American Dairy Association North East, Feeding Pennsylvania and the PA Dairymen's Association announced a new record of more than $201,000 raised to kick off the 2023 Fill a Glass with Hope campaign at the PA Farm Show. Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding joined the festivities with former NFL wide receiver Torrey Smith, a two-time Super Bowl Champion with the Philadelphia Eagles and Baltimore Ravens.

In 2016, Fill a Glass with Hope became the first statewide charitable fresh milk program in the country, and has provided more than 34 million servings of milk to families in need. Feeding Pennsylvania and their nine-member food banks solicited sponsors to kick-start the 2023 campaign, raising a record of over $201,000. Funds will be used to purchase fresh milk at a reduced price from their local dairy processors.  

"This fundraiser could not come at a more critical time, with soaring food prices and the inflation rate at its highest in 40 years, many Pennsylvanians are facing impossible choices between buying food and paying for other necessities like medication or utilities," said Jane Clements, CEO of Feeding Pennsylvania. "On behalf of our member food banks, we are thankful for the generous sponsors who continue to ensure that we can provide fresh milk to our neighbors in need, and grateful to have our own Congressman Thompson supporting us here in PA and in Washington."

Secretary Russell Redding praised the hardworking dairy farmers who make up the largest segment of Pennsylvania's agriculture industry, and the 5,200 dairy farm families that provide wholesome, nutritious dairy products for consumers, the hungry, and the state's charitable food system.

"Feeding Pennsylvania, PA Dairymen's Association and American Dairy Association North East have been creative and resourceful partners in meeting the needs of Pennsylvania families who struggle with food security," said Redding. "There is no acceptable level of hunger, especially in a state with such incredible bounty. Thank you for your tenacity in working toward the goal of everyone in Pennsylvania having a place to turn to put food on their tables."

Smith noted his appreciation of the program and its impact on children. "Thanks to Fill a Glass with Hope and with everyone's help – from our dairy farmers to our food banks, to the sponsors – we can work together to get fresh milk to people in need. Fresh milk has become increasingly available at food pantries across Pennsylvania, giving kids and their parents another great choice, which is power packed."

Congressman Glenn "GT" Thompson, who was recently named chair of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee, applauded the dairy industry and food banks for this meaningful partnership and offered his support, even though he was unable to attend.

"As the No. 1 ag commodity in the Commonwealth, dairy is critically important to Pennsylvania's agriculture industry. The nutritional value that milk offers, particularly to growing children, is undeniable. I'm pleased to join Feeding Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Dairymen for the Fill a Glass with Hope event to support both our dairy farmers and our neighbors in need."