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Central Illinois Foodbank receives over 2,400 gallons of milk through The Great American Milk Drive

Springfield, IL (July 27, 2018)  – For most kids, summertime means months filled with playing in the sun, swimming at the lake or baseball in the park. However, more than 22 million children – including kids in central and southern Illinois – may miss out on milk’s nutrition this summer when they lose access to free or reduced-price meal programs at school.

“Over 32,000 kids in central and southern Illinois don’t know where their next meal is coming from,” said Pam Molitoris, Central Illinois Foodbank executive director. “We’re grateful for The Great American Milk Drive, and its mission to bring fresh, nutritious milk to children and families who need it most, especially in the summer when school is out.”

While Americans are generous with canned and dry goods, fresh milk is a lot harder to donate because it’s perishable. According to Feeding America, milk is one of the most requested, but least donated items at food banks. During the summer months, food banks may be even busier and it’s increasingly important to fill this need so that children who face hunger are not missing out on the essential nutrients, including high-quality protein, that milk supplies. On average, food banks are only able to provide the equivalent of less than one gallon of milk per person, per year.  

Although some programs like the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) help to deliver meals when school is not in session, the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the School Breakfast Program (SBP), do not reach children during the summer months.

Since 2014, Feeding America has partnered with The Great American Milk Drive to help supply its nationwide network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs with highly requested milk. Thanks to the generous contributions made by shoppers and donors across the country, The Great American Milk Drive has delivered more than 1.5 million gallons – that’s more than 24 million servings – of milk to families in need throughout the country, including over 518,000 servings right here in Illinois. Yet, there’s still more to do.

America’s milk brands and dairy farmers are committed to fighting hunger in our communities. Through this partnership with Feeding America, the dairy industry is committed to providing 50 million servings of milk, and its essential nutrients, to kids and families in need by 2020.

The Great American Milk Drive is made possible by the nation’s dairy farmers and milk companies.