Local farmers upcycle excess milk into artisan cheese to benefit those in need

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Local farmers upcycle unused milk into artisan cheese for charity: as seen on Action News at 5 p.m., December 11, 2018

For 30 years, it's been the mission of Philabundance to rescue food that would otherwise go to waste and deliver it to those in need.

Now the non-profit is taking hunger relief up a notch, turning surplus milk into artisan cheese, each block is handcrafted by family farmers in Lancaster County.

This is the product of a creative partnership that's helping the farmers, local retailers and our neighbors in need.

You can find the cheese, called Abundantly Good, at any DiBruno Brothers shop.

"It's been about a year of testing, we really wanted to get it right," said Kaitlin Bowdler, Director of Sustainability for Philabundance.

There are three varieties of Colby and two cheddars, the flavors perfected by DiBruno Brother's cheese specialists.

"We would get them with the mongers and say too much garlic in this, too much horseradish here, too much smoke," said Scott Case of DiBruno Brothers.

For every block you buy, a dollar goes back to the farmer.

And when the farmer has surplus milk, he uses that money to make the same cheese that Philabundance then gives to its clients.

For families in need, it's a handmade, high-quality treat.

"I love it to make macaroni and cheese," said Phyllis Guy of Upper Darby. "We love to just eat it and have fun with my granddaughter, watch cartoons and eat cheese."

For the family farmers in Lancaster County, the cheese brings in extra income while also using up milk that would otherwise go to waste.

And for cheese lovers, it's the chance to buy something good while also making a difference.

"When we sample, when we demo, the first response is the taste. And people are just picking it up," said Case. "And then there's the understanding of this is part of a mission and then people come back for more."

Philabundance is also partnering with a local jam company to up-cycle tomatoes into a tasty spread.

"We want to build excitement for this brand and then we can really just grow exponentially from there," said Bowdler.

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