It is hard to imagine that one in four Mississippians are food insecure or battle hunger. But, it is true and heartbreaking. Just think, your co-worker, church member, or neighbor could be missing out on the nutrients needed to sustain good health. And while food banks like Mississippi Food Network, do their best to keep providing food to those in need, there is one staple missing; milk.
The gallon of milk you consider a staple is missing in many Mississippi food banks and food banks across America. This means hungry families in your community are missing out on milk’s essential nutrients because it’s not typically donated to food banks- even though it’s in demand.
To help close this gap, our Southeast dairy farmers, along with dairy farmers and milk processors from across the country have helped create The Great American Milk Drive, the first-ever national program to help deliver nutrient-rich milk to hungry families who need it most. As a registered dietitian, I am so proud that our Mississippi dairy farmers and Prairie Farms have stepped up to the plate and are supporting our local food banks.
Recently, Prairie Farms donated 500 gallons of milk to the Mississippi Food Network. What a great start to nourishing families in need. But, the work doesn’t stop there. Marilyn Blackledge with Mississippi Food Network noted this milk would be delivered and received within 24 hours. Wow, milk really is in high demand! And, you can help continue the giving.
The Great American Milk Drive is making it easy for you to help. Here’s how it works. With a simple click of the mouse (www.milklife.com/give) or text message (text “Milk” to 27722), you’ll be able to buy much-needed milk and donate it to a family who doesn’t have access to milk. And the good news is local donations stay local! Help more Mississippians get the nutrition they need to power their potential.
Tiffani Grant, MS, RD, is the Director of the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity at the Mississippi State Department of Health Office of Preventive Health, where she develops program strategies for community-based organizations and school districts on implementing effective community and school health programs.