Twelve days after posting on social media confirmation her milk cooperative was dumping milk, Kelly Taylor decided to take action.
With input from another dairy producer, former Tioga-Potter Farm Bureau President John Painter, Taylor of Taylor Pride Farms decided to do something about the shortage of milk in this community due to the impact of the statewide COVID-19 stay at home orders in Pennsylvania and New York State.
“I don’t know how we go from exponential use of class one milk to dumping milk, when stores are still limiting purchases or worse, out completely,” Taylor wrote April 1 on her Facebook page.
By April 9, the Taylors and Steve Wunderlich had come up with a solution to the empty shelves of milk in area stores. They posted a sign on the Taylors’ Facebook page: “Dairy drive-thru donations are being accepted! Link in comments!” Within minutes, local businesses and community members began donating via a link to swhoofcare.com/tioga-potter-dairy-drive-thru-donations.
The donations were used, in their entirety, to purchase dairy products, that will be handed out to those in need at the farm at 28 Station Road, Lawrenceville. The group, including the Tioga/Potter Young Ag Professionals, encouraged monetary donation to limit social contact. A $20 donation could purchase about six gallons of milk or five one-pound blocks of cheese. Wunderlich also promoted the event on his daily video blog.
Within the first 15 minutes of the 11 a.m. start time on Easter Sunday, the volunteers had already given away 40-50 boxes of product. Each box contained one to two gallons of milk, string cheese, block cheese, yogurt, sour cream and more. Driver’s could receive as many boxes as they had need.
“We purchased milk from Aldi in Elmira and milk and other dairy products donated by Dairy Farmers of America, Turk’s Dairy in Troy and God’s Country Creamery in Ulysses,” said Wunderlich.
Donations continued to arrive throughout the event.
“Sixty-some people, all local donors and even a hoof trimmer from overseas I know, donated to this effort,” said Wunderlich as he accepted donations from drivers pulling into the driveway. “I figure we’ve fed 400 people with the hundred-ish boxes we gave out today.”
More than 60 cars came through the drive up dairy hand out. The dairy give away will be repeated again Sunday, April 19.
“We are overwhelmed by our community’s generosity,” said Wunderlich.
“I know personally people who donated who could not afford to. Our community rocks! I am so thankful we live and work here,” said Taylor.
To make a donation to the Tioga-Potter Young Farmers dairy donation, visit https://swhoofcare.com and click on the dairy donation drive page or call Wunderlich at 607-425-6973.