On March 28, the culmination of an effort by California's dairy families to generate awareness for communities adversely affected by recent natural disasters came to fruition with a $30,000 Feeding America check presentation at the Redwood Empire Food Bank in Santa Rosa, Calif. Milk is one of the most requested nutrition staples at Feeding America food banks, but facilities are able to provide only the equivalent of less than 1 gallon of milk per person each year, according to the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB), Tracy, Calif.

"On behalf of the Redwood Empire Food Bank and Feeding America food banks in Texas and Florida, we are happy to accept this check from the California Milk Advisory Board that represents 96,000 servings of milk for families in need affected by recent disasters," said David Goodman, CEO of the Redwood Empire Food Bank. "Providing wholesome, nutritious milk is important to our clients' health, particularly children and seniors who are often most vulnerable to hunger. These donations and the awareness they bring are critical, especially months after disasters when the true impact is felt."    

The Redwood Empire Food Bank serves 82,000 clients each month through their 12 innovative programs and with the help of 170 partners, the CMAB said. Because of the Sonoma Complex Fire, the organization has provided enough additional food for 1,337,000 meals to 16,000 families at Station 3990 emergency food distribution sites throughout Sonoma County.

"The fires in California and hurricanes in Texas and Florida affected so many, including dairy farmers, their friends and neighbors," said John Talbot, CEO of the CMAB. "This donation — through the Great American Milk Drive — continues the tradition of farm families ensuring families in need have access to healthy food options like milk."

The Great American Milk Drive campaign — a partnership between Feeding America, milk companies and dairy farmers — seeks to secure nutrient-rich milk for hungry families. For as little as $5, people can donate online to the Great American Milk Drive at www.MilkLife.com/Give and provide a family in-need with one gallon of wholesome milk, the CMAB noted.