According to Feeding America, the domestic hunger relief organization, milk is one of the items most requested by food bank clients—yet there is a nationwide shortage because it is rarely donated.
In an effort to reverse the trend, America’s milk companies and dairy farmers, along with the American Dairy Association of Indiana, have helped to create The Great American Milk Drive, a national program to help deliver gallons of milk to hungry families who need it most.
The Great American Milk Drive makes a stop Memorial Day weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in support of the Indianapolis 500, an event some have considered America’s Great American Milk Drive with winners celebrating with milk in Victory Circle. This year marks the 40th annual Fastest Rookie of the Year Awards, with this year’s mission to shine a light on food insecurity in Indianapolis IN.
With a click of a mouse (www.milklife.com/give) or text message (text “Milk” to 90999), it is now possible to buy much-needed milk and donate it for as little as $5 to a family who does not have regular access to milk. By entering your ZIP code, you can ensure that the milk is delivered to a local Feeding America food bank in your own community. In addition, by donating between now and May 25, you can make milk multiply. Any donation made between now and May 25 will be matched by America’s milk companies and dairy farmers.
Many Americans are pressured financially, and more people are turning to their local food bank for help. Compared with four years ago, one million more people are seeking emergency food assistance from the Feeding America network each week. Increasingly, food banks have introduced nutrition criteria for the meals served to clients. More than two-thirds of groceries distributed by the Feeding America network meet Feeding America’s “Foods To Encourage” guideline, based on the USDA’s MyPlate guidelines which include a serving of milk.
A recent network survey of Feeding America food banks revealed that 94% of respondents are actively working on improving the nutritional quality of meals provided to food bank clients. Yet 95% of those surveyed say they do not receive enough milk to meet the demand. The number one reason cited is inadequate milk donations.
Milk tops the list of food items most requested by food bank participants (85%), followed by fresh fruits (77%) and fresh vegetables (74%). While several recent initiatives have focused on getting more produce into feeding programs, The Great American Milk Drive is the first program to help resolve the milk shortage.
Go to www.feedingamerica.org/ for complete details.