Demand surprises some at milk giveaway

Updated: Apr. 21, 2020 at 2:32 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Cars lined up around the block at Watertown's Community Action Planning Council building Tuesday for a giveaway of dairy products.

The CAPC had milk to give away - more than 4,000 gallons of it - and people in cars lined Watertown's Davidson Street to get their share.

"I didn't expect this much. It's kind of surreal of how many people are in need right now," said Mary Mathewson, CAPC Family Center director.

The dairy donations were a combined effort of the American Dairy Association North East, the Dairy Farmers of America, and Dean Foods.

"We're helping the farmers out. We're helping get the milk out to people that need it," said Melinda Gault, CAPC executive director.

There was a high demand for food at the CAPC and officials with organizations that help distribute food say that need can be seen throughout the north country.

"There's more and more families that are not receiving their regular paychecks. That's a major driver to put people in a position to be able to have to go to food banks or food pantries," said Jamie Cox, CEO, United Way of Northern New York.

Lynn Hy from the Food Bank of Central New York says north country food banks and pantries saw a spike in use last month.

"We saw a 20 percent increase in the number of households that were going to the emergency food network to get food," said Hy.

Cox says food pantries need donations of funds over food.

"If you have $5 you were going to spend at the grocery store to buy a donation, please consider giving that $5 to the food pantry," he said.

Here’s the list of north country food pantries

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