Salvation Army milk funds run dry
The Salvation Army is kicking off its annual Moola for Milk campaign in September, and this year the need is greater than ever before, according to Duana Bremer, administrative director of the Salvation Army's office in Somerset.
Bremer said tough economic times and the drought are to blame for the great need for milk "moola". With the economy causing poverty and the drought driving food prices up, Bremer said she estimates the Salvation Army will need to raise $30,000, in addition to a $14,000 grant from the Hugh J Andersen Foundation, in order to keep up with demand.
Bremer said the Salvation Army has actually run out of money for the milk program now, and won't be able to continue giving Milk tickets until the September fundraiser starts bringing funds in.
"If we end up even just raising $28,000, that would be a huge help," Bremer said. "I think it's real important to have that fresh gallon of milk on the dinner table."
She said she wanted to make sure families get milk for the nutritional value, but keeping gallons of milk stocked in the food pantry is impractical, as it may go bad before it can be picked up by families in need. Instead Bremer uses the Moola for Milk funds to buy milk tickets. Each ticket entitles a family to a free gallon of milk from the grocery store.
When it first began five years ago, the Moola for Milk campaign brought in less than $5,000 for the milk program, but it was enough to keep the food pantry supplied and give students in the backpack program a milk ticket once every week, Bremer said.
Now, Bremer said the program has expanded to cover all of Pierce, Polk and St. Croix counties, and the program brought in $24,284.84 last year, in addition to a $14,000 grant the Salvation Army received from the Hugh J Andersen Foundation for the milk program.
The Salvation Army collects money for the Moola for Milk campaign through counter kettles at local grocery stores, local school fundraisers, and selling paper cows through local churches. Bremer said people can also donate directly to the Moola for Milk Campaign by writing out a check to Grace Place with "Milk Program" or "Moola for Milk" on the memo section of the check.