dairy products desired by the communities the pantries serve.

The RAH Food Pantry offers a true grocery-shopping experience for students and faculty. Along with the donated refrigerator, RAH has a well-equipped walk-in freezer, spacious aisles, a wide selection of frozen foods, fresh produce, milk, eggs and dry and shelf-stable products.

Michael Buttram, Colorado State University Basic Needs Program Manager, “When the pantry looks to address students, we do so in ways that are culturally relevant to a broad swath of students, and that are going to meet the needs in ways that affirm people’s dignity. And that looks different for everyone, so the pantry tries to create a very welcoming space to serve grads, undergrads, traditional students, non-traditional students, student parents and a number of our staff.”

Partnering with Dairy MAX, local Colorado dairy farm Morning Fresh Dairy, and the Food Bank for Larimer County allows the RAH food pantry to continue providing nutritious produce and dairy to their consumers.

Buttram also stated, “Without the Food Bank for Larimer County, we wouldn’t be able to do the work we do. This means we have access to the foods we need in order to serve the population, and rescue food that would otherwise go to a landfill.”

Operating from The Office of Student Leadership, Involvement and Community Engagement (SLiCE), Rams Against Hunger offers a menu of services that support students, faculty and staff experiencing food insecurity. Aside from the food pantry, RAH offers a meal-swipe program, pocket pantries, and in-person assistance with navigating federal aid eligibility. This multi-pronged approach acknowledges the broad scope of the issue and seeks to normalize this difficult conversation for the individuals affected, as well as for the institution as a whole. The hope in providing these services and developing key partnerships is to ensure that basic needs need not be overlooked at the expense of a degree. By reducing the stigma around food insecurity and meeting student, staff and faculty needs in a way that affirms dignity, we hope to live out the creed that Rams really do take care of Rams.


Founded more than 40 years ago, Dairy MAX is one of the leading regional dairy councils in America – representing more than 900 dairy farmers and serving communities in eight states: Colorado, southwest Kansas, Louisiana, Montana, New Mexico, western Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming. A nonprofit organization, Dairy MAX is part of a nationwide effort to support dairy farming and drive impact for every dairy farmer, while promoting American agriculture. The organization operates five audience outreach programs: business development, consumer marketing, health and wellness, industry image and relations and school marketing. For more information about Dairy MAX and its team of experts, visit DairyMAX.org. Dairy resources and delicious recipes are available at DairyDiscoveryZone.com.


Morning Fresh is a fifth-generation dairy farm located in Bellvue, Colorado, and a financial supporter of Dairy MAX. Owned and operated by the Graves family since 1894, the farm grows their own feed, cares for and milks their own cows, bottles their milk and delivers to homes and businesses in the Northern Colorado area. Being able to control the entire process assures the milk they deliver is of the highest quality. The farm operates with sustainable farming techniques like crop rotation and carbon sequestration to improve soil fertility, along with utilizing reusable glass bottles for the freshest tasting milk. Their Home Delivery service offers a wide variety of products from local partners that customers enjoy at the convenience of their doorstep. With sustainable land use practices, top of the line cow care, and minimal processing, Morning Fresh Dairy is the right choice for your family. Morning Fresh Dairy offers family-friendly dairy tours and provides a local café onsite for a great place to meet and enjoy the beautiful scenery.