Sydney Endres and Mariah Martin have used sales of “Support Local Farmers” shirts to donate dairy products to food banks.

Madison-area natives and agriculture enthusiasts, Sydney Endres and Mariah Martin, donated $8,000 worth of dairy products to Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin and Feeding America through sales of “Support Local Farmers” shirts.

“We were seeing firsthand the struggle farmers and ranchers across the country experienced as the food chain has had to adapt over the past few months, especially in Wisconsin,” said Martin. “In addition, we were volunteering at our local food bank and saw the surge in demand paired with a drop in food donations they’ve been experiencing.”

Food banks across the country are seeing a drastic increase in demand for their services along with a drop in food donations — including dairy products. According to Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin, milk is rarely donated but always needed. Currently, Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin is buying 80% of the milk they are providing.

“With many places shut down, there are not enough homes for dairy products,” said Endres. “Businesses in the entire dairy supply chain are taking a hit. Donating dairy helps move more product into homes, supporting the industry as a whole.”

The dairy industry in particular holds a special place in both Endres’s and Martin’s hearts. Endres grew up on her family’s 700-cow Jersey farm and currently resides there. She works for the American Jersey Cattle Association as an area representative and type traits appraiser. Martin’s family has a rich history in the dairy industry dating back seven generations. She works for Filament Marketing as a marketing executive.

The two designed the shirts and worked with a DeForest-based printer to create shirts available in a variety of sizes and styles. Their initial goal was to raise $2,000. However, through social media, word of mouth and the goodness of others they exceeded their goal.

With the initial success, Endres and Martin have reopened sales to donate even more dairy products during National Dairy Month. All orders can be placed online. Orders must be placed by June 30 at midnight. When the order is complete, shirts will be mailed or available for pick up at X Per T’s Printwear in Deforest.

For more information or any questions, contact Mariah Martin at mkmartin@uwalumni.com