The Rhode Island Community Food Bank, received some extra milk money this month thanks to Stop & Shop Supermarket Co. LLC, Rhode Island and New England dairy farmers’ “Great Gallon Give”, and the generosity of Stop & Shop customers. The “Great Gallon Give”, which will contribute milk donations to five local food banks, raised $500 for the Rhode Island Community Food Bank to help meet the growing demand for milk. Currently, fresh milk and dairy products make up less than 5% of American food bank inventories, but are highly sought after by food bank clients.
The Rhode Island Community Food Bank will use the donation to provide milk to the Kids Café program, which serves evening meals to approximately 750 children at 15 sites in Central Falls, Cumberland, East Providence, Newport, Pawtucket, and Providence. The program, a partnership between the Food Bank and Boys & Girls Clubs and community centers, features meals prepared by the Community Kitchen program. Community Kitchen is a culinary training program that prepares unemployed adults for food service jobs. The milk donation is enough to cover two weeks’ worth of milk for the Kids Café program.
Dairy farmer Louis Escobar made the trip to the Rhode Island Community Food Bank from his farm in Portsmouth to acknowledge the milk donation and expressed his enthusiasm that more young people in Rhode Island would have access to wholesome milk because of the Great Gallon Give program.
“We are thrilled to be the recipient of milk from gracious Stop & Shop customers,” said Bruce Zarembka, Director of Procurement at the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. “It pleases us to know that this donation will provide milk for our Kids Café program. The milk will help to fill the hunger gap.”
Stop & Shop locations in Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Massachusetts hosted the “Great Gallon Give,” in October 2013 and encouraged customers to donate $4, roughly the price of a gallon of milk, to local families in need through food banks in each state. A total of $11,752 was raised and will be divided among food bank recipients including Rhode Island Community Food Bank, Foodshare, The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, The Greater Boston Food Bank and Worcester County Food Bank.
“The ‘Great Gallon Give’ is an important way for Stop & Shop to give back to the community,” said Judi Palmer, Director of Marketing and External Communication at Stop & Shop. “This program helps put milk on the table for families in need, and we are so proud of our generous customers who have made a difference by contributing to such a great cause.”