Kansas State University hosting drive-thru flour distribution

Posted June 11, 2020

Kansas State University Department of Grain Science and Industry is partnering with Kansas wheat farmers to provide flour for those in need in the local community.

Three months after Kansas State University implemented limited operations and moved to remote instruction, the department of Grain Science and Industry brought the Hal Ross Flour Mill back online to manufacture the flour.

The university will host a drive-thru flour distribution on Thursday, June 18, from 3-7 p.m. at the Hal Ross Flour Mill, located at 1980 Kimball Avenue in Manhattan. There is no charge for the flour, and it’s limited to one, 10-pound bag per vehicle and is not for resale.

As safer at home orders began, faculty noticed the absence of flour at local supermarkets and wondered if the university’s milling facilities could be used to aid the local community. This idea received unanimous support from college and university leadership and moved into the planning stages weeks ago.

“We know people are struggling with basic food supplies, including flour. It’s something K-State and the department could do,” said Gordon Smith, department head for grain science and industry. “We have a mill, we have highly-skilled faculty to run the mill and continued support from the Kansas Wheat Commission and Kansas wheat farmers. It is a locally sourced, farm to table, philanthropic endeavor by K-State.”

Last week, 20,000 pounds of wheat was milled by departmental faculty with special help from university president, Richard Myers. 10 hours of milling yielded 15,000 pounds of all-purpose white flour. Wheat kernels are made up of three parts – the endosperm, bran and germ. Only the endosperm is used in production of white flour; the remaining parts of the wheat berry will be used for animal feed.

“Kansas Wheat Commission and the K-State department of Grain Science and Industry have a long history of working together on projects for the wheat industry, combining stakeholder input with the department’s flour milling expertise,” stated Justin Gilpin, chief executive officer for the Kansas Wheat Commission and Kansas Association of Wheat Growers. “Kansas wheat farmers were glad to help support this project.  Wheat is a staple food for many Americans and this project by K-State will help put it in the hands of people in need.”

The university plans to donate any flour not distributed on June 18 to the Flint Hills Breadbasket  in Manhattan and Harvester’s in Topeka.

Kansas State University is the only higher education institution that offers all three degrees in milling, baking and feed sciences, which are available through the Department of Grain Science and Industry within the College of Agriculture.

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Written by Michelle Geering, 785-532-0847, geering@k-state.edu

Originally posted at https://www.k-state.edu/media/newsreleases/2020-06/flour-distribution.html