PHOENIX, June 8, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- When the final school bell rings to signal the beginning of summer vacation, it will signal something else for hundreds of thousands of Arizona children: Hunger. That's why the education arm of Arizona Milk Producers, the Dairy Council of Arizona, is awarding $46,000 in grants to summer feeding programs this June Dairy Month.
Arizona's hunger rates are higher than national averages with an estimated 456,760 Arizona children facing hunger daily*. And according to the Arizona Department of Education's Health & Nutrition Services numbers, an astounding 57 percent of all enrolled school-aged children are approved to receive the free or reduced-price school breakfasts and lunches.
"Summer feeding provides the nutritional bridge between the end of one school year and the beginning of a new school year, and we're committed to assisting schools and non-profit agencies increase participation in their summer feeding programs so students return to school in the fall healthy and ready to learn," said Tammy Baker, general manager of Dairy Council of Arizona and Arizona Milk Producers.
Dairy Council of Arizona awarded 23 $2,000 grants to schools participating in the free Fuel Up to Play 60 program, including the following six districts: Chandler Unified School District, Humboldt Unified School District, Crane Elementary School District, Laveen Elementary School District, Tucson Unified School District and Gilbert Public Schools.
Additional month-long activities by the Arizona Milk Producers include participating in community events and an online consumer giveaway, focused on raising awareness about dairy's role in a healthy diet and how the public can donate nutrient-rich milk to children in need through the Great American Milk Drive.
The Great American Milk Drive, in partnership with Feeding America, turns online monetary donations into gallons of milk for families in the local community. To donate or learn more, visit arizonamilk.org/hunger-in-arizona.
*Based on Feeding America's Map the Meal Gap study of 2012.
About Dairy Council of Arizona
For nearly 50 years, The Dairy Council of Arizona has been promoting good health and nutrition in the classroom and the community. The Dairy Council of Arizona's mission is to encourage all Arizonans to get their three daily servings of dairy. We do this by promoting school wellness, Dietary Guidelines, sharing recipes and providing a vast collection of nutritional and educational resources we hope you'll milk for all they're worth. To learn more, visit arizonamilk.org and click on Dairy Council.
About Arizona Milk Producers
Arizona Milk Producers is a nonprofit promotion, communication, and nutrition education organization working on behalf of Arizona dairy farmers to increase dairy sales, foster innovation and inspire consumer confidence in dairy products and practices. Web site: arizonamilk.org.
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SOURCE Arizona Milk Producers