By Rebecca Isaacson June 19, 2020
Borden Dairy Company, an American dairy processor based in Dallas, Texas, received the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s largest contract through its Farmers to Families Food Box Program. The U.S. Department of Agriculture created this contract as part of its COVID-relief initiative, the Coronavirus Farm Assistance Program (CFAP). Through this contract, Borden Dairy is able to donate 700 million servings of fresh milk to qualifying non-profit organizations across the country. When Borden saw FarmLink featured on the news, they reached out to us, hoping we could help find them food banks to benefit from their contract. Since our partnership began, we have connected Borden with 61 food banks across 14 states and coordinated the logistics to deliver over 150,000 gallons of milk to communities struggling with food insecurity!
With food banks facing their highest demands since the Great Depression and more families struggling with food insecurity, Borden’s milk donations have been critical in providing nutrients to those in need, particularly at food banks that primarily serve families with young children. One food bank that receives Borden’s donations, Open Hands Food Pantry in Donna, Texas, has experienced an enormous increase in demand due to the COVID crisis–from 300 to 350 families each month to 600 families each week. “We are seeing people that never thought that they would need to visit a food bank,” said Kathleen Green, the Administrative Director at Open Hands. These families are especially grateful for access to fresh milk–a product that is especially difficult to obtain due to the high poverty rate in Open Hands’ county.
Adrienne Chance, the Senior Director of Corporate Communications at Borden, noted that “like FarmLink, Borden was born in crisis.” During the Civil War, Gail Borden’s innovative process of condensing milk helped nourish the Union Army, and, during World War II, Borden’s spokescow, Elsie, traveled the country on a publicity tour as a symbol of hope to help sell $10 million in U.S. war bonds. “The war on COVID-19 may look a lot different than the ones our country has fought in the past,” said Adrienne, “but Borden still channels Elsie’s spirit today as we hold our Glass Half-Full optimistic outlook on the future and demonstrate that The Cream Always Rises to the Top!”
FarmLink also holds a “Glass Half-Full” outlook–optimism inspired by the incredible farms, transportation workers, and food banks that we partner with, as well as the amazing generosity of our supporters and donors across the country.