June 18, 2020 | Montpelier, VT – As a result of a generous donation from Vermont Rotary Clubs across the state, Vermonters in need will continue to receive fresh dairy products from the Vermont Foodbank for weeks to come. Continuing a collaboration begun earlier this year to connect Vermont dairy assistance to Vermonters, the Foodbank will receive food donations of Vermont yogurt and butter in support of their food assistance efforts. Ten Vermont rotary clubs joined forces to raise over $10,000 dollars, adding significant financial support to the effort already in place to recover Vermont milk.
In collaboration with Dairy Farmers of America, Commonwealth Dairy LLC and Ploughgate Creamery are turning milk from Vermont dairies into yogurt and butter. Earlier this year, the Vermont Agency of Agriculture helped coordinate the original dairy recovery program began with $60,000 in funding from the Vermont Community Foundation. This generous donation covered the cost of milk, ingredients, and processing to create 48,000 cups of Green Mountain Yogurt and 11,500 gallons of Hood Dairy 2% Milk.
“When we heard about the need to recover raw milk from local Vermont dairy farms while creating a new, temporary food supply for the Vermont Foodbank, Rotarians sprang into action to help Vermont farmers, children, and food-insecure families,” said Martin Cohn, past President of the Brattleboro Rotary Club. “We hope that the collaboration shown in this project will serve as a model for other states."
Below is the list of Vermont Rotary Clubs and members who supported this effort:
Joining the effort, Ploughgate Creamery of Waitsfield is receiving cream from Weybridge’s Monument Farms Dairy to produce 110 pounds of handmade butter per week for 4 weeks.
"I am proud to live in a state where community comes first! Thank you to the Vermont Rotary Clubs and Foodbank for organizing this amazing program,” said Marisa Mauro, owner/operator of Ploughgate Creamery.
“This is a wonderful example of how Vermonters respond in times of strife! Everyone works together to reach common goals,” said Jon Rooney of Monument Farms.
The Rotary donation also supports Commonwealth Yogurt’s continued supply of 48,000 cups of yogurt over 4 weeks. These donations will serve hundreds of people over the course of the coming weeks, providing nutritious dairy products to Vermont communities in need while preventing the waste of valuable food.
Additional support in the form of transportation of yogurt to the Vermont Foodbank will come from Cabot Cheese. Cabot will be picking up Green Mountain Creamery yogurt from the Commonwealth Dairy plant in Brattleboro and delivering it to the VT Foodbank’s Barre distribution center for the next three weeks, enabling more Vermonters to benefit from this charitable effort.
Secretary Anson Tebbetts of the Vermont Agency of Agriculture said, “This is what Vermont is all about. Neighbors helping neighbors. Thank you Rotarians, farmers and businesses. You and so many are helping those in need.”
To find out more about how you can join in the many efforts to help in your communities, visit:
- Vermont Foodbank COVID-19 Hunger Relief Fund
- Vermont Community Foundation Responding to COVID-19 in Vermont
- Dairy Farmers of America Farmers Feeding Families Fund
*May 6, 2020 Initial Announcement: Vermont Dairy Farmers, Dairy Producers and the VT Community Foundation Collaborate to Donate to the VT Foodbank
*“Rotary & Foodbank” image attached from Left to Right:
- Susan Gabree, Commonwealth Dairy Lab Tech
- Carla Lineback, president, Brattleboro Rotary Club
- Mary Springer, Windsor Rotary Club
- Nancy Russell, Rotary District 7870 District Governor
- Barbara Muench, president, Manchester Rotary Club
- Sam Garland, Commonwealth Dairy Project Manager
- Martin Cohn, past president, Brattleboro Rotary Club
- Louisa Tripp, Rotary District 7850 Past District Governor
- Jonathan Buckley, Commonwealth Dairy Filling Lead 1st Shift
- Roger Allbee, vice president, Brattleboro Rotary Club