Central Catholic FFA collects 841 gallons of milk for needy

Members of the Modesto, Calif., Central Catholic High School FFA chapter with some of the milk that was solicited to be donated to area nonprofits, food banks and preschools.

The Central Catholic FFA in Modesto, Calif., hosted a milk drive in response to being challenged by the Merced Golden Valley FFA Chapter for the #10GallonChallenge.

Students, community and family members of Central Catholic helped to collect 841 gallons of milk. The donations were distributed to 18 food pantries, preschools, homeless shelters, and nonprofit organizations. Milk was delivered to Modesto, Ceres, Turlock, Manteca, Stockton, Lodi and Oakdale.

The 10 Gallon Challenge started when a farm news broadcaster from Wisconsin wanted to move milk off store shelves in hopes that the price would raise. Since its inception, farmers have been challenged over social media using the hostage #10GallonChallenge. After collecting the milk they donated it to local food banks.

California is home to just over 1,300 dairies, 99 percent of which are family-owned operations. With regulations, high costs of operating, and low prices dairy farmers are in a tough spot. Many farms are going out of business because they can not withstand the market. The 10 Gallon Challenge hopes to raise awareness of the low prices by moving milk off of the shelves and raise prices.

Recently, the Merced FFA Chapter hosted their own milk drive collecting 119 gallons. They then challenged the Merced Golden Valley FFA who collected 281 gallons. When Central Catholic heard the news that they had been challenged, they set a goal for 450 gallons. After the first collection day on Monday, Oct. 22, it became apparent that they would far exceed their goal.

The Central Catholic FFA would like to thank all those who donated to the milk drive. They hope others are encouraged and inspired to start their own #10GallonChallenge.

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