Texas dairies step up to provide hunger relief during COVID-19

Dairy farmers teamed up with other agriculture industries, local food banks, and Hillside Christian Church in Amarillo over the last month and a half to provide hunger relief to those in their local communities who are in need due to the coronavirus pandemic. Over the course of three events – one each in Amarillo, Levelland and Lubbock – the group provided nutritious food to over 4,500 families.

By hosting “Pop -Up- Pantries” in these towns, Sarah Farms, Hilmar Cheese Company Inc., Cactus Cares, Cal-Maine Foods and Larsen Farms, along with Hillside Christian Church provided high quality bags of food to those in need. The bags contained two gallons of milk, one pound of cheese, five pounds of ground beef, a dozen eggs and five pounds of potatoes. The bags were distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis, with no pre-qualifications needed.

During the three events, a total of 14,400 gallons of milk and 4,000 pounds of cheese were distributed.

“It was an amazing experience to be involved in such a great project, the need is so evident,” said dairy farmer and TAD Board member McKenzie Hettinga of Sarah Farms, who helped organize the events and procure the food from the agriculture partners. “To be able to make an impact and to provide families with such nutrient dense, safe and delicious food is humbling. It was amazing to see everyone step up and come together. We know our industry to be a family, but this was a great testament to that mentality.”

As the events were held, more groups wanted to be involved and to donate. The Lubbock event bags included produce from United Supermarkets and soup from Breedlove. The common goal was to help as many families as possible, and the distributions surely made an impact.