US dairy steps up for National Dairy Month

By Beth Newhart

- Last updated on GMT

Last year, US dairy contributed 686 million servings of milk, cheese and yogurt to Feeding America food banks. Pic: Getty/romrodinka
Last year, US dairy contributed 686 million servings of milk, cheese and yogurt to Feeding America food banks. Pic: Getty/romrodinka

Related tags borden borden dairy Feeding America Nutrition

This June, US dairy brands, farmers and organizations are amplifying National Dairy Month through causes, promotions and sponsored studies.

Feeding America is partnering with Undeniably Dairy to “address food and nutrition instability and child hunger,”​ which worsens in the summer months when children don’t have access to school meals.

The National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program do not operate during the summer, usually supplemented by replacements like the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program, according to Undeniably Dairy.

Ramping up dairy donations

Feeding America shared that its network of food banks provided 10 million meals at nearly 6,000 meal sites last summer. This year, it said “a three-vehicle convoy will embark on a cross-country tour in June and July to provide kids with free nutritious milk and dairy foods at locations, including farmers markets, feeding sites and sporting events.”

Marilyn Hershey, chair of Dairy Management Inc, said, “As farmers who produce quality milk and dairy foods for America, we believe that all families should have access to the nutritious foods they need.”

“That’s why we’ve been committed to supporting youth wellness through programs like Fuel Up to Play 60 and founding organizations like GENYOUth, which deliver dairy nutrition and resources that create healthier school environments and increase access to healthy foods among students.”

Undeniably Dairy said that the US dairy community has helped provide more than 31 million servings of milk to children and families in need in the last five years, thanks to The Great American Milk Drive. They have committed to providing 50 million more by 2020.

In 2018, Undeniably Dairy said that dairy farmers and companies also contributed 686 million servings of milk, cheese and yogurt to the Feeding America food banks. They are encouraging donations this month to participating organizations like​.

Julia Kadison, CEO at the Milk Processor Education Program, said, “One out of two kids in the US don’t get critical nutrients in their diets that they need to grow strong – and their chances of missing out are even greater when they don’t have access to milk.”

“As one of the most requested items at food banks, every gallon of milk donated can make a big impact in the fight against childhood hunger right in your community.”

Whole vs chocolate milk drinkers

Dairy brand Borden recently conducted a study of 2,000 Americans on milk drinking behaviors and correlation to optimism. Participants were asked to categorize a glass of liquid as half-full or half-empty, and then Borden analyzed the results to coincide with their own ‘Glass Half Full’ dairy month ad campaign.

Borden found that 58% felt that the glass was half-full, while 16% felt that it was half-empty, and those remaining were indecisive. Borden said that “viewing a glass as half-full not only tracks with more optimistic thinking, but it may line up with even more personality traits including decisiveness, playfulness, and creativity.”

The glass half-empty thinkers tend to be more laid-back, introverted, serious and proud than their half-full counterparts, who spend more time on hobbies and are more likely to drink milk.

Joe DePetrillo, chief marketing officer at Borden, said "Breakfast is the top occasion for milk, and we wanted to see how taking the time to start your morning with breakfast may influence your outlook the rest of the day.”

“It is delightful to confirm that milk drinkers are, indeed, more often glass half-full thinkers. This spirit is captured in Borden's new marketing campaign and tagline - Glass Half-Full Since 1857 - which highlights the pure joy and optimism of Borden consumers."

Borden profiled whole milk and chocolate milk drinkers in the study, and found that 60% of whole milk drinkers are glass half-full thinkers, and they are more assertive, introverted, playful and adaptable. Whole milk drinkers also love their jobs (81%) and get an average of six hours of sleep. About 23% drink milk more than once a day.

Chocolate milk drinkers were found to be more creative, laid-back, introverted, practical, rule-following and morning people. They also love their jobs (77%) and are parents (60%).

“As we head into National Dairy Month, it’s good to remind both ‘glass half-full’ and ‘glass half-empty’ thinkers that drinking milk in the morning brings significant benefits,” ​said DePetrillo.

“With a quick bowl of cereal and glass of milk, you get a kick start to the day with a great source of protein, Vitamin D, potassium and, of course, calcium – nutrients that many Americans are currently lacking.”

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