New Year, Same Resolution to Help Maine Families in Need

Dairy Farmers of America and Pineland Farms Dairy to continue program with Good Shepherd Food Bank

For Immediate Release

Jan. 8

BANGOR, Maine – With everyone’s 2021 resolutions well under way, two organizations will continue a resolution of their own to support vigorous efforts to end hunger in Maine through the help of local farmers.

Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) and Pineland Farms Dairy Company plan to donate 12,000 pounds of handcrafted cheese to Good Shepherd Food Bank in the coming weeks. This donation is part of an initiative that began in the spring of 2020 to aid relief efforts for Maine families–and businesses–hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The details of the new donation are as follows:

  • DFA donated two tankers of milk last week collected from local dairy farmers
  • Pineland Farms Dairy has put this milk into production and will donate the labor and other processes necessary to make the cheese
  • Good Shepherd Food Bank is expected to begin picking up the 12,000-pound donation from the Pineland Farms Dairy facility at 1 Milk St. in Bangor by the end of this month

DFA tankers of donated milk arrived at the Pineland Farms Dairy facility over the weekend.

As a result of this partnership, food-insecure Mainers will have access to nutritious, high-quality food made possible by generous farmers and business owners. Pineland Farms Dairy president Mark Whitney expressed the company’s commitment to this cause.

“This is a partnership with Maine farms and Pineland Farms Dairy giving back to our communities through Good Shepherd, getting food into the hands of those who need it,” Whitney said. “It really is a team effort.”

“As a dairy cooperative owned by family farmers across the country, we are pleased to partner with our members to support the communities in which we live and work,” said Jennifer Huson, the senior director of council affairs for DFA Northeast.

Hand-stacked curd slabs in process, ready to be made into delicious cheese.

Before the pandemic, Maine had approximately 180,000 people struggling with food insecurity. The need only increased as more community members were facing hunger–many for the first time. Good Shepherd Food Bank was grateful for a new partnership with Pineland Farms Dairy, made possible by local DFA members.

With an initial donation pledge of 25,000 pounds of cheese over several months, Good Shepherd Food Bank began weekly distributions to its network of more than 500 partner agencies. This included food pantries, meal sites, shelters and schools. Pineland Farms Dairy surpassed this goal by donating over 34,000 pounds of cheese in just four weeks.

Pineland Farms cheese being packaged for future delivery.

But these organizations didn’t stop there. Kristen Miale, president of Good Shepherd Food Bank, shared her gratitude for the additional donations that were pledged in the new year.

“We are so grateful and excited to continue this partnership,” Miale said. “The donated cheese from Pineland Farms and DFA will reduce food waste and provide our neighbors in need with access to Maine-produced products.”

For more information, please download the full press release here.