AUGUSTA, Maine – The holidays are a time for giving, and it’s always appreciated when people remember their neighbors in need by donating to their local food pantry. One donation often left out, though, is milk.
“Milk is one of the most requested nutritious food items but the least donated,” said Jami Badershall, communications manager for Maine Dairy & Nutrition Council. “Obviously people donate non-perishable items during food drives, and milk is a perishable item. On average, the equivalent of less than one gallon per person per year is donated to food banks.”
But there are simple ways to ensure that milk and its nine essential nutrients are making it onto the tables of Maine families in need. The dairy community has partnered with Feeding America and its affiliated food banks, including Good Shepherd Food Bank of Maine, to get more milk into the hands of the 46 million Americans (12 million children) who rely on food banks. A $5 donation to www.giveagallon.com is turned into a voucher for a gallon of milk that will be distributed by Good Shepherd Food Bank to their over 450 partner agencies, located throughout the state. Or you can donate directly to Good Shepherd Food Bank and they can purchase milk, dairy, and other fresh foods.
“The Food Bank’s purchasing power enables us to make a dollar stretch a great deal further than the average individual,” says Jessica Donahue, marketing and communications manager for Good Shepherd Food Bank. “We are continuously looking for ways to increase the variety of fresh, nutritious foods being offered to our partner agencies, and milk is an item people are always asking for.”
For more information and to gift a gallon (or more!) of milk, please visit www.giveagallon.com.
About Maine Dairy & Nutrition Council:
Established in 1949, Maine Dairy & Nutrition Council is funded by Maine dairy farmers and dairy processors. Its works to promote well-being through leadership in nutrition education and research of the nutritional value of dairy. Maine’s dairy farmers have chosen to focus much of the efforts of the Maine Dairy & Nutrition Council on food insecurity within the state and specifically childhood hunger. Through programs such as Fuel Up to Play 60, the council has been able to support endeavors like Breakfast in the Classroom, Summer Feeding Programs, school food pantries and Milk2MyPlate.
About Good Shepherd Food Bank:
Good Shepherd Food Bank is the largest hunger-relief organization in Maine, which provides for Mainers facing hunger by distributing nutritious food to more than 450 partner agencies across the state, including food pantries, meal sites, schools, and senior programs. Together with its network, the Food Bank contributes to a statewide effort to combat the root causes of hunger by engaging in advocacy, nutrition education, targeted interventions, and strategic partnerships. In 2018, the Food Bank has distributed 25 million meals to families, children, and seniors in need throughout Maine. www.feedingmaine.org
Jami Badershall, communications manager
Maine Dairy Promotion Board
Maine Dairy & Nutrition Council
Marketing and Communications Manager
Good Shepherd Food Bank
(207) 782-3554 x1176