When Schools Let Out For Summer, Many Kids in Need in Westmoreland County Area Lose Access to the Nutrient-Rich Milk They Receive From In-School Free or Reduced-Price Meal Programs
For most kids, June is the start of summer break – a time of fun and excitement where they’re free to play all day, every day. But for more than 22 million children – including those in need in Westmoreland County — it also may mean the end of access to nutrient-rich milk when in-school free or reduced-price meal programs end.
According to a survey of food banks with Feeding America®, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, milk is one of the most requested items by food bank clients year-round, and especially during the summer months when more kids rely on local food banks for nutritious meals otherwise provided by in-school programs. Unfortunately, on average, food banks are only able to provide the equivalent of less than one gallon of milk per person per year. That’s because while Americans are generous with canned and dry goods, many don’t think to donate milk due to being perishable.
That’s why, last year, Feeding America partnered with America’s dairy farmers and milk companies to create The Great American Milk Drive. The program is designed to deliver highly desired and nutrient-rich gallons of milk to families and children struggling with hunger and often most in need of it. The Great American Milk Drive makes it easy for Americans to make a difference in their communities because donations stay local. Since it began, The Great American Milk Drive has delivered more than 325,000 gallons of milk to families in need throughout the country, including 575 gallons right here in Westmoreland County.
June is National Dairy Month, and this month – and all summer long – The Great American Milk Drive is on a mission to bring more fresh, nutritious milk – with its nine essential nutrients, including eight grams of high-quality protein in each eight ounce glass – to children and families who need it most.
In addition to the ongoing donation collection for The Great American Milk Drive, on June 16, dairy farmers and milk companies will come together to ask America to join them in helping kids this summer, doubling donations made on that day and distributing them to Feeding America’s network of 200 food banks. You can join the drive by donating at milklife.com/give and follow the conversation online with #MilkDrive.
“Over 4,900 kids in Westmoreland County are food insecure,” said Kris Douglas, Chief Executive Officer of the Westmoreland County Food Bank. “We’re so grateful for The Great American Milk Drive, which focuses on getting fresh, nutritious milk to our clients in Westmoreland County food pantries, especially in the summer when school is out.”
Making a Difference in Westmoreland County
It’s quick and easy to power the play of children in need right here at home with a small donation at milklife.com/give. A gift of as little as $5 will deliver a gallon of milk to a family in need in your community who does not have regular access to it. By entering your zip code, you can ensure that milk is delivered from the farm to a local Feeding America food bank in your very own community.
724.468.8660 x 15