KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Food pantries across the country struggle with keeping milk on their shelves. Tuesday, two local companies donated thousands of containers of shelf-stable milk to a Kalamazoo Food Pantry.

Country Fresh Dairy and Harding’s Friendly Markets donated several cases of the milk to Kalamazoo Loaves and Fishes. The shelf-stable milk will last up to 12 months without refrigeration. Farmers with Country Fresh say they saw a need and wanted to find a way to help.  

“The farmers wanted to give something back to the communities that they serve. And they heard about this need for milk at the food banks and the difficulty the food banks had in handling milk so that’s how it came to be,” said Bill Wernet from Country Fresh Dairy.

“So it is something that is requested often but as mentioned sometimes it’s difficult for people and different pantries to store because of the cold storage so this shelf stable is a great opportunity,” said Greta Faworksi, associate director at Kalamazoo Loaves and Fishes.

Country Fresh Dairy has plans to donate 100,000 packs of the shelf-stable milks to food pantries throughout the State of Michigan.