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Milk is one of the most requested and least available items at food banks.


By Darleen Sichly, Oregon Dairy Farmer

Is anyone else looking at the calendar and wondering how in the world it's September already? The summer seemed to fly by, but the start of September brings a special message as it is Hunger Action Month.

boy drinking milk


Forty-eight million Americans, 15 million of them children, face hunger.


As dairy farmers, we know the value of milk in a healthy and balanced diet. Eight grams of protein per serving, calcium, potassium, and vitamin D fill many of the nutritional requirements of American diets. While milk is the most requested item at food banks, it is also the least donated. Most households in need are lucky to see one gallon of milk per year.

Feeding America is a network of food banks across the nation that works to help combat this problem. They are also the network that helps to distribute donations from the Great American Milk Drive.

This past winter I helped set up a Great American Milk Drive tent at a local event to spread the message about this need. My biggest takeaway from the experience was how simple conversations could help to raise awareness of the milk gap problem. To date, over 700,000 gallons have been donated through the efforts of the Great American Milk Drive.

So, this month, and all year long, think about how you can take action to spread the message about and meet the needs of those who face hunger. Just having a simple conversation about the milk gap can help raise much-needed awareness. As dairy farmers, it is great that we can advocate for a program that gets our product to those who need it most.



Darleen Sichley blog footer
The author is a third-generation dairy farmer from Oregon where she farms in partnership with her husband and parents. As a mother of two young boys who round out the family run operation as micro managers, Darleen blogs about the three generations of her family working together at Guernsey Dairy Mama. Abiqua Acres Mann's Guernsey Dairy is currently home to 90 registered Guernseys and is in the process of transitioning to a robotic milking system.










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