Donation of customized cartons will benefit the Food Bank’s “Food 4 Kids” backpack program for chronically hungry children.
Source: Dean Foods news release
Dallas-based Dean Foods, one of the nation's leading food and beverage companies, has partnered with Tetra Pak, a leading food processing and packaging solutions company, to donate 250,000 cartons of milk to the North Texas Food Bank (NTFB).
The donation -– which will save NTFB $92,500 –- will supply milk for more than three months for the Food Bank’s “Food 4 Kids” program, which sends backpacks of nutritious food home with 8,250 chronically hungry school-age children each weekend.
“Nutritious, wholesome milk is critical for kids to grow up strong and healthy,” said Jan Pruitt, president and CEO of the North Texas Food Bank. “This donation is a natural extension of the work Dean Foods is already doing with the North Texas Food Bank: providing valuable volunteer time and, through the Dean Foods Foundation, making the largest corporate foundation pledge ever to help us feed and provide nutrition education to at-risk children and youth.”
Dean Foods employees hatched the idea of donating shelf-stable milk to NTFB when they volunteered in 2010 during September’s Hunger Action Month. Oak Farms does not currently produce milk in shelf-stable cartons, so the company turned to processing and packaging supplier Tetra Pak to create a solution.
Together, Dean Foods and Tetra Pak created a shelf-stable product in custom, North Texas Food Bank-branded cartons that can be stored at the NTFB’s warehouses until needed.
Volunteers from Dean Foods and Tetra Pak gathered at the Food Bank on Aug. 22, 2012, to pack customized cartons of milk they have donated and other nutritious food in backpacks for the “Food 4 Kids” program.
“Milk is a staple food item for growing children’s diets, which is why Dean Foods was committed to partnering with Tetra Pak to repeat the donation we first started last year,” said Gregg Tanner, president of Fresh Dairy Direct and chief supply chain officer of Dean Foods. “We’ve been a long-time supporter of the North Texas Food Bank’s Food 4 Kids weekend backpack program. These shelf-stable milk cartons can help ensure kids are getting the nourishment they need over the weekend, allowing them to be better prepared in the classroom.”
The donated milk is first processed at a high temperature and placed in Tetra Pak’s sterile packaging, sealing out contaminants and preventing spoiling without added preservatives. Tetra Pak’s shelf-stable cartons enable the product to retain its quality without refrigeration for up to 12 months from production.
“For the second year, we are happy to support our customer Dean Foods in such an important initiative,” said Carla Fantoni, vice president of communications for Tetra Pak US and Canada. “Shelf safe milk brings several benefits to consumers, but here, our technology is allowing the North Texas Food Bank to provide milk to children in need, which speaks to our company’s vision of making food safe and available everywhere. Our milk boxes don’t require refrigeration until opened and don’t require preservatives to be added, offering children nutritious milk anytime, anywhere.”
Another company, Evergreen Packaging, also made a donation toward the effort.