Milk Donations for Local Food Banks | Love Bakes Good Cakes

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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Milk Donations for Local Food Banks

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Shamrock Farms. The opinions and text are all mine.

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This is one of those posts that in some senses, I have been waiting to write for a long time. While food blogging is fun and yummy most of the time .... life isn't always that way. While I have alluded to it before, you may not know that my oldest three kiddos and I have been homeless and have faced food insecurity. Yes, we have lived in a homeless shelter (for about 5 months) and yes, there were days when I didn't know if my kids were going to eat that day. As a mom, it was one of the most helpless feelings ever.

Milk Donations for Local Food Banks #ad

While my family is in a better place now than we were a few years ago, that experience is with me daily. Knowing that September is Hunger Action Month, I want to do my part to help others through donations and to also spread the word about how you can help too!


Statistically, 1 in 3 children, 1 in 5 Arizonans, and 1 in 7 seniors in Arizona live in poverty.* Arizona ranks higher than national averages for hunger rates: 17.8% of Arizonans are food insecure, compared to 15.9% nationally, and 28.2% of Arizonan children face hunger, compared to 21.6% nationally. Arizona ranks third in the country for high child food insecurity rates, behind only New Mexico and Mississippi, with 456,760 children facing hunger on a daily basis. 2 million Arizonans are considered working poor, living at or below the Federal Poverty Guideline. The majority of those served by the Food Bank’s emergency food box program are the working poor. More than 40% of the households receiving emergency food assistance have at least one person who is working.

Milk Donations for Local Food Banks #ad

My family was challenged to use the contents of a typical food box. The food box is designed to last a family of four for 3-4 days, but it's not designed to be the only food a family has. It's designed to stretch their pantry items. I know when my family was food insecure, the last few days before payday were always the hardest! That's why the milk addition would mean so much. Currently, families in need receive only about one gallon of milk per year! This is because milk is perishable and is not easily donated as part of food drives.

In April 2014, that all changed. The Great American Milk Drive was launched nationwide and it allows people to make online and text donations for Feeding America food banks so they can purchase and distribute milk to the families they serve! Isn't that fantastic news? That's where you and I can play a part in the success of The Great American Milk Drive!

Milk Donations for Local Food Banks #ad

A year later, through consumer and retail activations, more than 20,000 gallons of milk have been donated to Arizona Feeding America food banks. While these numbers are impressive, more than one million people each year are served by these food banks. Considering that milk is the number one source for calcium, potassium and Vitamin D in the American diet - all critical for healthy child development - you can understand why there is a tremendous need!

As an example, our food box came with a box of cereal, 4 cans of assorted vegetables, 2 cans of fruit, a bottle of juice, dried apples, dried beans, 2 cans of spaghetti sauce, a package of noodles and a can of chicken. While most of the food groups were hit, did you notice the lack of dairy?! No milk for cereal. No milk for recipes. No milk to drink at dinner time.

Milk Donations for Local Food Banks #ad

In a typical week, the Love Bakes Good Cakes family of six goes through 4-5 gallons of milk! My kiddos usually have a glass of milk for breakfast (or in their cereal) and again at dinner time. I use milk throughout the week for pancakes, muffins, bread, in soups, smoothies .... honestly, this was really eye-opening for me! I didn't realize how much milk we really used from day to day!

When we had our spaghetti dinner from the Emergency Food Box, normally I would have made some kind of bread loaf, rolls or biscuits to accompany dinner. Not this time. So many bread recipes use milk! Even a box of biscuit mix uses milk! I even got to thinking about when we were food insecure - a popular item in our boxes then was boxed mac and cheese .... and can you guess how many gallons of milk we received? Yep .... zero. I understand the difficulty food banks have obtaining donations for perishable items like milk - which is why I am thrilled to help spread the word!

Shamrock Farms has partnered with Feeding America's St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance for the Great American Milk Drive. Shamrock Farms will match donations during the month of September (up to 500 gallons) for the Great American Milk Drive! Not only would I love for ya'll to donate enough for them to match the 500 gallons .... but I would love for Love Bakes Good Cakes readers to far exceed that amount - and I know y'all can do it! Visit www.milklife.org/giveShamrockFarms if you would like to make a donation! Every donation counts and is one step closer to helping food banks get more milk to the families who need it!


*Source: St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance

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12 comments:

  1. Biting the inside of my cheek to keep from tearing up. My family has been there too. On more than one occasion, the food box we got from a church nearby the motel in which we were living, was all the food that we had. God bless you for 'making noise' about this vital issue.

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by, LuAnn! This issue is too important to ignore! I think most folks would be shocked at the people that they know, who have been where we have been!

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  2. Fortunately I have never experienced this personally, I find it brave of you to share your story. I can't imagine how awful that would be. Way to champion such an important cause.

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  3. I think this is a great cause Jaime and so eye opening with your story you shared! Thanks for spreading the word!

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  4. Sharing your story to help others is amazing, Jamie, and I can only imagine how hard it must be to go through this with your children! This sounds like such a great cause!

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    1. As hard as it was looking back, I'm thankful for the experience. I'm happy to be in a better place now and to be able to pay it forward.

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  5. As a mom, I can't even imagine. What an awesome cause...and thanks for sharing your story and your strength!

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  6. I know this all to well. You have sparked a flame that I will never let die. I will remember my story that I tried to forget, yours and many others we know nothing about and donate as much as I can. As well as teach my children to do the same. Thank you and be blessed!!

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    1. First of all - hugs!!! Being homeless and/or food insecure is very difficult. I'm sure I speak for both of us when I say that I am thankful for the people who helped get us through that part of life .... and I am sure we are both more than happy to help those who are where we have been! Thank you so much for stopping by!!

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I love reading your comments. Thanks so much for taking the time to read and respond. :)

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