CHICAGO, June 1, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- For millions of families across the country who depend on free and reduced-price meals their children receive at school, summer signals a sharp rise in the family grocery bill. More expensive food items like fresh produce, milk or protein are often left off the shopping list to compensate for the additional summer strains on the budget, and kids and families end up missing out on key nutrients.
During National Dairy Month in June – and all summer long – Feeding America®, in partnership with America's dairy farmers and milk companies, is committed to helping provide more fresh milk to ensure nutrients aren't missing from the summer diets of children and families in need across the country.
Since milk is rarely donated, the nationwide Feeding America network of food banks are only able to provide the average equivalent of less than one gallon of milk per person per year. And yet, according to a survey of Feeding America food banks, milk is one of the most requested items among families and individuals served. The challenge to provide fresh milk becomes increasingly difficult for food banks during summer months when demand for charitable support increases.
"The summer months should be filled with the season's simple joys, but that is not necessarily the case for the more than 22 million children who may miss out on nutritious food options like milk when school lets out," said Victor Zaborsky, Vice President of Marketing for MilkPEP. "Milk's nine essential nutrients, including eight grams of protein per eight ounce serving, can help to ensure that kids have the potential to play, learn and grow this summer."
Feeding America leads the fight against hunger in the United States by serving more than 46 million Americans. Since 2014, Feeding America has partnered with The Great American Milk Drive to help provide its network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs with highly requested milk. To date, The Great American Milk Drive has distributed more than 12 million servings of milk to families in need throughout the country.
"We know that milk can be a challenging item for people to donate," said Nancy Curby, Interim SVP Development at Feeding America. "The Great American Milk Drive changes that, and enables our network of food banks to provide more milk to families in need than ever before."
To help provide milk to families facing hunger in local communities, a simple online donation to The Great American Milk Drive can be made online at milklife.com/give. A donation as little as $5 can deliver a gallon of fresh milk to children and families in need.
In addition to donating a gallon of milk to The Great America Milk Drive, America's dairy farmers and milk companies in partnership with Feeding America are asking the country to join them in helping kids be kids this summer. In honor of National Dairy Month, individuals can join the conversation and support children and families in need through easy actions online – for each share of The Great American Milk Drive's "Feed A Childhood" content throughout June, with the hashtag #MilkDrive, $1 will go to help deliver fresh milk to individuals served by Feeding America.*
*For each share of Great American Milk Drive "Feed A Childhood" content with hashtag #MilkDrive via Facebook and Twitter between 6/1/16 – 6/30/16, The Great American Milk Drive will contribute $1 to the Feeding America® network for the purchase of fluid milk, up to a maximum total donation of $5,000.
About Feeding America®
Feeding America is a nationwide network of 200 food banks that leads the fight against hunger in the United States. Together, we provide food to more than 46 million people through 60,000 food pantries and meal programs in communities across America. Feeding America also supports programs that 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.
About National Dairy Council
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.
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SOURCE Feeding America