To assist with the massive number of people in need of basic nutrition during the COVID-19 crises, members of Southwest Dairy Farmers and Southland Dairy Farmers have pitched in to help their local communities, including Sulphur Springs, through donations of fluid milk and monetary contributions to 15 different food banks in six states.
Southwest and Southland Dairy Farmers is a USDA-qualified program that supports local dairy farmer members across the southeast and southwest through initiatives that educate consumers about dairy products, nutrition and the dairy process. Dairy farmers support the program through the USDA’s mandatory check-off assessment.
“Our mission at Southwest/Southland Dairy Farmers is to provide support to our local dairy farm families and their operations,” said Jim Hill, CEO of the promotion and education group. “When the COVID-19 pandemic hit our markets, our dairy farm members made it very clear that they wanted funding to be allocated to programs that helped those most in need.
“When we were looking at COVID-19 related programs to help, it became apparent that local food banks were in dire need, and it also appeared that their situation would become worse. So, all our budgeted funds for this effort went to local food banks, those that rely solely on donations and private funding. It just made sense—local dairy farmers helping local food banks in their own communities and states,” Hill said.
The list of organizations benefiting from the Southwest/Southland Dairy Farmers’ efforts includes: Emmaus House (Garden City, Kansas); Friendship Feast Association of Dodge City (Dodge City, Kansas); God’s Storehouse (Danville, Ky.); Agape and Good Samaritan (Rus sellville, Ky.); The Kitchen and Life 360 (Springfield, Mo.); FeedNC (Mooresville, N.C.); Fifth Street Ministries (Statesville, N.C.); 4 Kids and Community (Perkins, Okla.); Food on the Move (Tulsa, Okla.); Food Bank of West Central Texas (Abilene, Texas); High Plains Neighbors Feeding Neighbors (Amarillo, Texas); Forney School District (Forney, Texas); Hereford Food Pantry (Hereford, Texas); Hill Country Daily Bread (Boerne, Texas); Hopkins County Coronavirus Community Response (Sulphur Springs, Texas); and God’s Storehouse (Danville, Va.).
“Through the hard work of our employees from the Southwest and Southland Dairy Farmers, and all of our dairy farm members, we know we have helped—and will continue to help—a significant number of people,” added Amanda Phelps, director of community outreach for Southwest/Southland Dairy Farmers. “And that is really what we’re all about. People in these communities know they can count on their local dairy farmers in both good times and bad.”