Press release from MANNA Food Bank:
On Thursday, MANNA food bank will pick up the first of three major donations – local, fresh milk from cows right here in Western North Carolina.
Mike Corn, a dairy farmer located in Mills River, is donating an entire day’s worth of milk production – over 19,000 pounds of raw milk – to help support the huge increase in the number of families needing basic food support in the midst of the pandemic.
Since the pandemic began in mid-March, MANNA and their network of nonprofit food partners have seen a dramatic increase in the number of people seeking emergency food support – over a 65% increase – with the need continuing to grow across WNC as the economic and health crisis lingers.
“Many WNC families are facing a food crisis for the first time ever,” says Hannah Randall, Chief Executive Officer for MANNA. “We’re committed, as we have always been, to being there for everyone who needs us, and Milkco, our incredible local farmers like Mr. Corn, and Ingles Markets continue to help us meet that need.”
Ingles, and Milkco, a subsidiary of Ingles are incredible longtime partners of MANNA in the work to address hunger. Milkco will process and package the milk donation, and prepare it in three large shipments for MANNA, who will work with partner nonprofits to get the fresh milk to families quickly.
“Fresh milk, especially local milk from WNC farmers, is such an incredible gift,” says Mary Nesbitt, Chief Development Officer for MANNA. “This fresh milk will support so many families who are facing an unthinkable set of circumstances. It is so much more than an important nutritional food – it is hope for our WNC neighbors.”
“During unprecedented times like these, continued help from great partners like Ingles and Milkco and all of our friends across the region are essential to our ability to continue to serve the growing number of people who need our support.” Nesbitt added.
A note of interest: Mike Corn’s Jersey cows are the descendants of the historic Biltmore Estate herd from the Vanderbilt’s dairy.