Kemps donates nearly 100,000 milk packages to Wisconsin food banks

Kemps is distributing thousands of "The Giving Cow" milk packages to Wisconsin food pantries...
Kemps is distributing thousands of "The Giving Cow" milk packages to Wisconsin food pantries and anti-hunger programs. The milk, pasteurized at ultra-high temperatures, has a shelf life of 12 months.(Kemps)
Published: Dec. 1, 2021 at 8:37 AM CST|Updated: Dec. 2, 2021 at 4:29 PM CST
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ST. PAUL, Minn. (WBAY) - Kemps is teaming up with Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin and Festival Foods to donate nearly 100,000 packages of milk to fight hunger in Wisconsin.

Kemps says 30,720 single-serve, 8-ounce (half-pint) packs will be donated to food pantries and shelters in an area covering Green Bay and Appleton. On Thursday morning, December 2, about 30,000 packs of the specific milk arrived at the Little Chute Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin distribution center.

The milk is pasteurized at ultra-high temperatures, giving it a shelf life of up to 12 months. This allows the milk to be distributed to facilities and programs without cold storage, such as small food pantries and kids’ backpack programs.

Ultra-high temperature processing has “been around forever in things like whipping creams and other milks as well,” Keven Niemi, director of sales for Kemps Dairy, said. “Basically, it’s boiled to a certain point and then cooled quickly to give it that extra shelf-life.”

Fresh milk typically has a shelf-life of about 20 days, according to Dairy Farmers of America. That’s the national co-op made up of more than 12,000 family farms which own Kemps.

Kemps’s “Giving Cow” program started about three years ago. The containers are specially designed to look like a cow and aren’t sold in stores. The dairy producer only pulls milk within a 100-mile radius of its Wisconsin base in Cedarburg. Which is part of what makes this third annual donation so special to the company.

“Kids can have cereal before school, after school, whenever they need it,” Niemi emphasized. “Just to have milk in general because they get fresh milk. The prices of milk continue to rise, it’s hard for them to get milk on their tables in some cases. The food pantries can’t handle it anyway. So, this is one way of getting milk on their table.”

Kemps says almost a half-million people in Wisconsin face food insecurity and hunger every day, including an estimated 171,460 children.

Milk packages will also be donated to Feeding America’s network in Milwaukee and Madison for distribution to hunger relief efforts in those parts of the state.

The Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin distribution center in Little Chute is one of two for the organization. Combined with the Milwaukee facility, there is 120,000 feet of warehouse space. It’s enough room to send food to about 400 pantry programs and meal sites across 35 counties in Wisconsin.

“We provide everything you need for a well balanced diet,” director of communications for Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin, Lisa Endl, shared. “We have produce, meat, grains, dairy, protein. We really want to make sure that the pantry clients that we’re helping serve have choice and can have a well-balanced and well-rounded diet.”

Kemps aims to eventually send chocolate milk as well to Feeding America, about 15,000 packs of it.

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