Summer Nutrition Vital for Kids who Depend on Schools for Healthy Foods

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As Florida Dairy Farmers recognizes National Dairy Month, the dairy industry is helping food banks get milk to kids in need.

More than 22 million children may miss out on milk’s nutrition in the summer months when school is out and they lose access to free or reduced-price meal programs. June is National Dairy Month and America’s dairy farmers and milk companies are on a mission to bring more nutritious milk to children in need with The Great American Milk Drive.

In many cases, food insecure children depend on meals and milk provided in the school cafeteria for the bulk of their daily nutrition. Although the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the School Breakfast Program (SBP) fund school breakfasts and for lunches kids in need, these federal programs do not reach children when school is out.

Moreover, milk is one of the most requested items by food bank clients year-round, and that’s especially the case during the summer when kids aren’t getting nutritious meals provided through their schools. On average, food banks are only able to provide the equivalent of less than one gallon of milk per person per year.

“Children who greatly depend on school breakfasts and lunches for nutritious foods may experience a significant nutrition gap in the summertime when school is out,” says Alyssa Greenstein, registered dietitian with Florida Dairy Farmers and president of the Florida Academy of Nutrition of Dietetics. “The Great American Milk Drive will get milk to local food banks so those kids can gain greater access to milk’s unique combination of nine essential nutrients, which they need for proper growth and development.”

For as little as $5 and a simple click of a mouse at http://www.milklife.com/give, it is possible to donate much-needed milk to families and children who do not have regular access to milk through Feeding America’s nationwide network of food banks.

For more information about Florida Dairy Farmers, visit http://www.floridamilk.com. To learn more about The Great American Milk Drive, or to make a donation today, visit http://www.milklife.com/give.

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Mario Roberts
Florida Dairy Farmers
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