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The milk would have gone to schools, but now it's going to food pantries

Posted at 6:51 PM, May 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-06 18:51:11-04

CORFU, N.Y. (WKBW) — Dairy farmers have extra milk now that New York schools will not be wrapping up the rest of the year in the classroom. Some farms are forced to dump excess milk, but many others are finding ways to support their community.

The coronavirus pandemic isn't slowing down work at Reyncrest Farm. The Reynolds family takes care of 1,200 cows.

“The cows all need to be fed and milked. We have babies born here every day that need to be fed and cared for. The day to day on our farm hasn't really changed very much,” said Kelly Reynolds.

Each cow makes about 10 gallons of milk a day. 12,000 gallons of milk are produced every 24 hours.

“A lot of our milk was going to schools in New York City and all around the state,” Reynolds said.

Now that New York schools have closed the milk has one less place to go.

“It makes us anxious that there's not a home for our milk,” said Reynolds, “We can't flip a switch off and stop feeding and milking the cows and sending our milk out.>

Some farms have been forced to get rid of excess milk.

“Fortunately, our farm has not had to dump any of our milk. Some other farms in New York have had to,” Reynolds said.

That's where Upstate Niagara Cooperative comes in. They take milk from farmers and make Bison Dip and other products, or they put it in cartons for kids to drink at school. Without that need, they had to find a way to make sure milk doesn't go to waste.

“The nourish New York program has allowed milk that didn't have a home in a store to go to food banks and things like that,” Reynolds said.

Milk that would have gone to schools is now going to food pantries.

“That's making us feel like we're helping provide for those in need,” Reynolds said.