You’ve seen the iconic ads “Got Milk” featuring movie stars and sports heroes with a milk mustache. The idea was to get us to drink more milk – it’s good for you.
That’s great, but to many children in Southeast Michigan that tagline reads “want milk,”
Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan wants to get more milk into the mouths of Detroit kids. It recently received a truck filled with more than 4,300 gallons of milk from the United Dairy Industry of Michigan (UDIM) at its Detroit Warehouse & Distribution Center.
Additionally, it purchased another 21,600 gallons, including the truck that was delivered on October 18, through financial donations from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Quicken Loans, Gleaners volunteers and other donors.
Gleaners also received 39,888 gallons of fresh milk donations over the past year from UDIM, Kroger and the Michigan Milk Producers Association.
“Hunger is a serious issue and with an average of eight grams of high-quality protein per cup, milk is an ideal product to supply hungry individuals,” says registered dietitian and UDIM Chief Executive Officer Sharon Toth. “On behalf of all Michigan dairy farm families, UDIM is incredibly proud to partner with Gleaners to help fill a nutrient gap and increase access to milk. There isn’t anything closer to our farmers’ hearts than feeding people.”
UDIM is matching donation, gallon-to-gallon. That means $10 donation will help Gleaners provide 12 gallons of milk to families in need.
The Milk Match Program will help Gleaners provide a total 61,488 gallons of milk to food insecure families in SE Michigan this year.
According to Feeding America, milk is among the top five requested foods by food bank clients but sourcing and distributing a consistent supply of milk and milk products is a challenge. It is one of the main reasons dairy comprises only 5.3 percent of food available in food banks.
“Fresh milk is a nutritious staple for children, and one of the most requested foods by the families we serve, who frequently don’t have sufficient resources to buy it. Yet, milk is rarely donated,” says Julie Beamer, Gleaners chief operating officer. “We’re humbled by the continued generosity of our donors who help ensure that thousands of children here in southeastern Michigan have the protein and calcium-rich milk they need to help them learn, grow and play.”
Donations will be accepted throughout the holiday season at www.gcfb.org/milkmatch.
– Photos courtesy of Gleaners