#10GallonChallenge Helps Local Farms and Foodbanks
The "Ten Gallon Challenge" is the brainchild of Ty Higgins, a Wisconsin farm broadcaster. Its purpose is two-fold — to help struggling dairy farmers and provide food for local families in need.
Milk prices are the lowest they've been in years. Milk consumption has also dropped significantly creating a surplus of milk in the U.S. Many small, local dairy farms are struggling to survive. In fact, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services reports that Virginia lost an average of one dairy farm every five days during the first half of 2018.
On the flipside, Feeding America reports that milk is one of the most requested items by clients, yet there is a nationwide shortage because it's rarely donated. While Americans are generous with canned and dry goods, we often don’t think to donate fresh items like milk because it’s perishable. On average, Feeding America Food Banks are only able to provide the equivalent of one gallon of milk per person per year.
Higgins saw a huge opportunity in these two very different issues, so he created a Facebook video that has since been viewed more than 175,000 times. The video encourages consumers to purchase 10 gallons of milk and donate that milk to their local food pantry.
We liked this idea so much we decided to apply it in our own Hanover County community by donating milk to the Western Hanover Emergency Action Team (WHEAT) which operates a food pantry in our church. Many of our friends and family are also jumping on board with this trend, wanting to help their local dairy farmers while also making a difference in their community.
We've compiled this list, which we hope will grow, of ways that you can help in Hanover County and the Greater Richmond area:
Feed More: Milk donations are accepted at the Feed More community food donation door located at Door Number 13 at 1601 Rhoadmiller Street, Richmond, VA, 23220.
Moments of Hope Outreach: Milk donations are accepted at the Moments of Hope Outreach pantry at 13400 Hanover Courthouse Road, Hanover, VA on milk on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays 9am-12pm, and Tuesdays and Thursdays 7pm-9pm..
WHEAT: Milk donations are accepted by WHEAT at Mt. Olivet Baptist Church at 15583 Coatesville Rd Beaverdam, VA 23015 during office hours. The WHEAT food pantry is the second and fourth Tuesday of each month, so please consider the timing of your donations and the milk expiration dates when donating.
While we've provided these options for our Hanover community and the Greater Richmond area, we encourage everyone to donate in their communities. We would love to add more options to this list, so send us a message through our Facebook page to add a pantry.
Note: A few of our followers have asked how they can specifically purchase milk from Eastview Farm. Our milk is currently being shipped to the dairy processing plant in Newport News. Milk from this plant is stamped with the code 51-4108 which can be found near the expiration date. I have consistently found milk with this code in Hanover and Richmond area Food Lion stores under the Food Lion and Maola Milk Co. brand labels. During the last few weeks, it's been more difficult to find this code which may be due to a shift in milk deliveries because of N.C. plants and farms affected by the hurricane. However, regardless of the code, all milk travels from farm to store in 48 hours. So, you can be confident you're supporting a dairy farm family no matter what milk you buy.