Local Ag Companies Combine to Bring Refrigeration to Martha & Mary’s Food Pantry
Standard Dairy Consultants, Dairy Farmers of America, Chobani
and Balchem Animal Nutrition & Health Deliver Support to Local Residents
JEROME, Idaho. March 29, 2021. Perishable food items such as dairy products, fresh produce and meat are some of the most highly requested items at food pantries. But with the need for refrigeration, these items are difficult for many food pantries to handle. Martha & Mary’s in Jerome recently received a big boost for local families.
Four local agriculture companies came together to pool resources and provide the most needed products for local families. Standard Dairy Consultants, Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), Chobani and Balchem Animal Nutrition & Health worked together to donate funds for a large refrigeration unit and the dairy products to fill it.
Martha & Mary’s opened in January 2011 and is staffed completely by volunteers from local churches, civic and community groups. In 2020, they saw a dramatic rise in need due to the pandemic, serving up to 160 families each week.
“It’s difficult to convey in words how much this donation will mean to our group and to the surrounding communities,” says Jeff Schroeder, assistant coordinator at Martha & Mary’s. “The additional cold storage and dairy products will really help not only our guests but many in the surrounding rural communities. This means so much to our families!”
“We are working to bring the agriculture community together and compound our impact in local areas,” notes Ben Hardcastle, Balchem regional development manager. “Each of these partners stepped up in a big way to make this happen at Martha & Mary’s.”
Balchem began a nationwide program in 2020 with an initial pledge of $25,000 for local and grassroots projects. Balchem’s local field staff was empowered to work with partners and customers to identify local food pantries and coordinate additional sponsors. Dairy Farmers of America, through its DFA Cares Farmers Feeding Families Fund, committed funds to keep the refrigerator full of milk. Through the creation of the Farmers Feeding Families Fund, which DFA created in April 2020, DFA and its farm family-owners and employees have been raising money to help provide support and deliver dairy products to community food banks across the country.
“As dairy farmers, we are proud of the role we play in feeding families, and in times like this, when so many are struggling, we feel passionately about doing all we can to help,” says Steve Whitesides, a DFA member and dairy farmer from Rupert, Idaho. “Initiatives like this that allow us to get our highly nutritious milk and dairy products into the hands of people who need them are essential right now. I’m proud to be a part of it.”
“This past year our community has seen an increased need for food assistance, so when Ben Hardcastle from Balchem approached me about their refrigeration initiative to help local food pantries, we wanted to help,” says Jess Argyle, Standard Dairy Consultants. “It’s great to see the southern Idaho dairy community and local businesses come together to help the Martha and Mary’s Food Pantry of Jerome. I would like to thank Jeff Schroeder and the many volunteers at Martha and Mary’s Food Pantry that give of their time and energy to help those in need in our community.”
Chobani is helping keep the refrigeration unit filled with a weekly supply of its products. “Since day one, Chobani has always used food as a force for good, especially in the communities we call home,” says Alyson Oüten, Chobani director of community relations. “We are proud to help stock the refrigerator at Martha & Mary’s with nutritious and delicious Chobani products, to support Jerome and the surrounding community.”
To learn more about Marth & Mary’s mission or ways to help, visit https://www.facebook.com/Martha-and-Marys-Food-Pantry-759960437411899/.
Contact: Scott Sorrell, Balchem Corporation / (845) 326-5603 / [email protected]
Balchem Corporation reports four business segments: Human Nutrition & Health; Animal Nutrition & Health; Specialty Products; and Industrial Products. The Human Nutrition & Health segment delivers customized food and beverage ingredient systems, as well as key nutrients into a variety of applications across the food, supplement and pharmaceutical industries. The Animal Nutrition & Health segment manufactures and supplies products to numerous animal health markets. Through Specialty Products, Balchem provides specialty-packaged chemicals for use in healthcare and other industries, and also provides chelated minerals to the micronutrient agricultural market. The Industrial Products segment manufactures and supplies certain derivative products into industrial applications.