Project Milk

Help us reach our goal of sending 400 bags of Wisconsin milk to Peru!

Caught on Tape!!!
One of the most engaging and inspiring projects in the Diocese! On June 16, 2010 three young men, Jeff Hennes, Dennis Bunk, and Jared Maternoski were visiting Casa Hogar,
look what happened while they were there!

How the project works:

  • Milk is purchased from local dairy farmers
  • Processed into powered milk in Wisconsin
  • Shipped to Casa Hogar Juan Pablo II in Lurín, Peru; home to 64 orphans
  • Casa Hogar works with other local orphanages to trade the powdered milk for other things that the children need such as pigs or vegetables
  • The orphanage also donates milk to local soup kitchens and families in the community

How much do we need?

  • Casa Hogar uses about 1 sack (50 pounds) of powdered milk each week.
  • It costs about $85 to send 1 sack of milk to Lurín, Peru.
  • Our goal is to send 400 sacks of milk to Casa Hogar, or $34,000.
  • Your donation goes straight to the purchase, preparation and shipment of the milk. Administrative costs are covered by the Diocesan Annual Appeal. It is only your continued support that makes these shipments possible.

How it began:

The following is a true story from the late Fr. Joe Walijewski, a beloved priest of the Diocese of La Crosse who in 1986 founded the orphanage Casa Hogar Juan Pablo II inLurin, Peru, where he ministered until his death on April 11, 2006 (he has been succeeded by his assistant, Fr. Sebastian Kolodziejczyk, another priest of the Diocese).

When Fr. Walijewski was first stationed at a parish church in Lima, Peru, he saw a little boy playing in the street.  He had been out there all morning, and now it was early afternoon.  Fr. Joe greeted him and asked, “Shouldn’t you be going home?  It’s past lunch time!”  The little boy told him, “It’s not my day to eat.”  That’s right – it’s not my day to eat!  His family was so poor they fed their children on alternate days.

It was because of this level of hunger and malnutrition, and out of a desire to assist Fr. Walijewski in his service to thousands of poor children in Peru, that the Rural Life Committee of the Diocese of La Crosse started “Project Milk” in 1984. Project Milk has a two-fold purpose: to provide milk for the hungry children at the orphanage and the surrounding Peruvian neighborhoods, and to raise awareness of the economic difficulties of our dairy farmers in western Wisconsin (all the dried milk shipped comes from Wisconsin dairy farms). Since its inception in 1984, Project Milk has collected over $1,000,000 and shipped close to 450 tons of dried milk to Peru, thanks to the generous donations of the people of the Diocese of La Crosse. With groups traveling each year to the orphanage, we are now trying to coordinate the arrival of the powdered milk to occur when we have groups present from the Diocese at Casa Hogar.

We hope you will find it in your heart to help Project Milk continue to supply nourishing milk to the children of Casa Hogar and the surrounding neighborhoods, so that no child will have to say, “It’s not my day to eat.”  Know that in doing so you will also be supporting Wisconsin’s dairy farmers.

How much does it cost?

  • $340 will provide Casa Hogar with 4 sacks milk, enough for one month.
  • $85 will provide 1 sack of powdered milk, enough for one week.
  • $25 is the approximate price of 100 pounds of raw milk for Wisconsin farmers.

We wish to thank everyone who has given so generously to Project Milk! Your contributions are not only an act of charity for the orphans of Casa Hogar in Peru, but also a strong show of solidarity for our dairy farmers!

Please donate to Project Milk.  CLICK HERE for a PDF of the Project Milk Brochure, making your check payable to the Diocese of La Crosse and mailing it to:

Project Milk, Office of Ministries and Social Concerns
Diocese of La Crosse
P.O. Box 4004
La Crosse, WI 54602-4004

For questions regarding Project Milk, call or e-mail the Office of Ministries and Social Concerns at (608) 791-0161.