Cass-Clay Creamery donates shelf-stable 'Giving Cow' milks to Great Plains Food Bank

Cass-Clay Creamery recently delivered more than 24,000 units of Giving Cow, a shelf-stabilized milk, to the Great Plains Food Bank — part of an announced donation of 82,000 units.

A row of single serve milk containers, with the words "The Giving Cow" and a Holstein design.
Cass-Clay Creamery is donating shelf-stable Giving Cow milk to the Great Plains Food Bank.
Evan Girtz / Agweek
We are part of The Trust Project.

FARGO, N.D. — An upper Midwest dairy brand has donated a highly-sought-after item to the Great Plains Food Bank.

Cass-Clay Creamery recently delivered more than 24,000 units of Giving Cow, a shelf-stabilized milk, to the food bank — part of an announced donation of 82,000 units. The single serve, eight-ounce milk has a shelf life of 12 months, as opposed to fresh milk, which is good for up to 20 days from processing. The shelf-stabilized milk will last longer on people's shelves and help better their meals, the food bank says.

"This can help enrich a full meal," said Kramer Stuth, Great Plains Food Bank logistics manager. "We try to give every client or neighbor a full meal the best that we can. And so having this product will be another staple in the meal we can provide for them."

The Great Plains Food Bank serves North Dakota and Clay County, Minnesota, and the food bank reports that more than 121,000 individuals are facing hunger in the region, with more than 40,000 of those being children. Milk is one of the most requested yet least donated items at food pantries, as facilities often lack sufficient cold storage.

“Giving back to our local communities is important to us at Cass-Clay,” says Rachel Kyllo, spokesperson for the dairy brand. “Our Giving Cow milk packs provide valuable nutrition and are shelf-stable, so they don’t require refrigeration.”


A truck that says Great Plains Food Bank sits outside a brick building.
Great Plains Food Bank distributes food to partner organizations throughout North Dakota and Clay County, Minnesota.
Evan Girtz / Agweek

The Giving Cow milks are specifically designed for food shelves and kids backpack programs to fight hunger and will not be sold in stores.

“Milk is still one of the most requested items by those we serve and our network of partner food pantries,” Great Plains Food Bank CEO Melissa Sobolik said in a statement. “These Giving Cow milks help us put milk on the tables for families and because they have a long shelf-life are a staple in our BackPack Program. We cannot thank Cass-Clay Creamery enough for their continued innovation and support.”

The milk will be distributed to more than 100 communities, just in time for the holidays, which Great Plains says is the time that donations are most needed. Great Plains Food Bank will distribute the milk through its network of food pantries, shelters, soup kitchens and other charitable feeding programs in North Dakota and Clay County, Minnesota.

The donation was made in partnership with the North Dakota Grocers Association.

“The North Dakota Grocers Association is excited about Cass Clay Creamery and its donation of ‘Giving Cow’ milk packs to area food banks,” says John Dyste, President of the North Dakota Grocers Association. “Cass-Clay is an important member of our organization and exemplifies the values of giving back to their community.”

Emily grew up on a small grains and goat farm in southern Ohio. After graduating from The Ohio State University, she moved to Fargo, North Dakota to pursue a career in ag journalism with Agweek. She enjoys reporting on livestock and local agricultural businesses.
What to read next
Lynn and Jason Kotrba have a personal connection with Huntington's Disease and wanted to help with the potentially life-saving Huntington's Disease research.
With the original manufacturer no longer in existence, it is becoming more and more difficult for Willmar Municipal Utilities to find replacement parts for its aging wind turbines.
In November, the U.S. Department of Agriculture designated 10 Minnesota counties as primary disaster areas, making them eligible for emergency loans. USDA also has designated four South Dakota, 10 Iowa counties, four Nebraska counties and counties in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Montana disaster counties.
The 81st annual Minnesota Farmers Union State Convention was held at the Delta Hotels by Marriott in Northeast Minneapolis, and the 104th annual Minnesota Farm Bureau convention was held at the DoubleTree Hotel in Bloomington, Minnesota.