United Dairy Industry of Michigan text to donate program promotes milk donations to food banks

Michigan families that are in need may now see milk availability increase through a new text to donate program for Feeding America food banks and pantries.

With the holiday season in full swing and preparations being made for festive meals and gatherings, it is important to remember that there are still 1.7 million Michigan residents that struggle with hunger every day. Many of the donations received by food banks and pantries are typically canned and dry goods because they are easier to keep on the shelf for a longer period of time. Milk, on the other hand isn’t an item that people usually donate because it is perishable. This leaves many families in need without milk. 

According to the United Dairy Industry of Michigan, food pantry users in Michigan on average receive the equivalent of less than one gallon of nutritious milk per person per year. To help get much needed milk to Michigan food banks, the United Dairy Industry of Michigan (UDIM) developed a Text to Donate program to help food pantries provide those in need with protein rich milk. UDIM will also match all text to donate contributions through the end of 2015, up to $30,000. 

In addition, UDIM created this “The Dairy Farmer’s Gift” video -- a version of “The Night before Christmas”-- which tells the story of a dairy farmer who gives a calf to St. Nick to provide milk for children around the world. The video ends with a message encouraging viewers to text to donate milk to a food pantry in their area.  

Many food banks and pantries across the state do have health and nutrition staff from Michigan State University Extension providing important nutrition education that promotes healthy food choices from all of the food groups including dairy, meal planning and budgeting. To connect with a Michigan State University Extension staff member in your area, visit the expert page or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464).

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