Open up your fridge right now and there’s a pretty good chance there’s some milk in there — it’s a nutrition staple for many people.    

For the hungry in our community it can be a luxury, and a main source for them may be drying up.

Five days a week, the Rock River Valley Pantry opens its doors for anyone in need to offer meat, bread, produce, among other items. For the elderly and families with children under 18, a separate program is also offered.

“The Rock River Valley Pantry distributes 396 gallons of milk per week,” sid Rock River Valley Pantry executive director Kim Adams-Bakke. “We reserve 75 gallons of those for adults that are older than 65. But the balance of the milk goes out to children.”

To keep filling that demand, the pantry teamed up with Leadership Rockford to kick off a Go-Fund-Me campaign.

Adams-Bakke says it’s crucial as it becomes more difficult to receive government aid.

“We’re providing a basic human need,” said Adams-Bakke. “That’s food. By helping to provide milk for these families, you’re helping to meet a basic human need.”

The milk program costs the food pantry $15,000 a year.

“How would you like to open up your refrigerator and see no milk for breakfast for your child?,” said Adams-Bakke. ” Do you give them a dry bowl of cereal?”

Every Tuesday the pantry receives hundreds of gallons of milk. But this week, the crates sit empty.

“You know with the holidays, scheduling, something happened” said Adams-Bakke. “We just won’t be able to provide that milk to the families and older adults that are in need of it.”

Adams-Bakke says she’s working to get milk in as soon as possible, but adds it could mean the pantry goes without for a few days.

“Unfortunately, there may be a few families that come through that wouldn’t get the dairy that they’re used to,” said Adams-Bakke.

In addition to the Go-Fund-Me page, the Rock River Valley Pantry has other ways residents can help fill the dairy need.

“If they wanted to go to the local retailer and buy milk, we just got to make sure that the milk caps are sealed and have not been open.”

The Rock River Valley Pantry says it takes just $5 to provide milk for four families. To donate, click here.

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