‘The Great American Milk Drive’ took place throughout the month of April in effort to fund raise milk for the HACAP Food Reservoir with the ultimate goal of better serving those in need of substantial nutrition. This month-long event was hosted at the 13 Cedar Rapids and Marion Hy-Vee Stores and in partnership with Land O’ Lakes and nine additional business sponsors that collectively, matched 4,050 gallons of milk. The Drive was hosted to help combat hunger and milk insecurity right in our backyard. In Linn County, 1 in 4 kids go hungry. Additionally, one of the most requested (yet rarely available) staple items of food banks is milk. Until this Milk Drive, HACAP received zero gallons of milk on a weekly basis. In total, over 20,000 gallons of milk were donated to HACAP through the month-long Great American Milk Drive – hosted by Hy-Vee and made possible by thousands of generous Hy-Vee customers who gave all month long. The final total of milk donated more than doubled the initial fundraising goal of 10,000 gallons – 20,000.5 gallons of milk. Beginning in May 2015, 1,000 gallons of milk were delivered by Land O’ Lakes – directly to the HACAP Food Reservoir each week. From there, 58 Linn County HACAP partner agencies picked up fresh milk weekly through September 2015. These agencies, also represented at The Great American Milk Drive press conference in May, were incredibly grateful for the milk received for the youth and families they serve in Linn County. Please use this link to view the promotional video: https://youtu.be/ah3twKpF6QI
13 Cedar Rapids and Marion Hy-Vee Stores participated in the Great American Milk Drive. POS generated by MilkPep was used to promote the drive uniformly across the market. Land O Lakes set up tent events each weekend at all of the stores to distribute free milk, milk mustaches and coupons. Hy-Vee led the program with project coordination, POS distribution and checker interaction to encourage donations. Customer donations totaled over 15,000 gallons of milk. This project was a true collaboration of many supportive partners, local businesses and customers – all with the purpose of combating hunger in the Corridor, an especially important goal during the summer months as much of the youth in our community has little or no access to nutrient dense meals. In total, 20,000.5 gallons of milk were collected and donated to HACAP for direct distribution through September 2015. Hy-Vee donated 1,000 gallons of milk to the project.
1) To effectively educate the Cedar Rapids/Marion community about food insecurities in Linn County. 2) To generate milk donations at the register to benefit the Linn County Area HACAP partners – 58 total. 3) To provide milk to children and families in Linn County throughout the summer months, when school is out – and for many kids, nutritional meals lacking. 4) Program goal of donating 10,000 gallons of milk to HACAP for direct distribution. (Exceeded in first 14 days; goal increased to 20,000 gallons of milk.) Promotional video: https://youtu.be/ah3twKpF6QI
The program was incredibly successful in many ways: 1- The initial goal of 10,000 gallons of milk was surpassed in the first 2 weeks of the program. 2- The program generated buzz in the community, which led to television interviews on both local news stations. This helped increase awareness of the HACAP Food Reservoir and prompt customers to give more. 3- The milk donated through this program was distributed directly to Linn Area HACAP partners weekly, allowing children and families to have fresh milk weekly for 20 straight weeks – May through September 2015 – with 20,000.5 gallons in total being donated. 4- The program rallied the community around a very meaningful cause, fundraising much needed milk for local agencies serving those with food insecurities. 5- The program was honored for the Best Practices Awards “Collaborative Business Planning” at the 2015 Category Management Conference in Orlando in September 2015. *Please see attachments for impact additions.
“In addition to greeting customers with ‘a helpful smile in every aisle,’ Hy-Vee takes those same smiles - beyond the aisles and into the community. Thus, it is important to us that we support local initiatives and give back to those in need," said Andy Streit, Marion Hy-Vee Store Director. "With milk being the number one requested item at the local Food Reservoir, and at the same time, the least received item - a milk drive was the obvious answer for us to help combat a serious food insecurity in the Cedar Rapids and Marion area. We were thrilled to host the first Great American Food Drive in the Corridor and consequently, help enrich the lives of so many children and families throughout the past five months by providing them with a weekly supply of milk." -Andy Streit, Marion Hy-Vee Store Director