UConn 4-H and Partners Move Over 78,000 Pounds of Dairy Products to Support Connecticut Communities
UConn 4-H, the youth development program of Extension in the UConn College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources has moved 78,894 pounds of dairy products to date – the equivalent of six full-size elephants – during Operation Community Impact. 4-H members and volunteers are working with community partners and the UConn Extension Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP). Deliveries of dairy products were made to 96 food pantries in 57 towns statewide. The effort has involved 88 Extension families that donated their time to help unload and deliver the dairy products.
The most recent donation, 33 pallets of ice cream, was received last week from H.P. Hood in Suffield. “We are glad to partner with a wonderful organization such as 4-H and UConn Extension to provide assistance to local Connecticut communities when we can,” says Megan Uricchio of H.P. Hood, and an alumni of UConn 4-H Hartford County.
Milk donations were received from Dairy Farmers of America through their local facility, Guida’s Dairy. Agri-Mark Cooperative and Cabot Creamery donated yogurt and sour cream. All of these products were previously distributed to facilities statewide. Fluid milk donations totaled 8,640 gallons – that is more than the amount needed to fill an 18-foot round swimming pool.
The Freshplace food pantry in Hartford County stated: “Our Freshplace food pantry serves 100 individuals and families in the North end of Hartford – the poorest neighborhoods in Hartford. Most of our participants do not have access to a grocery store and depend on small bodegas that have a very limited supply of dairy products, fresh veggies, etc. This has become a much larger problem due to the current COVID situation. The delivery of the generous donation of milk will help not only our Freshplace participants but many of our other clients who are having a very hard time obtaining food. We have expanded our Freshplace services beyond our Freshplace members to encompass all Chrysalis Center clients in need of food. The milk is an incredible addition to our daily deliveries! Thanks so much – this definitely shows that we are all in this together!”
A Fairfield County food pantry that serves 115 families said, “The families that our pantry serves are in significant crisis right now. They are relying on the food pantry for all of their food/meals. Typically, we are very limited in the amounts of dairy products we are able to receive and distribute. The milk, yogurt and sour cream has been a blessing – and has made a real impact. Families are now able to add this to their meals, providing a more balanced, nutritional meal and promoting overall health and well-being. THANK YOU!”
Community service is a key component of the 4-H civic engagement mission. This project provides UConn 4-H members the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of consumers and dairy producers. Operation Community Impact would not be possible without the efforts of many community partners, volunteers, food pantries and businesses statewide that the project is serving. We extend our heartfelt appreciation to everyone helping to connect those in need with the milk and dairy donations. We created this short video to thank our dairy donors:https://bit.ly/DairyCollaborations.
UConn 4-H is the youth development program of UConn Extension. 4-H is a community of over 6 million young people across America who are learning Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), leadership, citizenship and life skills through their 4-H project work. 4-H provides youth with the opportunity to develop lifelong skills including civic engagement and healthy living. Learn more and enroll your child in the UConn 4-H program athttp://4-H.uconn.edu/.
UConn Extension has collaborated with our partners, communities and stakeholders for over 100 years. We are proud to serve all 169 cities and towns in Connecticut. The worldwide pandemic involving COVID-19 (coronavirus) has produced unprecedented challenges in the UConn community and around the world. Our services continue during this challenging time. All of our educators are working and serving their audiences.
Extension professionals and trained volunteers engage the state’s diverse population to make informed choices and better decisions. The partnerships enrich our lives and our environment. TheHighlights of Extension annual reportshowcases program achievements from the past year.
Our Extension faculty and staff are effectively responding to the new challenges as well. They are utilizing technology and mobilizing resources to help families, communities, businesses, farmers, and other stakeholders. For example, our extension specialists and 4-H volunteers are helping distribute thousands of gallons of dairy products weekly to families in need throughout the state. There are many other examples of how the CAHNR family is responding to help our communities.
Extension programs address the full range of issues set forth in CAHNR’s strategic initiatives:
Ensuring a vibrant and sustainable agricultural industry and food supply
Enhancing health and well-being locally, nationally, and globally
Designing sustainable landscapes across urban-rural interfaces
Advancing adaptation and resilience in a changing climate
TheExpanded Food and Nutrition Education Program(EFNEP) helps families learn about healthy eating, shopping on a budget, cooking and physical activity. EFNEP staff strive to empower participants, providing knowledge and skills to improve the health of all family members. Participants learn through doing, with cooking, physical activity and supportive discussions about nutrition and healthy habits.
