The IDFA Foundation completed its first fiscal year by delivering three grants totaling more than $63,000 to leading nonprofits working to reduce food insecurity and advance and empower minority students entering careers in food and agriculture. The IDFA Foundation seeks to make an important contribution to people and communities on behalf of the U.S. dairy industry by providing grants to support individuals and organizations that work to advance human health and nutrition, improve environmental stewardship and sustainability, and enhance the welfare of people working in food manufacturing. Established in 1958 as the Dairy Recognition and Education Foundation, today the IDFA Foundation is charting a new path for people and communities.
Working to make a difference for people and communities on behalf of America’s dairy processors, the IDFA Foundation is putting our limited resources to work with committed, creative partners who are reducing hunger, promoting environmental stewardship, and contributing to a more diverse, equitable and inclusive workforce within the U.S. dairy industry. I am grateful to our partners and donors,” said Matt Herrick, executive director of the IDFA Foundation.
In February 2023, the IDFA Foundation launched the IDFA Foundation Future Fund in partnership with Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS) to help make career opportunities in the dairy industry available to MANRRS students engaged in or recently graduated from college, graduate school, or technical school. The Future Fund helps current or recent graduates enter internships or career pathways programs with dairy processing companies. The Future Fund provides $7,500 in living expenses to MANRRS members who are attending or recently graduated from a school with an active MANRRS chapter, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), other Minority Serving Institutions, and other higher education systems, as well as a $1,000 travel scholarship to attend the annual MANRRS Training Conference & Career Expo. The overall value of the funding opportunity for each student is $8,500 and may be applied to an internship of up to 15 weeks or a career pathways program offered by a dairy processor anywhere in the United States. The IDFA Foundation collaborates with MANRRS to help identify dairy processing companies with suitable opportunities and connects those potential employers with interested MANRRS candidates. To learn more about their work, visit www.manrrs.org.
“The IDFA Foundation Future Fund will help us connect more MANRRS students with career opportunities in dairy by reducing or removing the burden of relocation costs, housing and living expenses, and other barriers,” said Ebony Webber, chief operating officer of MANRRS.
In September 2022, the IDFA Foundation presented a charitable grant to Edesia Nutrition for $28,100 to offset the costs for sourcing and/or transporting U.S. dairy products used by Edesia in the manufacture of nutrient dense, ready-to-use foods (RUFs). At the time, the grant would support approximately four truckloads of dairy ingredients used in the manufacture of RUF products, including Plumpy’Nut, a product specifically formulated with peanuts and dairy ingredients for the nutritional rehabilitation of children from six months of age and adults suffering from severe acute malnutrition. Edesia, based in Rhode Island, was founded in 2009 as a social enterprise with the mission to help treat and prevent malnutrition in the world’s most vulnerable populations. Edesia produces enough nutrient dense RUFs to help transform the lives of over 2.5 million malnourished children worldwide each year. To learn more about their work, visit www.edesianutrition.org.
“We are grateful for your support in helping Edesia offset some of the costs for sourcing and transporting U.S. dairy products—a key ingredient in the life-saving foods we produce,” said Navyn Salem, founder and CEO of Edesia Nutrition. “Your gift will allow us to reach more children across the globe who need our help now more than ever before.”
In October 2022, the IDFA Foundation presented a charitable donation in the amount of $5,000 to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida in response to Hurricane Ian. The financial support helped to provide more than 20,000 meals to individuals facing hunger due to the storm’s impact on the region. Part of the Feeding America network, the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida is a private, nonprofit organization that collects, stores and distributes enough food for 81 million meals to partner programs such as food pantries, soup kitchens, women’s shelters, senior centers, day care centers and Kids Cafes in Central Florida. To learn more about their work, visit https://www.feedhopenow.org.
At the time of IDFA Foundation’s contribution, Dan Samuels, Director of Philanthropy for Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, said: “So many individuals are still living in shelters, are without power, or lost everything during the storm. You will be helping to ensure they have food to eat as they work to get back on their feet. Thank you for making this gift possible.”
To learn more about the work of the IDFA Foundation, visit www.idfafoundation.org.