5 Foods That Food Banks Need You To Donate

The next time you reach for that gallon of milk at the grocery store, take a moment to think about people in need in your community.

One in six people, including 16 million children, are affected by hunger in the United States. And while hunger relief organizations do their best to supply those in need with food, they don’t always have the resources to provide nutrient-rich options to help support their clients’ dietary needs.

These programs are in need of sources of high-quality protein, and milk is one of the most affordable options. An 8-ounce glass contains 9 essential nutrients — including 8 grams of high-quality protein, as well as calcium, vitamin D and potassium, three nutrients noted by the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Report as nutrients of concern – nutrients many Americans don’t get in their diets.

Despite the need, in a 2014 Feeding America survey of more than 200 U.S. food banks, 95 percent of agencies reported they don’t receive enough milk donations to meet client demand. In fact, on average, Feeding America food banks only receive the equivalent of less than one gallon of milk per person per year.

Milk isn’t the only thing these food banks need. There are other nutrient-rich  foods clients seek. To help your food bank donation make the biggest impact, keep these much-needed items in mind when you’re considering what to donate to your local food pantry:

1. Milk

2. Fresh Fruits

3. Fresh Vegetables

4. Lean Meats

5. Canned/Frozen Fruit and Vegetables

But while food banks continue to try to provide the highest quality options for their clients, it’s often difficult to collect, store and distribute fresh foods because of refrigeration needs and shorter shelf lives. That’s why programs like The Great American Milk Drive, which makes it easy for you and your local food bank to get much-desired milk to people in need, are so vital.

To help close the nutrition gap and add milk to meals for families in need, donate to the Great American Milk Drive. Your donation stays in your local community to help get milk to households that need it most.