The holiday season is upon us and your gift shopping may have already begun. Giving gifts during the holidays is a tradition that can extend beyond our families and social networks to those in need in our communities. In fact, nearly one-third of annual charitable-giving occurs in December. This kindness is emphasized and encouraged by the global generosity movement, Giving Tuesday. Celebrated the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, this year on December 3rd, Giving Tuesday inspires people to give, collaborate and celebrate generosity.

As a Registered Dietitian and a mom, when I think of giving, my thoughts go to those in my community who do not have enough to eat. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), in 2018, 6 million children lived in food-insecure households. This means these families don’t have enough food for every family member to lead an active, healthy life. They often depend on food banks to help provide nutritious food for their families. 

Did you know that milk is one of the most requested yet least donated items in a food bank? Food-bank-families receive less than one gallon of milk per person per year. Therefore, families and children are not getting the essential nutrients that milk provides, including 8 grams of high-quality protein per serving (more than an egg!) and three of the top nutrients most likely to be missing in the American diet – calcium, vitamin D and potassium. 

This Giving Tuesday, consider giving the goodness of milk. Here are some ways you can help:

  • The 10 Gallon Challenge: Purchase 10 gallons of milk from the grocery store and deliver to your local food bank. Be sure to challenge a friend or family member to do the same by posting on social media with the hashtag #10GallonChallenge.
  • Give A Gallon: Easier to donate money? No problem! Visit Milk Life to make a donation to deliver fresh milk to people in need in your community. 
  • Support your local food bank: Visit Feeding America to find your nearest food bank. You can make a monetary donation to go toward the purchase of milk or volunteer your time.

Add charitable giving to your gift list this year! Your contribution will help spread holiday cheer to those in need.

Southeast Dairy Association - Laura Buxenbaum

Laura Buxenbaum, MPH, RD, LDN