By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
According to the International Dairy Foods Association, milk can help the one in six Oklahomans who lack consistent access to enough food to lead a more active and healthier life.
National Dairy Month began as National Milk Month in 1937 as a way to promote drinking milk. It was initially created to stabilize the dairy demand when production was at a surplus, but has now developed into an annual tradition that celebrates the contributions the dairy industry has made to the world.
Since 2014, the drive has helped to provide for more than 1 million gallons of milk to food banks across the country.
Founded over 40 years ago, Dairy MAX is a nonprofit dairy council representing more than 900 dairy farm families across seven states, including Colorado, southwest Kansas, Montana, New Mexico, western Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming.
Dairy MAX is part of a nationwide effort to promote American agriculture and support dairy farming. The organization operates five outreach programs: business development, consumer marketing, health and wellness, industry image and relations and school marketing.
“Milk is a dietary staple that is missing from many households across the state,” said Amanda Ford, registered dietitian at Dairy MAX. “Every $5 donation will ensure that a family receives nutrient-rich milk. With your help, we can reach our goal of providing an additional 1,000 gallons of milk for families in Oklahoma this year.”
On average nationwide, people served by food banks receive the equivalent of less than one gallon of milk per person per year. In Oklahoma, your donations go to provide essential nutrients to those served by the Regional Food Bank each year.
“Fresh milk is one of the most requested items by food bank clients making the Great American Milk Drive so essential to helping meet the demand during the summer months when schools are not in session and food banks are often busier,” said Katie Fitzgerald, chief executive officer of the Regional Food Bank.
A $5 donation can help families receive a nutrient-rich gallon of milk. Donations can be made throughout June, by visiting giveagallon.com.
The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma is leading the fight against hunger in 53 counties in central and western Oklahoma and envisions a state where everyone, regardless of circumstance, has access to nutritious food.
Founded in 1980, the Regional Food Bank is the state’s largest hunger-relief 501(c)(3) nonprofit that distributes food through a network of community-based partner agencies and schools.
The majority of people served by the Regional Food Bank are chronically hungry children, seniors living on fixed incomes and hardworking families struggling to make ends meet.
For more information about the Regional Food Bank, visit rfbo.org or call 405-972-1111.