GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD TV8)-Earlier this year, Grand Rapids-based Country Fresh Dairy announced that it would donate 100,000 specially designed, shelf-stable “Giving Cow™” milk packs to food banks in Michigan. Today, in partnership with Leppinks Food Centers, Country Fresh delivered more than 18,000 specially designed, shelf stable “Giving Cow” milks to IM Kids 3rd Meal for distribution to food insecure children in Ionia and Montcalm counties. IM Kids 3rd Meals provides food insecure children with a nutritious, ready-to-eat meal delivered right to a child’s school at the end of each day to take home for an evening meal ensuring children have access to the healthy food they need to thrive.

Giving Cow Milks offer a shelf-stable solution of ultra-high temperature (UHT) pasteurized milk, which have a shelf-life of up to 12 months. Typically, fresh milk has a shelf life of approximately 20 days from processing. The Giving Cow milk packages are specifically designed for food pantries and kids’ backpack programs to fight hunger and
will not be sold in stores.

“Giving back to our local communities is important to us at Country Fresh,” says Rachel Kyllo, spokesperson for the dairy brand. “Our Giving Cow milk packs provide valuable nutrition and are shelf-stable, so they don’t require refrigeration.” Millions of children living in America face hunger every day, and there is no community in the United States where hunger doesn’t exist. Locally, hunger affects one in five children in Ionia County and one in four children in Montcalm County.

“Country Fresh Dairy is helping IM Kids 3rd Meal serve hungry children through its generous support and donation of highly sought-after shelf-stable milk,” says Deborah Wagner, Director of Grants & Special Projects. “Given the ongoing shortage of milk and inflated food prices, were immensely grateful for this unique gift that will help support children in this community.”

“For 94 years, we have made it our mission to be more than just a grocery store,” says Robert Leppink, Director of Center Store at Leppinks Food Centers. “It’s been our goal to make a difference in the communities that we serve, which is why we’re very excited to partner with Country Fresh and IM Kids 3rd Meal to provide shelf-stable milk to the schools and communities that we serve in.”