Summer is about fun and freedom – and to most kids, it means months filled with playing in the sun, swimming at the lake or playing baseball in the park. However, more than 22 million children may lose access to free or reduced-price meal programs when school lets out.
For many children in need, even basic staples like milk – and the nutrients it provides that help power the simple joys of summer – are missing. Milk is naturally nutrient-rich and helps power potential, if you have access to it. Milk’s nine essential nutrients, including 8 grams of high-quality protein in every 8-ounce serving, can help to ensure that kids have the potential to play, learn and grow this summer.
Although some programs like the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program help to deliver meals when school is not in session, the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program do not reach children during the summer months. That’s why food banks play an even more critical role in helping children access nutritious foods when class isn’t in session.
Accessing milk outside of school
More than 46 million Americans – including 12 million children – get support from Feeding America member food banks each year. However, on average, food banks are only able to provide the equivalent of less than one gallon of milk per person, per year.
Even though milk is one of the most requested items, Feeding America programs cannot always meet the demand during the summer months, when food banks are even busier and it’s increasingly important to fill this need. While Americans are generous with canned and dry goods, fresh milk is a lot harder to donate because it’s perishable.
This summer, for as little as $5, you can help feed a childhood in your local community through Feeding America. The Great American Milk Drive, a collaborative effort between Feeding America, America’s dairy farmers and milk companies, turns online donations into gallons of milk for families in local communities. To date, the program has provided more than 12 million servings of milk to families across the country.
Hunger has no boundaries and is a problem that exists in urban, suburban and rural communities. With a small donation, you can deliver milk to the Feeding America food bank that serves your community by entering your zip code. Join the effort to help deliver fresh milk and its high-quality protein to children in need this summer at milklife.com/give.