At the end of last year, Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation funded a new program in Susquehanna County called Fill a Glass with Hope. Fill a Glass with Hope is a partnership formed among Feeding Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association, Mid-Atlantic Dairy (now American Dairy Association North East), the Pennsylvania Dairy Promotion Program, agriculture partners, and business leaders that provide fresh milk to Pennsylvania families in need through Feeding Pennsylvania’s network of food banks. Cabot’s funding assists the Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Northeast Regional Food Bank purchase and delivers enough fresh milk to Susquehanna County to support dozens of families.
During the 2017 Pennsylvania Farm Show, Fill a Glass with Hope held a media event to reflect on its inaugural year and set the stage for an even bigger 2017.
Jane Clements-Smith is the Executive Director of Feeding Pennsylvania, the organization that created and launched Fill a Glass with Hope. Below she shares some comments about the tremendous year this very important program had.
Feeding Pennsylvania represents eight Feeding America food banks across the state, and our mission is to serve the 1.8 million Pennsylvanians struggling with hunger. Pennsylvania is rich in agriculture, and our food banks have worked hard to make sure that they can handle fresh food such as produce, meat, and most recently, fresh milk. No one should be denied access to nutritious food, especially the more than half a million children facing hunger in Pennsylvania who need the protein, vitamins and minerals milk has to offer.
A year ago, we announced that we would be committing to a statewide charitable fresh milk program, the first of its kind in the nation, called Fill a Glass with Hope. Our food banks joined in partnership with the Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association and American Dairy Association Northeast and became charitable milk sub-dealers through the Pennsylvania milk marketing board to be able to purchase fresh milk directly from their local dairies. We worked hard raising funds to not only buy the milk but also to build the much-needed infrastructure in order allow agencies to handle fresh milk.
Fill a Glass with Hope would not be successful without these leaders, their exceptional staff, and the generous support of many foundations, corporate partners, and individual donors.
There’s an enormous investment that goes into making these programs successful, and I am so grateful to each and every donor, especially our Keystone champions supporting us at $25,000 each, FirstEnergy Foundation and Weis markets. With their support, we have already raised more than $127k for our 2017 fill a glass with Hope program, which means in just two years, fill a glass with hope has officially raised more than $640 thousand dollars to help get fresh milk to Pennsylvania families in need!
We set an ambitious goal of distributing 2 million servings of fresh milk in 2016. The numbers were still coming in over the last several weeks, and it came right down to the wire, but I am so proud to report that in our first year going statewide, we have surpassed our goal, distributing more than 2.3 million servings of milk this year bringing the program’s total to 3.3 million servings. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts!
About Feeding Pennsylvania: Feeding Pennsylvania is a partnership formed among Pennsylvania’s Feeding America member food banks. Our collective effort promotes and aids our members in securing food and other resources to reduce hunger and food insecurity for their communities and across Pennsylvania, and provides a shared voice on the issues of hunger and food access within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.