(CBS4) — Milk is one of the most requested but harder to stock items at food banks. To help, Kroger Kroger is expanding its Dairy Rescue Program. Kroger and its dairy cooperative suppliers will process and donate 200,000 gallons of milk to food banks to support children and families during the COVID-19 pandemic through the summer months.

“Kroger recognizes the growing need for fresh, highly nutritious food in our community, especially for children as schools remain closed,” Erin Sharp, Kroger’s group vice president of manufacturing, stated. “At a time when dairy farmers have surplus raw milk, we’re doubling down on our mission to reduce hunger and waste.”

During the pandemic, dairy cooperatives will donate surplus milk normally sold to restaurants, schools and hotels, while Kroger will donate the processing and packaging of the donated milk.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic has forced businesses like restaurants and hotels across the country to close, some of America’s farmers are left without buyers for their dairy supply,” said Heather J. McCann, director of public affairs for Dairy Farmers of America’s Mideast Area. “Kroger’s Dairy Rescue Program is an invaluable resource for the dairy industry during this crisis and beyond, helping distribute and process surplus milk to communities who need it the most.”

“With so many families struggling with unemployment and food insecurity today, providing access to fresh, nutrient-rich milk has never been more important,” said Blake Thompson, chief supply chain officer, Feeding America. “Kroger’s Dairy Rescue Program is keeping America’s farmers productive, avoiding unnecessary food waste, and helping families in need.”

Kroger operates over 2,700 stores and several regional supermarket chains in 35 states — including King Soopers and City Market stores in Colorado.

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