Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Dean Foods Donates 276,000 Backpack-Ready Servings Of Milk To North Texas Food Bank

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Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Dallas-Based Dairy Leader Partners with Tetra Pak
to Create Shelf-Stable Cartons of Milk Customized for NTFB Backpack Program

DALLAS (March 30, 2011) – Dean Foods employees gathered at the North Texas Food Bank (NTFB) today to put the company’s donation of backpack-ready milk to the Food 4 Kids backpack program into action. Along with leading packaging solutions company Tetra Pak, Dean Foods gave 276,000 specially produced, shelf-stable cartons of Oak Farms® brand milk to the food bank. Employees from both companies packed backpacks with nutritious food including the convenient, single-serve cartons of milk. The donation will supply milk for more than three months to the program, which sends backpacks of nourishing food home with 10,000 North Texas school-age children each weekend.

Dean Foods employees hatched the idea of donating shelf-stable cartons of milk to the NTFB when they volunteered during last September’s Hunger Action Month. Oak Farms does not currently produce milk in shelf-stable cartons, so the company’s Corporate Procurement Group turned to processing and packaging supplier Tetra Pak to create a solution. Together, Dean Foods and Tetra Pak created a shelf-stable product in custom North Texas Food Bank-branded cartons that can be stored at NTFB until needed. John Christner Trucking and Prime Inc. donated transportation to deliver the 276,000 cartons of customized milk to NTFB’s warehouses.

“Milk is a staple food item for growing children’s diets, yet because of its cost and perishability, it’s often scarce on food bank shelves, meaning the kids who need it most often go without,” said Chris Sliva, Chief Commercial Officer of Dean Foods and member of the NTFB Board of Directors Executive Committee. “Thanks to the passion and creativity of Dean Foods and Tetra Pak employees, we can offer a healthy, nutritious product that’s greatly needed by growing kids.”

The donation includes 276,000 eight-ounce, self-stable cartons of one-percent milk that will supply the Food 4 Kids program for 14 weeks. The milk is first processed at a high temperature, then placed in Tetra Pak’s sterile packaging, sealing out contaminants and preventing spoiling without added preservatives. Tetra Pak’s shelf-stable cartons enable the product to retain its quality without refrigeration for up to 12 months from production.

“We at Tetra Pak are really excited to be supporting our customer, Dean Foods, in this important program with the North Texas Food Bank,” said Joe Davidson, Vice President of Sales Management. “Seeing our aseptic processing and packaging technology allow North Texas Food Bank to provide milk to children in need through its Food 4 Kids backpack program is at the core of everything we do at Tetra Pak – our company’s commitment to making food safe and available everywhere.”

“Nutritious, wholesome milk is critical for kids to grow up strong and healthy, yet thousands of our community’s children are in danger of going without,” said Jan Pruitt, President and CEO of NTFB. “This donation is a natural extension of the work Dean Foods is already doing with the North Texas Food Bank: providing valuable volunteer time and, through the Dean Foods Foundation, making the largest corporate foundation pledge ever to help us feed and provide nutrition education to at-risk children and youth.”

Dean Foods and the Dean Foods Foundation have supported NTFB for more than 10 years, providing critical funds, product, volunteer support and board leadership. Last year alone, hundreds of employees from Dean Foods corporate offices and local dairy plants collected food for or volunteered to help package more than 100,000 meals for hungry families in North Texas.

Dean Foods underscores employees’ year-round dedication for the cause by regularly donating and discounting product to NTFB, helping deliver more than 6 million pounds of dairy products to hungry families over the last 10 years. In addition, the Dean Foods Foundation has also pledged $300,000 over three years to NTFB programs that feed and provide nutrition education to at-risk children and youth. The grant is the largest corporate foundation pledge ever received by NTFB.

About North Texas Food Bank
The North Texas Food Bank (NTFB) is a nonprofit hunger relief organization that distributes donated, purchased and prepared foods through a network of 1,184 feeding programs in 13 North Texas counties. The NTFB supports the nutritional needs of children, families and seniors through education, advocacy and strategic partnerships. Close the Gap is the NTFB’s 3-year initiative to unite the community to narrow the food gap by providing access to 50 million meals annually by 2011.

Founded in 1982, the NTFB is a member of Feeding America (feedingamerica.org). Last year, the NTFB provided access to almost 45 million meals through its efforts, 7.7 million meals, or 21 percent more, than the previous year. Each month Member Agency pantries distribute food to nearly 25,000 people every day. Every dollar donated to the NTFB provides three meals for the hungry.

About Tetra Pak
Tetra Pak is the world’s leading food processing and packaging solutions company. Working closely with our customers and suppliers, we provide safe, innovative and environmentally sound products that each day meet the needs of hundreds of millions of people in more than 170 countries around the world. With almost 22,000 employees based in over 85 countries, we believe in responsible industry leadership and a sustainable approach to business. Our motto, “PROTECTS WHAT’S GOOD™,” reflects our vision to make food safe and available, everywhere. More information about Tetra Pak is available at www.tetrapakusa.com.

About Dean Foods & the Dean Foods Foundation
The Dean Foods Foundation supports organizations and programs that ensure children in our communities have access to the healthy foods they need to grow and thrive and that enhance their understanding of the importance of a balanced, nutritious diet – now and throughout their lives. For more information, visit www.deanfoods.com.

Dean Foods is one of the leading food and beverage companies in the United States and a European leader in branded soy foods and beverages. The Company’s Fresh Dairy Direct-Morningstar segment is the largest U.S. processor and distributor of milk, creamer, and cultured dairy products. The WhiteWave-Alpro segment produces and sells an array of branded dairy, soy and plant-based beverages and foods.

Media Contacts:
North Texas Food Bank: Paige Phelps, 214-269-8975, paigep@ntfb.org

Dean Foods: Jamaison Schuler, 214-303-3472, jamaison_schuler@deanfoods.com

Tetra Pak: Giovanna Lemos, 847-955-6281, giovanna.lemos@tetrapak.com

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