SAN CLEMENTE, Calif., April 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- That gallon of milk you consider a staple in your refrigerator is missing in many of California's food banks. According to Feeding America, the nation's largest domestic hunger-relief organization, milk is one of the items most requested by food bank clients, yet it is rarely donated. That will soon change with today's launch of The Great American Milk Drive, the first-ever national program to help deliver highly desired and nutrient-rich gallons of milk to hungry families who need it most.
Hunger impacts 1 in 6 Americans, including 12.5 million families who do not have access to adequate nourishment to help them reach their full potential. The facts are even more alarming locally with 1 in 4 Californians suffering from poverty, the highest rate in any state. Over 6.5 million California residents experience food insecurity and due to the perishable nature of foods like milk, Feeding America food bank clients receive, on average, only one gallon of milk per person per year and obtain less than the suggested servings of milk to fulfill a well-balanced diet. To help combat this, Feeding America has teamed up with the dairy industry, including the California Milk Processor Board (CMPB), the creator of got milk?, to launch The Great American Milk Drive and alleviate hunger in local communities.
"Food insecurity is a big problem throughout the United States, including for millions of Californians who struggle to get the nutrition they need," said Bob Aiken, CEO of Feeding America. "Increased local donations of milk means families facing hunger will receive increased protein and other nutrients, right in their own communities."
With a simple click of a mouse (www.gotmilk.com) or text message (text "Milk" to 27722), it will now be possible to buy much-needed milk and donate it to a family who does not have regular access to it. By entering your zip code, you can ensure the donation stays in your community. Funds will be converted into vouchers that go to local food banks and into the hands of families in need. The vouchers can be redeemed at local grocery stores, eliminating any food pantry space or refrigeration obstacles.
All 43 Feeding America food banks in California will participate locally, along with their distribution partners, including:
- Sacramento: Amador Tuolumne Community Action Agency, California Emergency Foodlink, Food Bank of El Dorado County, Food Bank of Yolo County, Interfaith Council of Amador, Placer Food Bank, Second Harvest Food Bank of San Joaquin and Stanislaus Counties, the Resource Connection Food Bank, Yuba/Sutter Gleaners Food Bank, Emergency Foodbank of Greater Stockton and Food Bank of Nevada County
- Fresno: Community Food Bank of Fresno, Foodlink for Tulare County, Kings Community Action Organization, Community Food Bank of San Benito County, Food Bank for Monterey County and Second Harvest Food Bank Santa Cruz
- Bay Area: San Francisco and Marin Food Banks, Ukiah Community Center, Community Action of Napa Valley Food Bank, Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano, Alameda County Community Food Bank, Food for People, Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo, Mendocino Food & Nutrition Program and Redwood Empire Food Bank
- Bakersfield: CAP of Kern, Butte County Community Action Agency and Shasta Senior Nutrition Program
- Palm Springs: FIND Food Bank, CAP of San Bernadino County and Second Harvest Food Bank Serving Riverside and San Bernadino County
- Imperial Valley: Imperial Valley Food Bank
- Los Angeles: Food Share Inc., Los Angeles County Regional Food Bank, Westside Food Bank, CAP of Orange County, Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County and Food Bank of Santa Barbara
- San Diego: Feeding America San Diego and San Diego Food Bank
"No one should have to suffer from hunger or lack basic staples like milk," said Steve James, Executive Director of the CMPB. "Milk is a key part of nutrition and got milk? wants to make sure it's available to those who need it most."
To find out how you can help your local community or to learn more about the Great American Milk Drive, visit www.gotmilk.com. Help get the word out using hashtag #gotmilkdrive.
About the CMPB
The California Milk Processor Board was established in 1993 to make milk more competitive and increase milk consumption in California. Awareness of got milk? is over 90% nationally and it is considered one of the most important and successful campaigns in history. Got milk? is a federally registered trademark that has been licensed by the national dairy boards since 1995. The CMPB's Spanish-language campaign began in 1994 using the tagline "Familia, Amor y Leche" (Family, Love and Milk). The TOMA LECHE (Drink Milk) campaign replaced it in 2006, following a growing trend in Hispanic food advertising that uses wit and humor to reach audiences. Got milk? gifts and recipes can be viewed at www.gotmilk.com and www.tomaleche.com. The CMPB is funded by all California milk processors and administered by the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
About Feeding America
Feeding America is a nationwide network of more than 200 food banks that leads the fight against hunger in the United States. Together, we provide food to more than 37 million people through 61,000 food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters 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 http://www.feedingamerica.org/. Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FeedingAmerica or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/FeedingAmerica.
 Map the Meal Gap
 California Has Highest Rate Of Poverty In The Nation, According To U.S. Census Bureau
 The Research SUPPLEMENTAL POVERTY MEASURE: 2012
 Map the Meal Gap, Food Insecurity in your County
CONTACT: Norma Leon de Moncada/RLPR, (310) 473-4422 or (310) 801-5503, email@example.com
SOURCE California Milk Processor Board (CMPB)