IDAHO — Three local mining companies are working together to support dairy farmers by helping turn their milk into butter and cheese to give to local food banks.
The three mines, Midas Gold, Integra Resources and Itafos Conda are joining Dairy West's Curds + Kindness initiative. This initiative started in May to help donate leftover dairy products to food banks.
"Hearing that the dairy industry was actually throwing product away, we started having some dialogue about how we bring that product to our communities and share it with those that have food insecurity," said Midas Gold Community Relations Manager, Belinda Provancher.
This program is giving near 200,000 gallons of milk, and total the Curds + Kindness has distributed out nearly one million pounds of milk to Idaho and Utah residents that they otherwise would have been thrown out.
"It was a great opportunity for us to be apart of," said Integra Resources Chief Operating Officer, Tim Arnold. "It's heartwarming to be able to see people turning out like this, and to be able to help them is just a benefit of the job."
With the mining companies getting involved, it brings dairy to hundreds of food-insecure families in rural Idaho.
"Its a miracle. It's a blessing," said Marsing resident, Barbara Garrett while picking up her food at the Marsing Middle School Hub. "We don't have to worry about going hungry, I'm just so thankful."
The mines are funding the making of the milk into cheese and butter, as well as distributing the products to the rural food banks in Marsing, Donnelly, Cascade and more.
"When I presented people with cheese and butter, which are products that are typically not received through food banks, they were so excited, like 'Oh my gosh we get cheese!'," said Provancher.
The distribution events are as follows:
June 19, completed – Food Banks in Cascade, Donnelly, New Meadows and Riggins
June 24, completed - Marsing HUB (Middle School site)
July 1, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. – Food Banks in Soda Springs and Montpelier
You can also check your local food bank to see if they have Curds + Kindness products.