EFNEP classes will help you to prepare delicious, low-cost, healthy meals for you and your family! Contact the office near you for more information!
Olivia Knight and Yutin Zhao, our students, have been creating flyers and information related to keeping your family healthy and safe during the coronavirus pandemic. Resources below can be downloaded or printed by clicking on the image.
5 Things You Can Do To Avoid COVID-19 Scams
Food Safety and COVID-19
Food Shopping and COVID-19
Immune Boosting Nutrients
Coping with Stress
Stress and COVID-19
Tips for Parents and Caregivers of Children During COVID-19
5 cosas que puede hacer para evitar las estafas COVID-19
Seguridad de Alimentos y COVID-19
Comprar Comestibles y COVID-19
Lidiar con el Estres
Estres Y COVID-19
Recommended Cleaning Agents to Kill Coronavirus in Your Home
There are amazing stories from across Connecticut about the efforts being made to feed our communities.
Responding to COVID-19 requires generosity and ingenuity.
We recognize, more than ever, it is clear the roles schools play and the necessity of school meal programs to connect and serve healthy and local food with our communities.
Put local on Your Tray is teaming up with Northeast farm-to-school folks to collect stories and photos of how #CommunitiesFeedKids in this pandemic.
Our goal is to spread gratitude and inspiration for the hard work school nutrition professionals are doing to feed kids during the Covid-19 crisis, lifting up school meals and how critically important they are so we build toward a changed, more resilient system in the future.
We invite you to share the story of your community feeding kids in response to COVID-19! #CommunitiesFeedKids
Chickens are increasing in popularity with many residents, and for good reason. Owning poultry provides a source of fresh eggs, and is fun. At some point, you may have questions while you are home with chickens
UConn Extension, part of the UConn College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources has a suite of resources for poultry owners. Videos, fact sheets and advice from our educators can help new chicken owners or seasoned poultry professionals enhance your skills and improve the health and wellbeing of your chickens.
Our poultry care video series with retired Extension Educator Dr. Mike Darre from the UConn Department of Animal Science can answer many of your questions. There are 10 videos:
How to hold your birds,
How to inspect your birds,
Determining if your chicken is a good layer,
Fact sheets on small flock management and poultry health issues are available at http://bit.ly/UConnPoultry. Links to other poultry resources are available on this site as well. Information covered includes breeds of chickens, coop designs, scaling up egg production, managing guinea fowl, and cleaning and disinfecting your poultry house, among others.
If you still have question, you can submit them online and one of our Extension Specialists will provide you with answers and additional resources. Submit your question at: https://bit.ly/AskUConnYourQuestions. You can also share your experiences and photos of your flock on social media with our hashtag, #HomeWithChickens.
UConn CAHNR Extension has more than 100 years’ experience strengthening communities in Connecticut and beyond. Extension programs address the full range of issues set forth in CAHNR’s strategic initiatives:
Ensuring a vibrant and sustainable agricultural industry and food supply
Enhancing health and well-being locally, nationally, and globally
Designing sustainable landscapes across urban-rural interfaces
Advancing adaptation and resilience in a changing climate.
Programs delivered by Extension reach individuals, communities, and businesses in each of Connecticut’s 169 municipalities.
UConn 4-H, the youth development program of Extension in the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources is organizing Operation Community Impact. This afternoon, 4-H members and volunteers are working with community partners and the UConn Extension Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) to deliver 7,200 half-gallons of milk donated by Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) through their local facility, Guida’s Dairy in New Britain.
Operation Community Impact has two primary goals: to address community food insecurity issues and to reduce the amount of surplus milk that is being discarded due to the COVID-19 crisis. Background information on the project includes:
Because 30% of the fluid milk usually gets sold to restaurants, schools and institutions that are now closed; therefore, there is a huge surplus of fluid milk on the market that cannot be expeditiously processed into more shelf stable products like dried milk and butter.
