Schematic of Milk Supply Chain

This is an exaggerated diagram of a very complex system under generalized conditions. Distributors like SYSCO are not represented here.

  • The small dairy produces milk at the farm and bottles it right on site.
  • They sell it out of their own store and directly to SHFB.
  • They also sell to grocery stores, etc.
  • The larger dairy sends milk by way of their coop to the milk processor.
  • The milk processor bottles and sells milk to grocery stores, restaurants, and schools, etc.
  • It may sell or donate milk to a food bank or directly to pantries.
  • The food bank buys milk from multiple processors.
  • Some milk is donated to the food bank from grocery stores, the public, restaurants, etc.
  • Food pantries buy milk from the SHFB which delivers it there.
  • Patrons come to the food pantry for milk.
  • The USDA buys milk from processors that can’t be sold.
  • USDA sends milk to the CAC for free.
  • The CAC delivers free milk to the food pantries.
  • Patrons come to the food pantry for milk.
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