Kroger is donating 200,000 gallons of milk to food banks

By Allen Kim, CNN

    (CNN) -- The nation's largest supermarket chain is making sure that surplus milk from America's dairy farmers won't go to waste. It's donating 200,000 gallons of milk to food banks.

Kroger said that it will direct the milk to Feeding America food banks and community organizations through the end of August. That's good news for both dairy farmers and families in need.

With businesses such as restaurants and hotels forced to close due to the pandemic, the milk would have spoiled.

Dairy farmers across America are being forced to dump milk due to a lower demand. An estimated 2.7 million to 3.7 million gallons of milk could be dumped per day as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, according to an estimate by the Dairy Farmers of America, a major dairy cooperative.

The initiative is part of Kroger's "Dairy Rescue Program," which expands a partnership between the company and its dairy suppliers to ensure that food-insecure communities are getting the milk they need.

Milk is one of the most requested items at food banks and is often hard to stock, according to the company's news release.

The dairy cooperatives will supply surplus milk that is typically sold to restaurants, schools and hotels, while Kroger will donate the processing and packaging of the milk that is being supplied. Kroger will also oversee transportation to local food banks in some areas.

"Kroger recognizes the growing need for fresh, highly nutritious food in our community, especially for children as schools remain closed during the pandemic to flatten the curve," said Erin Sharp, Kroger's group vice president of manufacturing. "At a time when dairy farmers have surplus raw milk, we're doubling down on our mission to reduce hunger and waste."

Kroger has already donated a combined 129,900 gallons of milk throughout the year in partnership with the Michigan Milk Producers Association and the Dairy Farmers of America.

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