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Milking a good thing: with The Great American Milk Drive, MilkPEP is helping retailers help their communities.

In 2014, the dairy industry and Feeding America proudly launched The Great American Milk Drive, a unique partnership to address the critical need for nutrient-rich milk in America's food banks. The program is specifically optimized for the retail environment and since its launch last year, we have seen impressive results at national, regional and local retail chains, benefiting stores and the local communities to which they serve. To date, more than 350,000 gallons of milk have helped benefit local families in need, and more and more retailers are making the program their own by partnering with local food banks, milk companies, local Dairy Councils and other partner organizations. I invite you to join The Great American Milk Drive efforts today by activating in your markets.

Turnkey Program for Retailer Activation

At MilkPEP, we support retailers every step of the way, tailoring to specific needs and integrating with existing plans. This turnkey program is free to retailers and designed to build a community connection, with the local donations directly impacting the store's community. It offers retailers a unique cause to incorporate into their long-term strategy, invigorate their milk sales without discounting, strengthen their community presence and drive new customers in store. To help ensure program success, MilkPEP shares best practices and designs and creates customized point-of-sale materials, including a variety of tools and resources for checkout programs and beyond. Supported by national marketing and advertising, this program can be put into action at any time, or leveraged during key periods of the year such as National Dairy Month in June, Hunger Action Month in September and the holiday season, when onethird of the annual giving happens.

Customizability Drives Success In-store

From bringing communities together to engaging customers and employees, we have seen tremendous involvement from retailers that have truly made this program their own. Some retail highlights include:

Kroger--Last September, Kroger activated a 3-week in-store partnership called Pour it Forward. Stores across the country promoted The Great American Milk Drive with in-store signage and tear pads that allowed shoppers to choose a donation at checkout of $1, $3 or $5 to have added to their grocery bill. The local donations generated significant participation among Kroger shoppers, resulting in more than 100,000 incremental gallons of milk donated to The Great American Milk Drive. Given the program's success, Kroger is planning its 2015 program for The Great American Milk Drive this September.

Hy-Vee--We also witnessed incredible success through our Hy-Vee partnership. HyVee customized a local activation, including a unique employee incentive feature and match commitments from nine corporations, resulting in the sale of and donation of more than 20,000 gallons of milk in just 13 stores to its local food banks in four weeks.

Overall, 100% of retailers that have activated The Great American Milk Drive to date have expressed interest in repeating the program.

How You Can Activate Locally

We have optimized the program in year two to ensure that it has an even greater impact on retailers, local communities and the dairy industry. Interested retailers can visit www.gotmilksales.org to learn more about how to create their own successful activation for The Great American Milk Drive. Contact us at retailers@milkpep.org or 1-800-945-MILK.

Victor Zaborsky is vice president, marketing at Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP). He can be reached at retailers@milkpep.org.
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Title Annotation:FOOD FORUM
Author:Zaborsky, Victor
Publication:Grocery Headquarters
Date:Aug 1, 2015
Words:557
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