Nfld. & Labrador

Donating, not dumping: Dairy farmers give excess milk to N.L. food banks

The Dairy Farmers of Newfoundland and Labrador are choosing to donate instead of dumping excess milk produced amid a drop in demand from retail chains.

For dairy farmers facing reduction in demand, donation makes good use of production

Dairy farmers in Newfoundland and Labrador will be donating 35,000 litres of milk to food banks around the province. (CBC)

The Dairy Farmers of Newfoundland and Labrador are choosing to donate instead of dumping excess milk produced amid a drop in demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

After making news for dumping 170,000 litres of milk earlier this month, the association changed its course of action and is instead donating 35,000 litres of excess milk to food banks around the province.

The donation will be made to the Community Food Sharing Association, which will then distribute the milk to food banks.

"Helping out is the right thing to do," dairy farmer Crosbie Williams said in a news release Thursday morning.

"We worked together to figure out the logistics, and we couldn't have done this without help from Saputo, Fisher Transport, the School Milk Foundation, and Colemans. To all of them, I say thank you. And thank you to the kind people at the Community Food Sharing Association for doing their important work, especially in a time of great need."

Crosbie Williams owns and operates Pondview Farms in Goulds and is the vice-chair of Dairy Farmers of Newfoundland and Labrador. (Dairy Farmers of Newfoundland and Labrador/Submitted)

Newfoundland and Labrador has among the highest rates of food bank usage in the country.

Eg Walters, general manager of the Community Food Sharing Association, said it's an especially important donation as people and food banks try to navigate the pandemic.

"We would like to thank one and all for donating 35,000 litres of milk for distribution to food banks, and for their support in our fight against hunger," Walters said.

Dairy farmers, along with Fisheries, Forestry and Agrifoods Minister Gerry Byrne, have been calling for grocery stores to stop rationing products, such as milk, for customers.

The dairy association says the overall number of orders has dropped since the pandemic began, but production has continued.

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