Taupō-based dairy company Miraka has processed over 20,000 litres of farmer-donated milk, which will be distributed to local foodbanks.
The milk has been donated by Miraka farmers to provide direct local support to a growing number of families in need, and will be distributed through farmer-founded charity Feed Out.
Feed Out general manager and founder Wayne Langford said reaching production was a significant milestone.
"We export over 95 per cent of our milk, and yet there are still families going hungry right here in New Zealand.
"That seems crazy. Feed Out provides a way for farmers to help meet this need. We've been blown away by the support of Miraka and their supply farmers. This donation has far exceeded our expectations, and will be a huge help to those who need it most," he said.
Miraka's general manager of milk supply, Grant Jackson, said Feed Out was an opportunity for the Miraka farm and factory whānau to make a direct impact on their community.
"When Wayne contacted us about getting involved, we jumped at the chance. Our farmers are a pretty caring bunch and were quick to come on board with the programme, as were Tetrapak and Visy Board, who have donated the packaging.
"For us it's a way for us to show manaakitanga and to give something back," he said.
Mangakino Foodbank manager Joanna Hepi was looking forward to receiving Feed Out milk donations.
"Our budget doesn't stretch to including milk, and a lot of our families have been going without this important staple.
"Our annual donation drive helps increase our stock of non-perishable goods, but this doesn't cover fresh items. So we're really grateful to be able to start adding milk to our food parcels," Hepi said, who also provided a budgeting service to those needing support with their finances.
Feed Out is an extension of the Meat the Need charity, which enables farmers to donate mince to foodbanks throughout New Zealand.
The organisation was formed to help farmers wanting to directly support the more vulnerable members of their community with quality food.
Feed Out is the first time that farmers have had the opportunity to donate milk products to foodbanks.