Haywood County Office Recruits Volunteers and Assists With Milk Distribution

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Bill Skelton, Ethan Henderson, Elizabeth Moretz offloading milk from Borden Dairy truckEven before the COVID-19 Pandemic provided new challenges for families and food banks in Haywood County, the Haywood Food Security Network was working to address Food Insecurity here. Collaboration among community organizations including N.C. Cooperative Extension in Haywood County has been valuable in getting food resources to families in need.

Earlier this year the U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded the Borden Dairy Company a $147 million contract to provide over 700 million servings of dairy products to families in need as part of the Coronavirus Farm Assistance Program (CFAP). Borden Dairy Company was tasked with providing dairy products to food banks, community and faith-based organizations, and other non-profits serving Americans in need in regions including North Carolina.

On July 6, 2020, representatives from The Dairy Alliance, who was collaborating with Mountain Projects Inc and Borden Dairy contacted N.C. Cooperative Extension in Haywood County requesting volunteers to assist with a milk distribution event in Haywood County. Due to COVID-19 social distancing guidelines the milk would need to be distributed via a contact free drive through. Volunteers were required to wear masks and follow social distancing guidelines. Food banks were also able to arrange to take larger quantities of milk to distribute at their locations as well as to homebound clients.

In addition to recruiting 7 volunteers to help offload milk from the refrigerated truck into the cars of recipients, Extension staff marketed and promoted the event through social media as well as in person contacts prior to the distribution event.

On Friday, July 10, Mountain Projects Inc. in collaboration with The NC Dairy Alliance, Borden Dairy Company, N.C. Cooperative Extension-Haywood County Center, and volunteers from various other organizations distributed 4000 gallons of milk to Haywood and Jackson County residents.