Childhood should be filled with playing, learning and growing. But for many children who face hunger, even basic staples like milk – and the nutrients that help power childhood activities – are missing.
Each year, more than 46 million Americans – including 12 million children – are served by Feeding America®, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization. According to Feeding America, milk is one of the most requested, but least donated items at food banks, meaning children in need across the country are missing out on the essential nutrients, including high-quality protein, it supplies. 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 because it’s perishable.
Advanced Comfort Technology (DCC Waterbeds) is launching its promotion – Give the Gift of Dairy – joining to support The Great American Milk Drive. Kicking things off at this year’s World Dairy Expo (Madison, WI), from October 1st through December 31st, 2018, for each DCC Waterbed sold in North America, Advanced Comfort Technology, working alongside Feeding America, will donate a gallon of nutrient-rich wholesome milk to charitable food organizations.
“We are dedicated to promoting the dairy industry, and the women and men that produce our many dairy products,” said Amy Throndsen, the company’s Chief Operating Officer. “When you pick up a gallon of milk at your local store, remember the hard-working dairy families that provided it to you, and consider giving the gift of dairy to a local family in need, too.”
The Great American Milk Drive, the first-ever national program to help deliver highly desired and nutrient-rich gallons of milk to children in need, has delivered more than 1.8 million gallons – that’s over 28 million servings – of milk to-date to Feeding America.
Hunger has no boundaries and is a problem that exists in urban, suburban and rural communities. The gift of nutrient-rich milk can help feed a childhood and help kids in need realize their potential with full and well-nourished tummies.
Map the Meal Gap shows how hunger impacts every county in the country. With its network of 200 food banks and more than 60,000 food pantries, soup kitchens and emergency shelters throughout the country, Feeding America helps provide food to children in need.
It’s been a challenge for Feeding America to meet the demand for milk due to the lack of donations, but now it’s easier for others to lend a hand and contribute nutritious milk to local food insecure families.
America’s milk brands and dairy farmers are committed to fighting hunger in our communities through this partnership with Feeding America. Together, the dairy community has set a goal of providing 50 million servings of milk, and its essential nutrients, to kids and families in need by 2020.
Nourishing Our Nation – The Need Is Greater Than Ever
Many Americans are pressured financially due to a convergence of economic stresses – which means more people are turning to their local food bank for help. Increasingly, food banks have introduced nutrition criteria for the meals served to clients. More than two-thirds of the groceries distributed by the Feeding America network meet Feeding America’s “Foods To Encourage” guideline, based on the USDA’s MyPlate, which includes a serving of dairy, such as milk.
A network survey of Feeding America food banks revealed that 94 percent of respondents are actively working on improving the nutritional quality of meals provided to food bank clients. Yet, 95 percent of those surveyed say they do not receive enough milk to meet the demand. The number one reason cited is inadequate milk donations.
Milk tops the list of the food items most requested by food bank participants (85 percent), followed by fresh fruits (77 percent) and fresh vegetables (74 percent). While several recent initiatives have focused on getting more produce into feeding programs, The Great American Milk Drive is the first program to help resolve the milk shortage.
Milk is the top food source of three of the nutrients most likely to be missing in the American diet – calcium, vitamin D and potassium. That’s why we are focused on providing nutrient-rich milk to hungry families to help power the play, learning and growth of children in our communities.
Feeding America thanks those who join The Great American Milk Drive to help feed a childhood for a kid in need in their own community. If you want to individually give to this cause, you can make a donation at milklife.com/give . Your donation will deliver milk to the Feeding America food bank that serves your community when you enter your zip code.
About Advanced Comfort Technology (DCC Waterbeds)
For nearly 20 years, owners Dean, Audrey, and Amy Throndsen have been telling the “waterbeds for cows” story to dairy farmers around the world. DCC Waterbeds are distributed and installed in dairy barns across the United States, Canada and in over 25 additional countries. Dean has been involved in the agriculture industry since 1975, and he designed and patented the Dual Chambered Cow Waterbeds in the early 2000s. The dual-chamber design revolutionized industry perception of the traditional single-bladder waterbed. Today, Dean, Audrey, and Amy, alongside ACT’s dedicated team, market DCC Waterbeds worldwide, offering consistent comfort, one cow at a time. Learn more at www.dccwaterbeds.com , or find us on Facebook .
About Feeding America
Feeding America® is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. Through a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, we provide meals to more than 46 million people each year. Feeding America also supports programs that prevent food waste and improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Individuals, charities, businesses and government all have a role in ending hunger. Donate. Volunteer. Advocate. Educate. Together we can solve hunger. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.
MilkPEP, Washington, D.C., is funded by the nation's milk companies, who are committed to educating consumers about the many nutritious benefits of milk and ensuring all children have access to fresh, wholesome milk. The MilkPEP Board runs marketing programs, including Milk Life, a multi-faceted campaign highlighting the important role milk plays in helping families reach their full potential, Milk It! a campaign for kids built around their love of milk, and Built with Chocolate Milk, which inspires athletes to perform at their best and recover with low-fat chocolate milk. For more information, go to milklife.com and builtwithchocolatemilk.com.
About National Dairy Council
National Dairy Council (NDC), the non-profit organization founded by dairy farmers and funded by the national dairy checkoff program, has been committed to research-based nutrition education and communications since its start in 1915. NDC is dedicated to bringing to life the dairy community's shared vision of a healthy, happy, sustainable world – with science as its foundation. NDC's staff of registered dietitians, researchers and nutrition experts educate on dairy's contributions to healthy eating plans and
sustainable food systems, including the farm-to-table connection. NDC has helped launch programs to benefit the health and wellness of children and adults, including Fuel Up to Play 60, which encourages youth to consume nutrient-rich foods and achieve 60 minutes of physical activity each day. NDC also helped launch the Future of Food Partnership and The Great American Milk Drive, which both address food insecurity in America. For more information, visit NationalDairyCouncil.org and DairyGood.org and follow NDC on Facebook and Twitter (@NtlDairyCouncil).