MANHATTAN, KAN. — Kansas State University’s (KSU) Department of Grain Science and Industry has brought the Hal Ross Flour Mill back online to manufacture flour for those in need in the local community due to the global outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
The university will host a drive-thru flour distribution from 3-7 p.m., June 18, at the Hal Ross Flour Mill, 1980 Kimball Ave., Manhattan. There is no charge for the flour, which will be limited to one 10-lb bag per vehicle and is not for resale.
“We know people are struggling with basic food supplies, including flour,” said Gordon Smith, professor and head of the Department of Grain Science and Industry. “It's something K-State and the department could do. 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.”
Recently, 20,000 lbs of wheat was milled by departmental faculty with special help from Richard Myers, president of KSU. Ten hours of milling yielded 15,000 lbs of all-purpose white flour. The remaining parts of the wheat berry not used in the flour will be used for animal feed.
“The 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,” said 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 Harvesters in Topeka, Kan.