The price of milk for the farmers have dropped from $19.00 per hundred pounds to $13.00 per hundred pounds because of this surplus.
Cows continue to produce milk at the same rate. As a result, hundreds of dairy farms across the country are now forced to dump their milk because the dairy plants have such a surplus, they have no room at the plants to store and process the milk because of the drop off in demand.
Meanwhile, food pantries are in desperate need of more food to help provide nourishment for the increasing number of individuals with food insecurity, due to the pandemic and more people losing their jobs.
DFA has generously agreed to donate 15 pallets of half-gallons of whole milk on Monday, May 4th, equaling 7,200 half-gallons, to be shared with food pantries across the state. UConn 4-H members and volunteers are distributing the milk in Litchfield County, Fairfield County, Hartford County, New London County, Tolland County and Windham County.
“DFA Northeast farm families are pleased to donate milk processed at our Guida’s facility to provide nutritious dairy for family tables across Connecticut,” says Jennifer Huson of Dairy Farmers of America.
UConn 4-H and EFNEP educators are connecting with local food pantries in each county to deliver the milk. 4-H members and volunteers, Extension educators, and EFNEP program partners deliver the milk from a central drop off location in each county. Other businesses and partners are donating refrigerated trucks and space to assist with Operation Community Impact.
“I am thrilled to be able to help coordinate this effort because I know firsthand how hard all farmers work to produce food for the rest of us,” says Bill Davenport, the UConn Extension educator coordinating Operation Community Impact, and the Litchfield County 4-H coordinator.
“When I heard about dumping milk because of the supply issue due to the school and restaurant closures, I decided we need to try to get some of this milk out of the surplus to help farmers stay in business and into the hands of families who are food insecure,” Bill says. “It makes no sense that we are dumping milk while there are people who desperately need food. Over 1,200 truckloads of milk are being dumped each day across the country so I decided to involve our amazing 4-H youth and parents to help connect the dots since the distribution of the milk is where the system is falling apart and need help. I hope that our actions will increase awareness of the issue and encourage others to help do the same across Connecticut and the region so that we can help move more milk out of the surplus and into the refrigerators of people who desperately need it.”
This is the third UConn 4-H dairy product distribution effort in two weeks. At the end of this effort, they will have helped secure donations and distributed 8,640 half-gallons of fresh milk and over 28,000 pounds of yogurt and sour cream from the dairy surplus inventory to families across Connecticut. The yogurt and sour cream were donated by the Agri-Mark Cooperative and Cabot.
“Hartford County 4-H is excited to deliver this fresh milk to individuals and families throughout Hartford County. The actions of our 4-H members and volunteers, truly exemplify the words of the 4-H pledge “hands to larger service,” states Jen Cushman, a UConn Extension educator and coordinator of Hartford County 4-H.
Community service is a key component of civic engagement in 4-H. This project provides 4-H members the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of consumers and dairy producers. We hope to secure more donations of milk and other dairy products so we can continue this effort over the next few weeks, or as long as it is needed. Bill Davenport, Litchfield County 4-H UConn Extension Educator, who grew up on a dairy farm in Litchfield and owns dairy cows in his brother’s herd in Ancram, New York, came up with the idea after learning about the milk surplus and that some farms had to dump their milk due to the challenges in the supply chain during the pandemic. Bill spearheaded this effort by securing the donations.
Operation Community Impact would not be possible without the efforts of many community partners, volunteers, food pantries and businesses in each of the six counties that the project is serving. We extend our heartfelt appreciation to everyone helping to connect those in need with the milk and dairy donations.
About Dairy Farmers of America
Dairy Farmers of America is a national, farmer-owned dairy cooperative focusing on quality, innovation and the future of family dairies. While supporting and serving more than 13,000 family farmers, DFA works with some of the world’s largest food companies to develop ingredients that satisfy their customers’ cravings while staying committed to social responsibility and ethical farming. For more information, please visit dfamilk.com.
About Guida’s Dairy
Since 1886, Guida’s Dairy has been providing high-quality dairy products to consumers in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Northern New Jersey, New York City, Long Island and eastern New York. In 2012, the company became a part of Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), a national, farmer-owned cooperative, based in Kansas City, Kan. Guida’s Dairy offers an extensive line of products, including fluid milk, cream, ice cream mixes, fruit drinks, orange juice and a variety of other dairy products. For more information about Guida’s Dairy and our products, visit guidas.com.
