As food banks face increased demand and there is limited freezer capacity for perishable donations, the shelf-stable, whole milk can be distributed immediately, or up to nine months from now.
The milk donation originates from KanPak U.S., a dairy products subsidiary of Golden State Foods (GSF), one of the largest diversified suppliers to the foodservice and retail industries.
KanPak's U.S. and China operations process more than 25m gallons of dairy products each year, applying aseptic processing and packaging technology, so the milk lasts up to nine months without refrigeration.
"I saw on TV that they were throwing milk away, and I thought that was crazy," said Larry McGill, corporate vice president, GSF and CEO of KanPak U.S.
"I knew that there had to be something that we could do to help."
New product launches typically take at least three to four months, including regulatory approvals, package design, and quality assurance protocols. From food manufacturing and distribution to nonprofit partnerships and vendor collaboration, KanPak has leveraged expertise, infrastructure, and relationships from across the GSF group of companies and beyond to kick-start the surplus milk bottling initiative.
Utilizing readily-available capacity on an existing bottling line installed in early 2019, KanPak's initial production run fast-tracked 150,000 eight-ounce bottles of milk to market. Subsequent runs will potentially double that quantity to 30,000 total gallons of long-shelf-life milk.
With transportation support from Centralized Freight Management (CFM), GSF's freight management company, about two-thirds of the first production run has shipped across the county to Second Harvest Food Bank's facility in Irvine, also the home of GSF's global headquarters. Through the non-profit GSF Foundation, two semi-truck loads of donated milk will benefit the most vulnerable community members experiencing food insecurity amid escalating economic hardship.
In addition to Second Harvest, Kansas Food Bank will also receive a milk donation from the first production run, as the first two of many community organizations that KanPak hopes to support.
KanPak said that not only does the effort serve families in need, but it also keeps its production plant associates busy making milk and supporting America's economy.