Photo courtesy of Emily Elconin, The News & Advance.
Quality Products that Parents Can Trust
We love all of our customers, but some of our favorite customers are children because we know how beneficial milk can be for their health and growth. Milk provides important vitamins and minerals that children may not get through their diet like calcium, phosphorous, and B vitamins. When children say they enjoy our milk, it makes us happy because we know we offer a quality product that parents can trust.
So when the Dairy Alliance proposed a partnership between our dairy farm and two elementary schools in Lynchburg, Virginia, we jumped at the opportunity.
A Positive Impact
“I’m always looking for opportunities to positively impact the lives of our students. There are many ways we try to do that, but providing fresh, local milk to our students seemed like such a simple step in the right direction,” said Steele, who is in her third year as principal at Bedford Hills Elementary School.
The Dairy Alliance provided $11,000 in grant funding to get the local milk program up and running at Bedford Hills and Perrymont Elementary Schools, both in Lynchburg. This funding provided milk dispensers and refrigerated counters that store our five-gallon bags of milk.
The pilot program started at the end of the last school year in May 2018, but it didn’t take long for the elementary students to realize the difference between the cartons of milk they had been receiving and fresh Homestead Creamery milk.
“We were a little bit worried about how well the children, especially the youngest ones, would be able to get milk from the dispenser and carry it to their seats,” said Steele. So they figured out a solution: children choose a token to denote which type of milk they want and set it on the table at their seats. Cafeteria staff then bring the cups of milk to them.
“It works perfectly. Cartons seem easier, but the quality and freshness of the milk is worth it,” said Steele. “The children clearly love the milk and more of them have started drinking it now that we serve Homestead Creamery milk.”
Local Economy and Sustainability
Even though their primary goal was to increase student consumption of milk, the elementary schools also recognized the external benefits of partnering with Homestead Creamery. “For one, we wanted to support the local economy and agriculture. Homestead Creamery is about 50 miles away, and that means that our money is supporting our economy in the greater Lynchburg/Roanoke area,” said Steele.
“And finally, we recognize the benefit of using Homestead Creamery’s more sustainable packaging solutions,” said Steele. Instead of throwing away hundreds of milk cartons each day, the milk is packaged in large five-gallon bags. This produces much less waste and also helps ensure a fresher taste because the milk dispensers maintain a more constant temperature than traditional coolers.
More than Milk
Our partnership with Bedford Hills Elementary has moved beyond milk. “We really wanted each child to get a Bedford Hills Elementary School shirt, but we needed a sponsor to help pay for them,” said Steele. To support the great work that Bedford Hills and their students are doing, we sponsored the shirts so that around 500 students and staff could get a shirt. “They even helped us find someone to produce our shirts for a really good price,” Steele explained.
Our PTO made it a priority to get EVERY student and staff a FREE BHS T-Shirt to show our unity and school spirit! Homestead Creamery helped by making a very generous donation! Photo credit to @JPhillipsAndCo @homesteadcream #LCSEDU pic.twitter.com/lssGiDtkh1
— Principal Steele (@BedfordHillsES) October 4, 2019
We’re happy that Lynchburg City Schools have partnered with us to provide quality milk to students and look forward to working with them to promote healthy child development, economic growth, and sustainable packaging in Lynchburg schools.