Did you know that June is National Dairy Month?
June Dairy Month started in 1937 by grocer organizations to distribute extra milk in the warm summer months. It officially became “Dairy Month” in 1939.
In June each year, the Great American Milk Drive, along with Feeding America, works to give dairy to families facing hunger. Milk is one of the most requested items in food pantries; however, it is rarely donated due to its perishability.
To help combat this, The Fill A Glass with Hope campaign was launched last year with the goal of raising money to purchase milk vouchers that would be distributed in food pantries. This campaign was spearheaded by many organizations, including the American Dairy Association North East and was carried through at a local level by utilizing dairy promotion programs across the state. Any money raised in a specific county was used to purchase milk vouchers that were handed out at local food pantries in that county. In other words, money that was donated by the members of our community stayed locally and helped to support families in need.
Last summer, former Franklin County Dairy Princess Adyson Miller raised over $3,400 in Franklin County that was used to bring fresh milk to Franklin County residents.
By now, you have probably seen, heard of, or visited many of the various milk giveaways throughout our county and state. These giveaways have been such a great way to get fresh dairy products from farm to you and a way to utilize the excess supply of fluid milk that has been brought about from disruptions caused by COVID-19. Dairy Farmers of America, also known as DFA, has partnered with regional food banks to distribute over 100,000 gallons of milk to families. In addition, the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is partnering with national, regional and local suppliers to purchase $317 million worth of dairy products to be given out across the country.
The best part about these milk distributions is that they have been free and available to everyone, not just those in need.
Whether you have or are donating money to help bring milk to families in need through the Fill A Glass with Hope campaign, or if you are taking advantage of these free milk distributions, milk is an important staple in living a healthy lifestyle.
Why is milk so important? Milk is great for your body because it contains nine essential nutrients that your body needs. Milk is rich in calcium, for example, which helps to contribute to strong teeth and bones. And of course, it is delicious.
Milk and dairy products come in a variety of forms, flavors and varieties, so finding a dairy product that you like can be easy.
Besides being nutritious and tasting great, dairy products are also a great option for any diet because it is a local product. For example, you may be curious as to where your milk was bottled. You can figure this out by looking near the top of your container where you can find a printed code. The first part of the code will have two numbers, this represents what state the dairy product was made. New York’s code 36. The second part represents which specific plant the product was processed in. For more information about finding where your milk came from, visit www.whereismymilkfrom.com.
In the meantime, I encourage you to find a dairy product that you love and use it in a recipe! One of my favorite dairy products is Greek yogurt so I have used it in this great smoothie recipe that I hope you enjoy as much as I do.
TRIPLE BERRY SMOOTHIE
1 c. fresh or frozen strawberries
1 c. fresh or frozen blackberries
1 c. fresh or frozen raspberries
1 1/4 c. milk
1/2 c. Greek yogurt
In a blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth and divide into two cups.