IDFA takes ‘Great American Milk Drive’ to Capitol Hill

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Working with staff members for key dairy congressmen, IDFA coordinated two briefings last week on Capitol Hill to discuss the Great American Milk Drive. Representatives from the Milk Processor Education Program, the National Dairy Council and Feeding America provided highlights of the first nationwide program designed to encourage consumers to donate milk to hungry families.

According to Feeding America, milk is the top food requested by its clients, but the nation’s food banks haven’t been able to meet the demand because milk is rarely donated. In fact, the 37 million Americans served annually by the Feeding America network receive the equivalent of less than one gallon of milk per person per year. The Great American Milk Drive aims to fill that gap. 

The Great American Milk Drive makes it easy for people to buy milk online at and donate it to their local food pantry for as little as $5 at a time. Every dollar collected goes to purchasing and delivering milk to hungry families through the Feeding America network.

MilkPEP mentioned the per capita decline in milk consumption in the country and highlighted the Great American Milk Drive events it has planned with local retailers and processors in many states later this year.

(L to R) Lisa Davis, senior vice president of government relations, Feeding America; Victor Zaborsky, director of marketing, MilkPEP; Ruth Saunders, vice president of policy and legislative affairs, IDFA; Kathryn Tanner Stahlberg, special advisor and legislative assistant to Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY); and Jean Ragalie-Carr, RDN, president, National Dairy Council. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) hosted the briefing in the Senate last Thursday, and the Congressional Dairy Farmer Caucus hosted the House briefing on Friday. More than 50 Hill staffers came to learn more about the initiative.

“The briefings really opened their eyes to declines in milk consumption and to how much milk is in demand at food banks,” said Ruth Saunders, IDFA vice president of policy and legislative affairs. “There were a lot of questions and interest in the drive, and we plan to follow up.”

For more information, contact Saunders at


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