If you haven’t realized by now, I am a really simple gal and I live for the simple joys of summer (okay, not just summer but life in general). Anyway, this weekend definitely was simple and I loved every second of it. It didn’t hurt that the weather was perfect so we enjoyed some really nice moments together just joking around and laughing outside. One of my favorite things to do is listen to all my daughter’s stories about her friends and her days at school. She’s particularly nostalgic lately with the end of the school year so close and doing a lot of reminiscing about the past year in Kindergarten. Yesterday, they were having milk and cookies and she was sharing a story as usual when my heart quickly filled up with gratitude. My kids were happy enjoying their milk and cookies and having a happy moment and I was reminded of how fortunate our family is that we can afford to provide them with good quality food, clothing, and shelter. These are simple things for us but for many families in this country buying milk isn’t always possible because of financial constraints.
My daughter shared that she is a bit saddened by the end of the school year because she wouldn’t get to spend as much time with her school friends during the summer. As she shared this, I thought about the fact that there are children her age who have deeper reasons for feeling sad that the school year is ending. You see, more than 22 million children may miss out on milk’s nutrition this summer when they lose access to free or reduced-price meal programs at school and even kids whose families receive food donations do not always get milk donated since milk is one of the least donated food items. At a matter of fact, the average food bank is only able to provide the equivalent of less than one gallon of milk per person per year. While it was a hard conversation to start, I decided to tell my daughter this. I don’t want her to ever take these things for granted. My goal is to raise compassionate children who care about others and help improve the lives of those in need.
It breaks my heart to know that while most of our kids are enjoying summer vacations, days soaking up the sun on the beach and not having a worry in the world there are children who have to go without such a good source of protein. I mean take a moment and think about your kids not having milk with their cereal at breakfast, or oatmeal or not being able to give them a cold glass of milk when they crave it. I don’t only sympathize with the children but also the parents who are in this really tough position. It’s wonderful though that there are people who care are making changes to improve this situation.
One of these movements for change is The Great American Milk Drive which is making it possible for fresh milk to be delivered to children in need this summer. The Great American Milk Drive is a collaborative effort between Feeding America, America’s dairy farmers, and milk companies and turns online donations into gallons of milk for families in local communities. So far, the program has provided more than 12 million servings of milk to families across the country. The month of June is National Dairy Month and the perfect time to get involved and donate since many kids are already are on summer break or going on summer break this month. To help in your community this summer, you can head tomilklife.com/give and make a small donation. Even if you can only $5, your donation will deliver a highly desired and nutrient-rich gallon of fresh milk to children who need it most. Deliver a gallon of nutrient-rich milk and help to ensure that all children have the potential to play, learn and grow.
I want to note that USDA’s Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) helps to deliver meals to children when school is not in session. However, the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the School Breakfast Program (SBP) do not reach children during the summer months. That’s why food banks are much more important during the summer to ensure that kids are getting milk’s 9 essential nutrients, including 8 grams of high-quality protein per 8 ounce serving to help ensure that they have the potential to play, learn and grow this summer.
Milk Life will be providing gift packs ARV $25 to 15 Lucky winners! The gift pack includes:
- Tote bag
- Luggage tag
- Insulated tumbler with straw
Dates: Monday, June 13 at 12:00am PT – Friday, July 8 at 12:00am PT
Entry Options: You may enter the giveaway via the widget above with the following options:
- Leave a Blog Post Comment: How do fuel your summer with milk?
- Follow @milklife on Twitter
- Visit Milk’s Facebook Page
- Follow @milklife on Instagram
- Notification: Winners will be randomly selected and notified by Clever Girls and/or Milk Life by Friday, July 22, 2016.
- Terms & Conditions: The official Terms & Conditions are included in the widget; here is the high-level eligibility criteria:
- Age 18+
- US resident only
- Only one winner per household
Were you aware of this summer milk shortage for children?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.