Milk: An Important Nutrient Source for An Undernourished Population

Good morning friends of Care and Share!

We decided to reach out to the Western Dairy Association (WDA) for some expert information about the nutritional value of milk. Please enjoy their blog!

Did you know, on average, Americans consume a little less than one cup of milk a day, or about 20 gallons of milk in a year? At Feeding America Food Banks across the country, milk is one of the most requested items, yet an average of less than one gallon of milk goes to each person utilizing the food bank every year.

When you remove milk and other dairy products, like cheese and yogurt, from the diet, it becomes challenging to attain all of the nutrients your body needs during the day. Statistics show that people who drink milk consume more of the nutrients that Americans tend to fall short on than people who do not report drinking milk.

Calcium is just one of milk’s nine essential nutrients. Milk is also a good source of vitamin D and potassium, which along with calcium, make up three of the four nutrients that Americans miss out on the most. To absorb the same amount of calcium as you get from one cup of milk, you would have to eat eight cups of cooked spinach or five servings of almonds. In fact, research shows that enjoying three servings of dairy daily helps provide the nutrients necessary for healthy bones, teeth, nerves and muscles, and may decrease the risk of preventable diseases such as cardiovascular disease and Type II Diabetes.

Cow’s milk has eight grams of high-quality protein per cup. Protein-rich foods not only strengthen our bodies, but also helps hungry families to feel full longer after a meal. Starting the morning with a nutritious breakfast that includes milk is a simple and nutritious way to get energy that lasts throughout the day.

Unfortunately, many families who rely on food banks do not have access to milk because there’s a shortage of milk donations.

Please join us as we continue efforts to reduce the rates of food insecurity in our community through the Great American Milk Drive Challenge. To donate $5 for a gallon of milk for a family in need, visit

WDA is a three-state, farmer-funded non-profit organization focused on encouraging consumption of milk and milk products within the context of a complete diet in accordance with scientific recommendations. It is centered on educating communities about the local value and contributions of dairy farms and about the health, nutrition and wellness benefits of dairy products for youth and adults.

WDA can be found on Facebook at Western Dairy Association, Twitter @WesternDairy, and online at

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