(Family Features) While the summer is often celebrated as a carefree time of lounging around, pool dates and hanging out with friends, for many children in communities across the country, it means limited access to the foods their growing bodies need.
In fact, more than 22 million children may miss out on milk’s nutrition in the summer months when schools are closed and they don’t have access to free or reduced-price meal programs. Although some programs like the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) help to deliver meals when school is not in session, the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the School Breakfast Program (SBP), do not reach children during the summer months. That’s why food banks play an even more critical role in helping children access nutritious foods when class isn’t in session.
The need for nutrient-rich milk
According to a 2014 survey of Feeding America food banks, milk is one of the most requested items by food bank clients, but on average, they are only able to provide the equivalent of less than one gallon per person per year.
That’s why, since 2014, Feeding America has partnered with America’s dairy farmers and milk companies to create a program that makes it easy to provide fresh, nutritious milk to children who need it most in communities across the country. For a small donation of as little as $5 at milklife.com/give, The Great American Milk Drive will deliver a gallon of nutrient-rich milk to a family that’s missing it in your local community.
Since it began, the drive has delivered more than 325,000 gallons of fresh, nutritious milk to a network of nearly 200 food banks. Feeding America leads the fight against hunger in the United States by serving more than 46 million food-insecure Americans, including 12 million children across the country.
“Milk is an easy and affordable way to provide much needed nourishment to children who might otherwise miss out on it during the summer months,” said Michelle Dudash, registered dietitian and nutritionist. “Many people don’t realize that milk provides eight grams of high-quality protein in each eight-ounce glass and is the top food source of calcium, vitamin D and potassium.”
Visit milklife.com/give to learn more about the need for nutrient-rich milk during the summer months and how a small donation can make a significant impact to children and families in your community.
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