Pennsylvanians gathered on June 5 at the Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg to kick off Dairy Month with the annual "Farm Show in June" celebration. Guests enjoyed free milkshakes from the PA Dairymen Association, live music, dairy calves, selfies, Dairy Princess royalty, and guest appearances by former Philadelphia Eagles star wide receiver Jason Avant and former "The Voice" contestant Olivia Farabaugh, according to the American Dairy Association North East, Philadelphia.
Teaming up with Feeding Pennsylvania food banks, corporate partners and the public, Pennsylvania dairy farmers called for all Pennsylvanians to join them to help end hunger statewide through the Fill a Glass with Hope initiative, the first statewide charitable fresh milk program in the United States offering fresh milk to families in need. Every $1 donation provides, on average, eight glasses of fresh milk distributed to clients through Feeding Pennsylvania and its statewide network of food banks, the association said.
Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding presented a proclamation from Gov. Tom Wolf for June Dairy Month.
"Choosing Pennsylvania milk is good for the health of our people and communities, and giving back through the Fill a Glass with Hope campaign is even better," Redding said. "Today's event reminds us that by working together, we can make a positive impact on both the lives of Pennsylvanians and the future of our dairy industry.
“It also reminds us of the importance of relationships within the dairy industry — the relationships between producers and the consumers who depend on them for local, nutritious high-quality products for their families,” he added. “Fill A Glass with Hope helps to build such relationships with more Pennsylvania families so they, too, can benefit from our strong dairy industry."
More than 1.6 million Pennsylvanians are at risk for hunger, and nearly half a million of them are children, the American Dairy Association North East noted. One in five Pennsylvania children goes hungry every day. To help alleviate hunger, Pennsylvania's dairy industry and charitable food assistance organizations partnered to launch Fill a Glass with Hope in 2015.
To date, Fill a Glass with Hope has raised more than $1 million and provided more than 7 million servings of fresh milk across the state, the association said. Partners include the American Dairy Association North East, the PA Dairymen's Association, Feeding Pennsylvania, individual donors and corporate leaders.
Also announced on June 5 was a special partnership with the Outdoor Advertising Association of Pennsylvania. Billboards will appear across the state throughout the summer and into September, Hunger Action Month, encouraging Pennsylvanians to help tackle hunger and donate to the Fill a Glass with Hope campaign to feed Pennsylvania children, the association said.
The Farm Show in June festivities ended with a celebratory milkshake toast. It is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Dairymen's Association, the American Dairy Association North East, PennAg Industries Association, Feeding Pennsylvania and the Center for Dairy Excellence. To donate, visit www.feedingpa.org/milk.