While there are many signs indicating a return to normalcy after the COVID-19 pandemic, food insecurity continues to be an ongoing issue plaguing many families who are struggling to provide for their children.

Unfortunately, it will not get any easier with the summer months ahead. Summer is generally a difficult time for food-insecure families when more than 18 million children nationwide lose access to free or reduced-price meals at schools, including the nourishment of milk.

To offer assistance, Price Chopper/Market 32 will once again join forces with American Dairy Association North East in support of Fill a Glass with Hope® to provide fresh milk to local food banks.

During June, National Dairy Month, shoppers at Price Chopper/Market 32 stores across New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Vermont can ‘round up’ their change at checkout to donate and help make milk available to children and families in their local community.

“Price Chopper/Market 32 recognizes that due to its perishable nature, milk remains the most requested but least donated item to food banks,” said Mona Golub, VP Public Relations & Consumer Services for the progressive Northeastern chain. “Our year-round commitment to fighting food insecurity also helps us to recognize the importance of taking a different tact during the summertime given that kids are out of school, but still playing, learning, and growing and needing the essential, protein-rich nutrients that milk provides.”

Within the trusted channel of this campaign, 100 percent of all donations will remain local and help deliver milk and essential nutrition to families with children in need in our communities.

Mark Quandt, Executive Director of the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York, said, “We thank Price Chopper/Market 32, American Dairy Association North East, Commissioner Richard Ball, Garelick Farms, and New York State’s dairy producers for their continued commitment to the Fill a Glass with Hope® campaign to raise awareness with both the food industry and consumers and to help food banks provide more fresh milk for families in need. The Food Bank distributed nearly 56 million pounds in 2020 which is equivalent to 46.5 million meals for people in need who receive assistance from the 1,000 non-profit programs we serve in 23 counties. The health crisis of the pandemic may be lessening, but the effects on low-income people will be felt for a long time.”

Not only do dairy products like milk play an important role in providing key nutrients, with more than 4,000 dairy farms throughout New York, the industry is also essential to the state’s economy.

“The Fill a Glass with Hope® campaign is a wonderful way to support our neighbors in need, especially as the end of the school year nears,” said New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Richard A. Ball. “At the Department, we are proud of our efforts to bring healthy, nutritious food to families who need it most, particularly during these difficult times, including through programs like Nourish NY. The Fill a Glass with Hope® initiative provides us a way to further those efforts and give back to our communities and to our dairy farmers. I encourage everyone to buy a gallon of milk and make a donation to this great cause during Dairy Month.”

Fill a Glass with Hope® is a joint effort between the American Dairy Association North East, dairy farmers, agriculture partners, and business leaders to help provide fresh milk to families in need through a network of local food banks.

“Our family farm works hard every day to produce nutritious, wholesome milk,” said dairy farmer Audrey Donahoe of ATRASS Farm in Clayville, N.Y. “We take our responsibility, as all farmers do, to feed families, not only in our community but across the nation, very seriously.”

Since the partnership began in 2015, more than $170,000 has been raised, resulting in more than 35,000 gallons of fresh, highly-requested milk being donated to local food banks on behalf of Price Chopper/Market 32. The 35,000 gallons of milk has provided more than 550,000 servings of milk to those in need.