A group of farmers in the New River Valley are helping provide milk to those in need.
The Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers in Montgomery and Pulaski counties have been delivering milk every week to the It’s All About Jesus Outreach and Help Center in Radford.
Milk was not always one of the foods distributed at the outreach center, according to organization leaders.
“It’s such a nutritious beverage all in one cup,” said Stacey Phillips, a member of the young farmers committee for Montgomery County and Virginia. “There’s nine essential vitamins in milk, and full of protein and calcium and all those good things all in just one glass.”
Phillips and her husband Casey have a dairy farm in Montgomery County and wanted to find ways to get more fresh and perishable foods to people in need.
They ran fundraisers with the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers in Montgomery and Pulaski counties, raising $4,500 to pay for donations of milk every week for a year, Phillips said. Since September, they have donated 25 gallons a week to the outreach center.
“There is an epidemic of soft drinks,” said Helen Blake, director of the It’s All About Jesus Outreach and Help Center. “People want to drink everything but milk.”
Milk has become one of the more popular items given out each week, Blake said. Sometimes it is all distributed the same day it is delivered, she added.
“Most of the families have children, and we try to provide cereal as well,” said Edward Blake, Helen’s husband and associate director of the outreach center. “I don’t know any children that don’t love milk. Or adults, too.”
Milk is distributed at the outreach center weekly beginning on Saturday mornings at 10 a.m., Helen Blake said.
On Christmas Eve, the farmers plan to give out 100 gallons of milk to those in need, Phillips said.