Milk is one of the most requested, but least donated items at food banks, meaning children in need may be missing out on essential nutrients
(Family Features) The school year should be filled with playing, learning and growing, but for many children who face hunger, even basic staples like milk are missing. According to experts, one out of two kids ages 9 and up fall short on calcium, vitamin D and potassium – essential nutrients they need to grow strong. Milk is the top food source for these nutrients, and the likelihood of kids missing out is even greater when they don’t have access to fresh, nutritious foods like milk.
More than 46 million Americans – including 12 million children – are served by Feeding America® food banks each year. From the kitchen to the classroom, kids in your own community may be missing out on essential nutrients they need to be set up for success this fall.
Here are a few ways you can help kids facing hunger:
- Give highly desired, nutrient-rich milk. Milk’s nutrition helps get kids ready to learn. Yet, on average, people served by Feeding America food banks receive the equivalent of less than one gallon of milk per person per year. To help fill this need, The Great American Milk Drive and Feeding America – alongside America’s dairy farmers and milk companies – make it easy for people to donate milk directly in their communities. With nine essential nutrients, milk is an easy and affordable way to help ensure kids facing hunger have more access to nutrients they might otherwise be missing. By entering your zip code when you donate at milklife.com/give, you can ensure that the milk is delivered to a local Feeding America food bank in your very own community.
- Collect food donations from friends and family. Hosting family dinners, football tailgates or Thanksgiving this year? You can benefit families in need 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 harder to donate and often needed. Find your nearest food bank and check its immediate needs or any donation guidelines at FeedingAmerica.org.
- Volunteer at your local food bank or food pantry. Gather your friends and family to fight hunger in your community by donating what many food banks may need most – your time. Spending a few hours sorting, packing or stacking food can make a big difference for the food banks and the families they serve. Visit FeedingAmerica.org and find a local Feeding America food bank near you.
Since it began in 2014, The Great American Milk Drive has delivered more than 1.8 million gallons of milk – more than 28 million servings – to food banks across the country. Learn more about milk’s nutrition and the need for milk in food banks at milklife.com/give.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images