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Press Releases

04/09/2020

Connecticut's dairy farm families provide support to ensure access to milk and dairy products in Connecticut

Lt. Governor Bysiewicz and Commissioner Hurlburt Present $40,000 Donation to Food Banks on Behalf of Connecticut Milk Promotion Board


(HARTFORD, CT) – Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz and Department of Agriculture Commissioner Bryan P. Hurlburt today joined Jason Jakubowski, President and CEO of Foodshare, and Paul Shipman, spokesperson of Connecticut Food Bank, to present a donation totaling $40,000 on behalf of Connecticut’s dairy farm families to ensure that milk and dairy products are available to food insecure households. In addition to the financial support, Dairy Farmers of America, Guida’s Dairy, and Cabot Creamery Cooperative have committed to donating dairy products to be distributed through Connecticut’s food bank networks.

“One in nine Connecticut families struggle with food insecurity every day and there is an incredible need for donations to ensure that residents do not go hungry,” Lt. Governor Bysiewicz said. “We are grateful to our local dairy farmers for stepping up to help in this critical time and thank them for their generosity.”

Last week members of the Connecticut Milk Promotion Board voted to donate $5,000 in each of Connecticut’s eight counties for a total of $40,000 to address the increased demand of food donations during the COVID-19 crisis. Food assistance is needed in every community as more than 400,000 Connecticut residents struggle with hunger and more than 115,000 children are food insecure.

Foodshare received $10,000 to support their services in Hartford and Tolland counties. “Dairy is one of the most requested items,” Jakubowski said. “There’s a real need here in Central Connecticut. These are real people, real families. We appreciate the generosity of this donation; it’s really helpful especially at this time.”

Connecticut Food Bank received $30,000 to support their efforts in Fairfield, Litchfield, New Haven, New London, Middlesex and Windham counties. “For Connecticut Food Bank’s pantries and the people we serve, fresh dairy is prized,” Shipman said. “This is a wonderful gift. It’s truly neighbors helping neighbors in a time of need.”

The donations come at a time when Connecticut’s nearly 100 dairy farmers are themselves facing incredible challenges. Across the country, and in Connecticut, dairy farmers and processors are beginning to dump milk. Amid the closures of schools and restaurants the supply chain has undergone upheaval as processors, marketers, and merchants adapt to decreasing institution sales and increased grocery store purchases.

“There’s plenty of milk and there will be plenty of milk to come as cows are milked every day,” Agriculture Commissioner Bryan P. Hurlburt said. “Connecticut’s dairy farmers produce nearly 50 million gallons of milk annually guaranteeing a consistent supply for consumers. Now is the time to buy, or donate, milk to safeguard that we don’t lose these essential businesses in our food supply chain.”