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Rotary Clubs help Foodbank food assistance efforts

Two Brattleboro clubs supply $3,000 toward reclaiming surplus milk for hungry Vermonters

BRATTLEBORO—As a result of a donation from Rotary Clubs across the state, Vermonters in need will continue to receive fresh dairy products from the Vermont Foodbank for weeks to come.

Continuing a collaboration begun earlier this year to connect Vermont dairy assistance to Vermonters, the Foodbank will receive food donations of yogurt and butter produced in the Green Mountain State in support of their food-assistance efforts.

According to a news release, 10 Vermont Rotary Clubs joined forces to raise more than $10,000, adding significant financial support to the effort already in place to recover milk from the state that would have been dumped because of low milk prices.

Members of the Brattleboro Rotary Club and the Brattleboro Sunrise Rotary Club came up with a combined $3,000 for this effort.

Commonwealth Dairy LLC and Ploughgate Creamery are turning milk from Vermont dairies into yogurt and butter.

Earlier this year, the Vermont Agency of Agriculture helped coordinate the original dairy recovery program with $60,000 in funding from the Vermont Community Foundation to cover the cost of milk, ingredients, and processing.

That donation yielded 48,000 cups of Green Mountain Yogurt and 11,500 gallons of Hood 2-percent milk.

“Rotarians sprang into action to help Vermont farmers, children, and food-insecure families,” said Martin Cohn, past president of the Brattleboro Rotary Club. “We hope that the collaboration shown in this project will serve as a model for other states.”

Now, Ploughgate Creamery of Waitsfield is receiving cream from Weybridge’s Monument Farms Dairy to produce 110 pounds of handmade butter per week for four weeks.

The Rotary donation also supports Commonwealth Yogurt’s continued supply of 48,000 cups of yogurt over four weeks.

These donations will serve hundreds of people over the course of the coming weeks.

Additional support, in the form of transportation of yogurt to the Vermont Foodbank, will come from Cabot Creamery, which will transport Green Mountain Creamery yogurt from the Commonwealth Dairy plant in Brattleboro to the Foodbank’s Barre distribution center for the next few weeks.

The project is taking place with the collaboration of Dairy Farmers of America.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #567 (Wednesday, June 24, 2020). This story appeared on page A6.

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