As a lifelong dairy farmer, Lisa Porter knows struggle.

"It's been a very rough year for us and our families, but we want to share what we can, when we can and that's why we're here," said Porter, of Porterdale Farms.

What You Need To Know

  • Local Farmers teamed up to donate products and time to ensure local families have food on their tables this January

  • The Food Drive at JCC was all donations, not part of the national or state programs we saw in 2020

  • The farmers and American Dairy Association North East helped 500 get milk, meat, eggs, toilet paper and more

Porter is one of 40 or so volunteers at Jefferson Community College that help hand out food, dairy, meat, and more to more than 500 local North Country families.

It may look similar to the food drives in 2020, but it is not. Those were federally and state funded.

This one is local farmers, like Lisa Porter, and others with the American Dairy Association North East, offering their own products and other donations they collected, as well as their own time, to help their neighbors in need.

"It's amazing and it's bittersweet because we are doing a great thing, but it breaks my heart to think that all these families are in so much need," Porter added.

The drive brought so many families. Cars were lined up several hours in advance. In addition to the food, the boxes contained toilet paper, hand sanitizers, and even gift cards to Hannaford Grocery Stores. Porter hopes, no, she knows, the efforts made a difference in people's lives.

"Producing food is our life's work. We need the consumers and the consumers need us. What good is it to produce food if you can't get it to the people who need it?" she said.

And it's not just food. It's the healthy and nourishing foods that Porter said are even harder for families to afford right now.