Dairy council delivers over 200,000 gallons of milk to help those in need

Nonprofit regional dairy council Dairy MAX, Grand Prairie, Texas, announced that more than 200,000 gallons of milk have been distributed to regional food banks in a multi-state area since May 2020 through the end of July as part of dairy farmer’s collective COVID-19 relief efforts.

Dairy MAX represents more than 900 dairy farm families across eight states.

The organization made the decision to quickly assist with milk distribution at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, mobilizing to assist regionally. Specifically, dairy farmers hoped to help feed Americans in need, providing nutrition, fighting hunger and caring for neighbors. More than 37 million Americans are fed through the Feeding America network of food banks and pantries each year. However, due to COVID-19, 17 million more Americans are relying on this same network.

Americans may not realize that milk is one of the most requested items at food banks, yet is also the least donated by individuals. Recently the U.S. Department of Agriculture began the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program to purchase and distribute agricultural products to those in need through local food banks. Through this program, the USDA purchased $317 million dollars in dairy products and assigned an additional $175 million to developing a combination box of fresh produce, dairy or meat products.

With the CFAP program and network in place, Dairy MAX farmers sought ways ensure food banks receive and distribute as much dairy as possible to families in need. Mass distribution quickly emerged at the start of the pandemic with many food banks setting up a distribution drive-through in centrally located large parking lots. The food is free, and families in need can drive up and receive a box of food in a safe, contactless manner.

Dairy MAX wanted to ensure these families were also receiving milk in addition to their fruits, vegetables, and meat offerings, but a transportation partner and refrigeration was needed to bridge the gap. Trucking partnerships began when Dairy MAX learned that Convoy, a digital freight network, was offering free transportation for truckloads of food being donated to Feeding America’s network of food banks across the country.


“When we heard about Convoy’s efforts delivering donations across the U.S. to food banks, our team immediately thought of them as a partner that could help us provide dairy to families in need,” said Mike Konkle, CEO of Dairy MAX. “We have been grateful for their help and partnership, which kick started our ability to bring dairy products quickly to food banks and families.”


As of May 1, Convoy has delivered more than 79,000 gallons of milk to mass distribution sites for the North Texas Food Bank, Houston Food Bank, Southeast Texas Food Bank and the Montana Food Bank Network. The impact of these four organizations is substantial, together serving 95 counties and working with more than 2,000 local food pantries and partner agencies whose mission is to feed those in need. As the pandemic continues, Convoy plans to continue delivering milk to areas in need and beyond.


Additionally, after a successful experience with Convoy, Dairy MAX has continued to grow its initiative of matching trucking partners to food banks by enlisting the help of others such as FedEx Custom Critical shipping service, Flexport freight, and Ryder Truck Rental.