GVSU basketball, United Dairy partner to benefit student food bank

A partnership between the United Dairy Industry of Michigan and the Grand Valley Athletics Department will benefit Replenish, the university’s student food bank and food resource.

For each 3-pointer made by the men’s and women’s basketball teams this season, either at a home or away game, the United Dairy Industry of Michigan will donate a gallon of milk to Replenish.

Deputy Director of Athletics for External Relations Doug Lipinski said the department was excited about the opportunity to play a role in helping students. 

“We know that 1 in 5 college students are hungry,” said Lipinski. 

“The opportunity to combine our athletics success while collaborating to bring greater awareness and financial resources to this hidden crisis is one way we are reaching higher to enrich the student experience at GVSU.” 

Basketball player shoots a 3-pointer
GVSU basketball teams and United Dairy have partnered to benefit the university's student food bank, Replenish. For every 3-pointer made by Grand Valley teams, United Dairy will donate a gallon of milk to Replenish.
Image credit - GVSU Athletics

The Center for Women and Gender Equity manages Replenish, helping students overcome food insecurity issues. A 2019 report by the food bank indicates food insecurity is experienced by students across demographics, enrollment levels and geographic locations.

The report also states food insecurity can affect student success, learning outcomes, overall GPA and degree completion. 

“Replenish is so excited that Athletics had us in mind when selecting a beneficiary for this campaign,” said Kyle Holcomb, graduate assistant with the Center for Women and Gender Equity, who oversees operations of Replenish.

“Dairy is highly sought after by our student visitors as it's not always the most affordable product, especially for food insecure individuals. Milk is needed in all kinds of recipes, and is an essential part of diets in many cultures, and we know our visitors will love having this available for them.”

UDIM said the initiative will raise awareness about food insecurity.

“We are excited about our partnership with Grand Valley to not only contribute nutritious dairy products to Replenish, but help to raise awareness about food insecurity on campus and the importance of students eating well-balanced meals,” said Melissa Gerharter, executive director of youth awareness for United Dairy.

“The Michigan dairy farmers are honored to be a part of this great initiative.”


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