Dairy with a Purpose: Milk Not Jails

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Milk Not Jails is not only a dairy marketing and distribution co-operative, it’s also what founder Lauren Melodia calls, “an economic alternative to the prison industry… building an alliance for a sustainable and just regional economy.” What does that mean for city dwellers? Now there’s an option to join a dairy CSA with a cheeky pink truck and a serious purpose.

Melodia felt disheartened by the relationship between New York City and upstate New York: many people were being incarcerated upstate, while not enough of the countryside’s bounty traveled to the five boroughs. Dairy giants treated animals and workers unfairly, while the city was thirsty for fresh milk.

She believed that if New York’s rural communities had more outlets for the amazing dairy they produced, plus policies to help farmers succeed, they could be less dependent on upstate prisons for employment: It was time to create Milk Not Jails. (Learn more about the CSA’s agricultural and criminal justice reform policy agenda, or watch this video to dig deeper into what milk and jails have in common.)

The organization currently works with sustainable Ronnybrook Farm Dairy, Hawthorne Valley Farm and Frolic Farm.

In the next few months there will be a few special holiday deliveries open to the public; e-mail to join the mailing list for updates. The CSA is wrapping up for the season, but it’s not too early to contact Melodia to sign up for a spring share, organize a CSA partnership or workplace buying club.

More healthy, free, productive people and hormone- and antibiotic-free milk? We’re over the moon — sign us up.

Image courtesy of Milk Not Jails.

 

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