Program Provides More Than 1 Million Gallons of Milk to Children and Families
For most kids, summertime means months filled with playing in the sun, swimming at the lake or hitting baseballs in the park. However, more than 22 million children may lose access to free or reduced-price meal programs when school lets out. That means, for many kids in need, even basic staples like milk and the nutrients it provides — including protein, calcium and vitamin D — may be missing.
The summer months are a time of year when food banks are often even busier because schools are closed. To provide some relief to families struggling to make up the lost school meals, The Great American Milk Drive is ramping up efforts in June for National Dairy Month and calling on the nation to help feed a childhood this summer. A donation of as little as $5 made online at milklife.com/give can deliver a gallon of fresh milk to a local family in need through Feeding America®, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization.
Through this first-of-its kind program, more than 1 million gallons — that’s more than 16 million servings — of milk have been delivered to food banks to help ensure that all kids have the nutrients they need to play, learn and grow. Yet, there’s still more to do. Because milk is a more challenging item to donate and store, on average, food banks are only able to provide the equivalent of less than gallon of milk per person, per year.
“America’s dairy farmers and milk brands are proud to support The Great American Milk Drive and are committed to fighting hunger in our communities,” said Victor Zaborsky, Vice President of Marketing for MilkPEP. “Through this partnership with Feeding America, the dairy industry is committed to providing 50 million servings of fresh nutrient-rich milk to kids and families served by Feeding America by 2020.”
Making a Difference in Your Community
Feeding America leads the fight against hunger in the United States by serving more than 46 million Americans, including 12 million children. Since 2014, Feeding America has partnered with The Great American Milk Drive to help deliver milk throughout its nationwide network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs.
Although some programs like the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program help to provide meals when school is not in session, the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program do not reach children during the summer months. That’s why food banks play an even more critical role in helping children access nutritious foods when class isn’t in session.
“The challenge to provide fresh milk becomes increasingly difficult for food banks during summer months when the demand for charitable support increases,” said Andy Wilson, Chief Development Officer at Feeding America. “We are grateful that The Great American Milk Drive provides a practical way for food banks to get milk to children and families in need and enables our network of food banks to provide more milk to more people than ever before.”
This Dairy Month — and all summer long — The Great American Milk Drive makes it easy to deliver fresh milk, including its nine essential nutrients, to help power the simple joys of summer for kids and families. Learn more about The Great American Milk Drive at milklife.com/give.
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Feeding America® is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. Through a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, we provide meals to more than 46 million people each year. Feeding America also supports programs that prevent food waste and improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Individuals, charities, businesses and government all have a role in ending hunger. Donate. Volunteer. Advocate. Educate. Together we can solve hunger. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.
The Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP), Washington, D.C., is funded by the nation's milk companies, who are committed to increasing fluid milk consumption. The MilkPEP Board runs the Milk Life campaign, a multi-faceted campaign designed to educate consumers about the powerful nutritional benefits of milk – with 9 essential nutrients, including high-quality protein, in each 8 ounce glass. For more information, go to milklife.com. Campbell Ewald is creative agency for the Milk Life campaign – from America’s milk companies.
National Dairy Council® (NDC), the non-profit organization founded by dairy farmers, is committed to nutrition education and research-based communications. NDC provides science-based nutrition information to, and in collaboration with, a variety of stakeholders committed to fostering a healthier nation, including health professionals, educators, school nutrition directors, academia, industry, consumers and media. Established in 1915, NDC comprises a staff of registered dietitians and nutrition research and communications experts across the country. NDC is committed to promoting child health and wellness through programs such as Fuel Up to Play 60. Developed by NDC and the National Football League (NFL), Fuel Up to Play 60 encourages youth to consume nutrient-rich foods and achieve at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. For more information, visit www.NationalDairyCouncil.org.