PHOENIX, Sept. 17, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Odds are that you currently have a gallon of milk in your fridge. What may surprise you is that millions of Americans only have a gallon of milk in their fridge once a year, as it's an item rarely available at our nation's food banks. Shamrock Farms and St. Mary's Food Bank teamed with local mom bloggers to raise awareness of the need for milk and encourage donations, with Shamrock Farms matching the first 500 gallons donated online at www.milklife.com/GiveShamrockFarms.
As a perishable, milk is not easily donated as a part of food drives and the like. That all changed with the Great American Milk Drive, which allows people to make online and text donations to Feeding America food banks. While more than 20,000 gallons of milk have been donated in Arizona alone, these food banks serve more than 1 million people each year.
"We work very hard to provide nutritious, filling items in our Emergency Food Boxes, and know that adding milk to the mix would help everything go farther. We teamed with Shamrock Farms and local mom bloggers on an experience to make all our hunger statistics more real for the average consumer," said Jerry Brown, director of public relations for St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance.
Each participating blogger received items representative of an EFB, provided by Shamrock Farms, and were asked to record life without milk. The bloggers who agreed to tackle this difficult subject are Jamie Sherman, of Love Bakes Good Cakes, and Rachel Harris, of ManagedMoms.com. The team did not realize when approaching her, that Sherman had experienced homelessness and received EFBs at one time. For her, the opportunity was deeply personal.
"This is one of those posts that in some senses, I have been waiting to write for a long time. While food blogging is fun and yummy most of the time ...life isn't always that way. While I have alluded to it before, you may not know that my oldest three kiddos and I have been homeless and have faced food insecurity…there were days when I didn't know if my kids were going to eat that day. As a mom, it was one of the most helpless feelings ever," wrote Sherman in her blog.
Harris was impressed with the wide variety of nutritious items that arrived in her EFB, but quickly saw the possibilities having milk would present: "I pictured several recipes that I could have made with the addition of milk to make even more meals over the next few days. With the leftover pasta, I could add a bit of milk, pepper, Parmesan cheese and the can of chunk white chicken that came in the box to make a fettuccine type of dish…the can of potatoes could easily be made into a yummy and filling mashed potato dish…the pinto beans could made into a soup…the apples would also be good with oatmeal and milk. The peaches would make a yummy smoothie in the morning…I just thought about how much more I could do with a gallon of milk on hand."
The need for milk donations this September is even more pressing with the recent Phoenix microburst that resulted in St. Mary's Food Bank losing power and subsequently, 60,000 pounds of dairy products.
"While we're matching the first 500 gallons, we hope that this awareness effort results in thousands of gallons of milk donated. The truth of the matter is that the food banks can use it all, and while Shamrock Farms makes regular donations – it's not enough. We need the public's help to tackle hunger in Arizona," said Pam Crist, brand manager for Shamrock Farms.
Consider that milk contains 8g of protein in every serving and is the No. 1 source for calcium, potassium and Vitamin D in the American diet – all critical for healthy child development – and it's easy to see the tremendous benefit milk provides to families in need.
To donate, visit www.milklife.com/GiveShamrockFarms or text "help" to 84465. To read each blogger's full experience and learn more about how the industry is tackling this issue, visit www.shamrockfarms.net.
SOURCE Shamrock Farms