About UConn 4-H
4-H is a national program with six million youth participating in various project areas who learn life skills, supervised by over 500,000 volunteer leaders. UConn 4-H serves over 17,000 Connecticut youth each year.
The 4-H program is organized into four program areas including Agriculture, Civic Engagement, Healthy Living and STEM. These themes all overlap throughout the 4-H experience, with emphasis placed on creating well-rounded individuals. 4-H is the youth development program offered through the UConn Extension system within the UConn College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources. The purpose of UConn as Connecticut’s land grant university is to provide the citizens of Connecticut with educational opportunities through teaching, research and extension programming. For more information about 4-H and how to join visit 4-H.uconn.edu.
Today’s Drop Off Locations
Hartford County: Hartford County’s allotment of 1,368 half-gallons to over 21 food pantries throughout Hartford County, on the afternoon of Monday, May 4, 2020 at approximately 1 PM at the Windsor Park and Ride (just of rt. 291/91) where it will be offloaded into waiting vehicles owned by 4-H member families. Those vehicles will each then drive directly to their designated food pantry and safely deliver the milk to be handed out to food pantries. Contact: Jennifer.Cushman@uconn.edu or 860-409-9074.
Litchfield County: 1 PM at Litchfield Community Center – 421 Bantam Rd, Litchfield, CT 06759 – Contact William.Davenport@uconn.edu or cell number: 860-459-6753
Your kitchen cabinet may be stocked with adequate cleaning supplies to kill Coronaviruses, but you need to be careful as not all chemicals will work.
Each disinfecting chemical product has its own specific instructions. An important rule is that you should not immediately wipe a cleaning solution off as soon as you have sprayed it on a surface. It needs to sit for a specified period of time to kill viruses first. You do not need to spend a lot of money on supplies – you can buy bleach and make a simple bleach solution at home.
GENERAL DISINFECTING GUIDELINES
It is important to use detergent or soap and water on unclean surfaces before you disinfect them. There is a difference between cleaning and disinfecting. Disinfecting is what kills the viruses.
The United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that you do daily disinfecting for frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs, light switches, keyboards, phones, toilets, sinks etc. Coronavirus can last up to 16 hours on surfaces so daily disinfecting is important
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a list of household disinfectants that should be effective against Coronaviruses. A full list is at epa.gov.
These products will be labeled that they kill bacteria and viruses (for example Lysol and Clorox products).
The ONLY household product capable of killing Coronavirus is a diluted household bleach solution.
Check to be sure the Bleach is not past its expiration date.
NEVER mix bleach with ammonia or any other household cleaner. This can release dangerous fumes.
To prepare a bleach solution: Add 4 teaspoons Bleach per Quart of water. Let the solution sit on surfaces at least 1 minute and then give the surface a wipe. Use the solution within 24 hours (after that it loses its disinfecting effectiveness).
If you have Asthma or other breathing problems- be careful not breathing in this solution as it can give off fumes.
Alcohol in any form, including rubbing alcohol, can be used to kill Coronavirus. You should dilute alcohol with water, but you need to keep an alcohol concentration of around 70% alcohol to kill coronavirus. 100 % alcohol is actually less effective and it dries off from surfaces too fast.
Hard liquor, like Vodka is NOT effective. Vodka is 80 proof which means it is only 40% alcohol, that is not high enough to effectively kill Coronaviruses
Hand sanitizers (check the label) should have an alcohol concentration of at least 60% alcohol to kill Coronaviruses. Not all hand sanitizers will kill viruses.
NATURAL HOUSEHOLD CHEMICALS
Vinegar (any kind), Baking Soda, Tea Tree Oil or any other Oils are NOT effective in killing Coronaviruses. Do NOT use these to disinfect your home
These tips can help you clean and disinfect your home to protect yourself and your loved ones. Paying attention to those products that are effective in killing Coronaviruses will protect your home. Cleaning and disinfecting every day on surfaces at home will kill these viruses.