Cortland Groups Plan Drive-Thru Dairy Giveaway

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ITHACA, NY (WSKG) – Farmers, dairy producers and community organizations in Cortland County have organized a giveaway for residents. It takes place Monday evening on the SUNY Cortland campus.

Dairy farmers have donated milk that would have gone to schools and restaurants, which were closed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez

UNICEF club member Lily Espnioza hands out bags of milk containers to a Dallas Independent School District family at a distribution location at W.W. Samuell High School in Dallas, Thursday, April 9, 2020. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

At the same time, more people now rely on food pantries.

Seven Valleys Health Coalition, which advocates for  good health, is one of the event’s organizers. Spokeswoman Susan Williams said one dairy cooperative donated 5,800 half gallons of milk.

“That’s quite a bit of fluid milk so we don’t anticipate running out of that at the dairy drive-thru on Monday,” Williams said.

Besides milk, the group expects to give out at least 500 bags of dairy products, like cheese and yogurt.

Whatever remains after Monday’s event will be given to the county’s food pantries. However, Williams said many smaller pantries do not have enough refrigerator space.

“The plan is for us to continue to get dairy into the county through the food pantries and other food programs as long as the donations keep flowing,” Williams said.