As farmers and families continue to struggle financially during the coronavirus pandemic, there are more opportunities to snag free dairy in central New York. The American Dairy Association North East is holding two drive-through dairy pickups this week, with one in Syracuse and one in Watertown.

Watertown's dairy pickup is Tuesday, April 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Community Action Planning Council of Jefferson County and there will be free milk, sour cream and cottage cheese available while supplies last. Syracuse's dairy pickup will feature free milk, and is Wednesday, April 22 from 2 to 6 p.m. in the East Side lot of Destiny USA, just off of Solar Street.

Dairy Farmers of America and Dean Foods have paired up to distribute the free dairy to families in need during this difficult time. Both events will maintain social distancing during the drive-through, and families are asked to remain in their cars. According to Syracuse.com, volunteers from United Way of Central New York, the Office of the Onondaga County Executive, Destiny USA, United Rental, OnSite Facility Services and the Syracuse Police Department will help distribute milk at the Syracuse pickup.

“We are seeing people who have never before sought help come to food pantries, community organizations, and churches because they cannot provide for their families,” Nancy Kern Eaton, president of the United Way of Central New York, told Syracuse.com. “We are proud to partner in this wonderful effort to distribute milk to families and we are grateful for the incredible generosity of the dairy farmers.”

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This is not the first time dairy farmers have donated their products to good use during the pandemic. SUNY Morrisville has held two successful drive-through dairy pickups using donations from local dairy farmers, who are struggling right now more than ever.

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