My name is Reagan and I am a fifth-grade student from West Virginia.
I drink milk every day — but I did not know that some people in my community and beyond do not have the same opportunity. They face hunger and rely on food banks to help. When I found this out, I was so sad to know that there are kids out there just like me that don’t have access to milk. I had no idea that milk wasn't an item that people donated to food banks. So I created a service project at my school in Fairmont, West Virginia, to help a program called Fuel Up to Play 60, which is a nationwide effort sponsored by the National Dairy Council to help kids recognize the benefits of healthy choices.
On average, food banks are only able to provide the equivalent of less than one gallon of milk per person per year because while people are generous with canned and dry goods, many don’t think to donate milk because it’s perishable.
There are so many people who depend on food banks that I wanted to do my best to help out. I looked to my teacher at West Fairmont Middle School for help to build a local milk drive to donate milk to food banks in my community. Knowing there are people who can’t grab a glass of milk out of the fridge whenever they want made me really sad and only motivated me more to help raise money. I knew my hard work would pay off when fresh, nutritious milk was in the hands of those who needed it most.
Inspired by The Great American Milk Drive, I created my own fundraiser on gofundme.com to help purchase milk for West Virginian food banks. I also involved my classmates by coordinating a school-approved hat day where students could pay $1 to wear a hat for the day, and all proceeds went to my milk drive. I was excited to see that my classmates were just as excited as I was to help. When it came to delivering some of the milk with the money donated, my classmates were happy to help with the delivery. They went to the grocery store with me to buy it and then took it to the food banks. The experience was very eye opening to us. Everyone deserves to have milk in their refrigerator. Through this project I was able to see families in need receive fresh milk. It was very rewarding for me.
People were so generous and every small donation made a difference. The project has raised more than $1,600, but there are still children that don’t have enough nutritious milk. I am now thinking of different ways I can continue the milk drive at school and how to involve local business owners.
The Great American Milk Drive is matching my donation to reward my hard work and I could not be more excited that even more milk will be donated to people in West Virginia. If interested in donating or learning how you can help, visit milklife.com/give.