The first donation was made in October — more than 30,000 pounds of white cheddar valued at more than $50,000 packaged in 40-pound blocks at a warehouse in Reeseville.
The Hunger Task Force, grateful for the chance to distribute what for many families in need is a luxury item, broke those blocks into 2-pound chunks and began distributing them at food pantries and meal programs throughout Milwaukee.
But the Wisconsin-based Dairy Pricing Association wasn't done. There was still more cheese to give.
In a letter written by Hunger Task Force Executive Director Sherrie Tussler released Tuesday thanking the association for its tremendous gift, it was announced a second, larger donation was in the works.
The DPA purchased an additional 40,000 pounds of white cheddar worth around $76,000 from Nasonville Dairy in Marshfield earlier this month that it will give to Hunger Task Force in January.
"While Wisconsin may be famous for its cheese, the need for such a high-quality item among our food-insecure households is tremendous," Tussler wrote.
The 40,000 donation will be distributed to local pantries and meal programs in 2-pound blocks in the same way as the previous donation.
"Hunger Task Force is grateful to the farmer-members of the Dairy Pricing Association for their foresight and support of Free & Local in Wisconsin! We would encourage all dairy farmers to consider being a part of this worthy cause and 'help themselves by helping others,'" Tussler wrote.
The Dairy Pricing Association, located in Taylor, works with dairy producers to remove excess inventory from the market and donate it to those in need.
The cheese donations from the DPA are timely, considering dairy producers in the United States are currently sitting on the largest national cheese surplus in three decades. The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced in August it would buy 11 million pounds of cheese valued at $20 million from private inventories and donate it to food pantries throughout the country to reduce supply.