Real California Milk CADAIRY4GOOD initiative focuses on increasing access to dairy at California food banks
TRACY, Calif. – June 2, 2023 – One in 5 Californians — about 8 million people — currently struggle with food insecurity. In commemoration of World Milk Day, the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) has announced a partnership with Raley’s Food For Families program to deliver milk, one of the most requested but least donated items, to California food banks during June Dairy Month.
During a June 1st event at the Raley’s location on Freeport Blvd in Sacramento, the CMAB and representatives from Raley’s and the Yolo Food Bank outlined the matching funds initiative that will provide up to 13,000 gallons – more than 200,000 servings – of fluid milk to 12 food bank sites. Part of the Real California Milk CADAIRY4GOOD program and Raley’s well-known Food For Families charitable organization, the partnership is part of an ongoing commitment from both to providing resources to food banks and feeding programs to increase access to nutritious foods.
Throughout the month of June, California dairy families, through the CMAB, will match customer in-store and online Food For Families donations, dollar-for-dollar up to $20,000 to provide fresh milk to those suffering from food insecurity in northern California. Prompts with the “Do Good with Dairy” message will be shared through in-store signage and digital communications to alert consumers to the initiative.
California Agriculture Secretary, Karen Ross, was onsite to help make the announcement, stating: “In California, we’re so fortunate to grow many crops and our number one crop is from our dairy families. It’s not just about the economics of dairy, which is significant, it’s about the social good and the environmental good that our dairy families provide to the state. It’s a thrill to be here about something I’m so passionate about – being able to ensure that every person in California, the state that grows the bounty, shares the bounty. That’s what our farm families do, and our dairy farmers are always first in line. I think about the children, the adults, those people in need that are going to have fresh milk as part of a healthy, nutritious diet.”
“California dairy farms like mine have a commitment to nourishing families with one of the most nutritious foods available – milk – with its 13 essential nutrients,” said California dairy farmer Maureen Lemos. “On a day when we celebrate the wholesome goodness of dairy milk, I’m so pleased to be here to announce this partnership and focus on the impact it will have on our local communities.”
The California milk donations will be distributed to 12 Food For Family partner food banks – Alameda County Community Food Bank, Central California Food Bank, Food Bank for Monterey County, Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano, Food Bank of Northern Nevada, Placer Food Bank, Redwood Empire Food Bank, Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services, Second Harvest of Silicon Valley, Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Cruz County, Second Harvest of the Greater Valley, and Yolo Food Bank.
Karen Baker, Executive Director for Yolo Food Bank, said: “On behalf of Yolo Food Bank and the rest of the food banks benefitting from this effort, I’m honored to thank our dairy farmers who are always there to feed our families. Milk is an important source of nourishment for the more than 21,000 households we serve monthly. And the donation couldn’t come at a more important time. Not only does food insecurity often spike during the summer with children spending more time at home, but we’ve also seen a 20% increase across food bank distributions since a year ago. I can’t stress enough how critical this donation is, it’s like liquid gold for our food bank. Many thanks Raley’s Food For Families for their role in this innovative partnership.”
With help from customers, vendors, and Raley’s team members, Raley’s Food For Families has provided millions of meals to local families. Raley’s absorbs all administrative costs, maximizing the impact of every donation.
“Raley’s Food For Families has been around for 37 years with the sole mission of helping alleviate hunger. And we do that with great partners,” said Chelsea Minor, Executive Director of Food For Families. “When the California Milk Advisory Board approached us and said, we’d like to give you $20,000, can you help us deliver dairy to our food banks? We said, absolutely. We appreciate the leadership of the dairy farmers to ensure that dairy is getting to every person in our community, whether you purchase it at Raley’s or pick it up at your local food bank.”
The CADAIRY4GOOD platform focuses on increasing access to nourishing dairy foods for individuals and families throughout California through partnerships to pilot programs to deliver product and refrigeration resources to the state’s food banks and feeding programs.
California is the number one dairy state. Its 1,100 family dairy farms are focused on delivering the wholesome goodness of California milk while creating a greener, more sustainable future for dairy in the state.
About Real California Milk/California Milk Advisory Board
The California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB), an instrumentality of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, is funded by the state’s dairy farm families who lead the nation in sustainable dairy farming practices. With a vision to nourish the world with the wholesome goodness of Real California Milk, the CMAB’s programs focus on increasing demand for California’s sustainable dairy products in the state, across the U.S. and around the world. Connect with the CMAB at RealCaliforniaMilk.com, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
About Raley’s Food For Families
Raley’s Food For Families is a registered 501(c)3 organization providing food to Feeding America food banks and their network of partner agencies. The year-round program serves the communities of Northern California and Western Nevada through Raley’s, Bel Air Market, Nob Hill Foods and Raley’s ONE Market locations.
Raley’s Food For Families began as a holiday food drive in 1986 and was founded by Co-Chairman and Owner Joyce Raley Teel and CEO emeritus Charles Collings. In the past 33 years, the organization has raised over $59 million and 44 million pounds of fresh wholesome food. With a long commitment to local communities, Raley’s Food For Families continues to grow and thrive as an organization dedicated to health and happiness for those experiencing food insecurity. Raley’s covers one hundred percent of the administrative costs for the non-profit, meaning all donations go directly to the food bank partners.