Milk: Highly Requested, Rarely Donated

September is a favorite month for many – a month when the weather shows signs of cooling off and students are getting back into the school routine. It often signifies the start of fall; a season spent enjoying family meals, watching football games and savoring the fall flavors and colors.

September is also Hunger Action Month, a time when we are reminded that 1 in 8 Americans, or nearly 13% of the population is at risk of hunger.

Feeding America is the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization. More than 46 million people – including nearly 12 million children – are served by the Feeding America network of food banks each year. With the staggering number of people who rely on food banks and food assistance programs, it becomes more important that the foods available to them have the nutritional value to truly provide sustenance.

Milk is one of the most requested, yet least donated items, meaning children in need may be missing out on the essential nutrients milk provides. In fact, on average each Feeding America food bank participant receives less than one gallon of milk per person per year. That’s far short of the recommended three daily servings of milk, cheese or yogurt.

Over 3 years ago, on behalf of America’s Dairy Farm Families, National Dairy Council partnered with Feeding America to launch The Great American Milk Drive – the first-ever nationwide, multi-year program that inspires people to donate to hungry families. Dairy farm families across the country support the Great American Milk Drive because building stronger communities and providing quality dairy foods through innovative and sustainable farming practices is a top commitment. Milk is naturally nutrient-rich with 9 essential nutrients, including 8 grams of high-quality protein per 8-ounce serving and three of the top nutrients most likely to be missing in the American diet – calcium, vitamin D and potassium.

Join us in support of The Great American Milk by donating with a purpose to help feed a childhood – delivering a gallon of milk to a family in need and helping to ensure that all children have the potential to play, learn and grow. Visit to learn more about the Great American Milk Drive and the reasons why we are taking action this September.

By Jenna Allen, MS, RDN

Jenna is a registered dietitian with a passion for communicating science in an approachable way. She has been part of the Dairy MAX team since 2008. When she isn't working, Jenna is trying out new recipes with her three kids and working on her food photography. Learn more about Jenna.

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