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The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

RAH Food Pantry celebrates refrigerator and milk donation

Rams+Against+Hunger+Food+Pantry

Collegian | Tri Duong

Groceries fill a basket at the Rams Against Hunger Food Pantry Jan. 26, 2022. Produce, baking goods and feminine products are some of the items available there from the Food Bank for Larimer County.

Piper Russell, News Director

Colorado State University held a ribbon-cutting event Jan. 23 at the Rams Against Hunger Food Pantry located in the General Services Building.

The event was a celebration of Dairy MAX’s donation of a new commercial-grade refrigerator and Morning Fresh Dairy’s donation of 200 gallons of milk to the RAH Food Pantry.

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Michael Buttram, basic needs program manager at CSU, said Dairy MAX donated the refrigerator about a year ago, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, they weren’t able to commemorate the donation until the ribbon-cutting event, which also gave people the opportunity to learn about Dairy MAX and dairy farming.

“Specifically, something like dairy is incredibly valuable because it’s the nutritionally rich thing that’s sometimes hard to afford at the store. A student with limited income and limited funding is going to have to make hard decisions around, and maybe they won’t be able to afford that specific product that they’re told they need for their nutritional needs.” -Michael Buttram, basic needs program manager

The refrigerator was donated as part of Dairy MAX’s cooler program, in which they donate 64-gallon coolers to selected pantries. Feeding America food banks can submit applications for coolers. The program also specifies the coolers must only be used for dairy and that the food bank is responsible for providing a dairy supply to pantries, which can be sourced from U.S. Department of Agriculture programs, donations, purchases, etc.

As a nonprofit dairy council, Dairy MAX represents more than 900 dairy farms across eight states in an effort to “support dairy farming and drive impact for every dairy farmer,” according to their website. The organization works to be an advocate and educator of dairy, said Michelle Van Pelt, business development manager at Dairy MAX.

“During COVID, it became apparent to us that we needed to step up what we were doing in the community to make access possible,” Van Pelt said. “So we realized that refrigeration was a big barrier for a lot of pantries to be able to offer dairy to their clients.”

Morning Fresh Dairy, a fifth-generation family dairy farm, delivers to homes and businesses throughout Northern Colorado. Morning Fresh Dairy also does family-friendly dairy tours and runs the Howling Cow Cafe located on their farm.

“When you actually see the impacts locally and (on) your neighbors and your communities, it’s just that much more meaningful, especially when it’s like one-friend-removed is probably someone you’re helping,” said Amber Graves, continuous improvement director for Morning Fresh Dairy. 

Partnerships with organizations like Dairy MAX support the pantry and allow them to supply food to the students that use the food pantry, Buttram said.

“Specifically, something like dairy is incredibly valuable because it’s the nutritionally rich thing that’s sometimes hard to afford at the store,” Buttram said. “A student with limited income and limited funding is going to have to make hard decisions around, and maybe they won’t be able to afford that specific product that they’re told they need for their nutritional needs.”

The RAH food pantry is open 3-6 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday and 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday. RAH also provides various pocket pantries located throughout the CSU campus and runs the Ram Food Recovery Program and Meal Swipe Program.

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“Please consider this your resource; please come in and use it,” Buttram said. “I just am overjoyed to be a part of the process.”

Reach Piper Russell at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @PiperRussell10.

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About the Writer
Photo of Piper Russell
Piper Russell, News Editor

Piper Russell is one of The Collegian’s news editors this year and is thrilled to be working in the role. She started as a news reporter her sophomore...

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