June is Dairy Month, and this year California dairy farmers and fluid milk processors are joining together to help local communities by supporting the Great American Milk Drive in the No. 1 dairy state. On a national level, this campaign, in conjunction with Feeding America, provides gallons of nutrient-rich milk for millions of families across the nation to help remedy the startling statistics that plague America's families in need. Closer to home, the Great American Milk Drive will enable local food banks to provide critical nourishment via milk, a nutrition staple, to food insecure families throughout California – especially during the summer months when low-income children are out of school and unable to participate in school nutrition programs.
According to the Census Bureau, 1 in 4 Californians live in poverty, with over 6.2 million Californians experiencing food insecurity. It's a common known fact that food banks regularly shy away from items that are perishable, like fluid milk. The California dairy industry is standing behind an important initiative that brings powerful protein to those who need it most, eliminating barriers at the food bank such as shelf-life or storage. Thanks to consumer and industry donations, food banks will be able to provide their clients with vouchers that allow them to go to their local grocery store and pick up the milk when they need it.
During the month of June, the California dairy industry will provide additional support by matching consumer donations in California dollar-for-dollar (up to $30,000). Dairy farmers, milk processors and nutrition professionals from around the state also will team up with local food banks for "Days of Service" in June to bring awareness to the issue of hunger and celebrate their partnership.
Participating is as simple as a click of the mouse. Consumers can donate a gallon of milk (or more) by going online to www.MilkLife.com/Give. By entering a zip code, the donation goes to a Feeding America food bank in the local community.
"As an industry we are very concerned with giving all consumers access to healthy, nutritious products like milk. The Great American Milk Drive is close to the hearts and the core values of our dairy farm families who are part of local communities throughout the state," said Jennifer Giambroni, Director of Communications, California Milk Advisory Board, on behalf of the three partnering organizations; California Milk Advisory Board, California Milk Processors Board and Dairy Council of California.