(Family Features) For many of us, a cozy winter’s night isn’t complete without milk and cookies or a warm cup of hot cocoa. But families in need in your community may be missing out on milk and its nine essential nutrients.
More than 46 million Americans – including 12 million children – rely on Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization. Milk is one of the most requested yet least donated items year round, but even more so in the winter months when food banks are even busier.
In fact, according to Feeding America, food bank clients receive an average of less than one gallon of milk per person per year, because while Americans are generous with canned and dry goods, many don’t think to donate milk because it’s perishable. This leaves many families with limited access to milk’s essential nutrients, including 8 grams of high-quality protein per 8 ounce serving.
Don’t just get together, give together
Since 2014, The Great American Milk Drive has helped deliver more than 8.5 million servings of highly desired and nutrient-rich milk to hungry families who need it most—but there’s still so much more to do. There are a number of ways that you can help kids and families in your own community this season:
Volunteer at your local food bank or food pantry.
While donations are always appreciated, your local Feeding America food bank and food pantries can often use extra hands – especially at this time of year. Gather your friends, family or coworkers and donate your time to feed those in your community. There are many different opportunities to help across the country – at local food pantries and even virtually. Visit milklife.com/give to find your local food bank and learn more.
Collect food donations when you host.
Hosting for the holidays? You can benefit families in need in your community by asking guests to bring something to donate to a food bank. While most people think of canned or dry goods, perishable foods like fresh produce and milk are often needed, particularly around the holidays. Find your nearest food bank, check its needs and any donation guidelines at FeedingAmerica.org.
Donate highly-desired, nutrient-rich fresh milk.
By entering your zip code at milklife.com/give, you can ensure that nutrient-rich milk is delivered to a local food bank to help nourish children in your own community.
What many people don’t realize is how big this problem is—one in seven Americans face hunger, including 15 million children, and it’s a problem that impacts all sorts of families, in urban, suburban and rural communities. And milk is one of the most requested nutritious items by food bank clients, but, it’s rarely donated. Milk isn’t just a drink, it’s a nutrient powerhouse – but, only if people have access to it. Help local families put milk on the table for their children this season.