Thanks to partnerships to increase food bank donations of fluid milk across the Southeast, four milk donation programs will be taking place across the Southeast this September in conjunction with Hunger Action Month and the Great American Milk Drive (GAMD).
Feeding America ® is the largest domestic hunger-relief organization in the country, and hopes to increase awareness about one of their most requested items in food banks nationwide ““ milk. While many Americans are generous with nonperishable items, such as canned goods and dry ingredients, milk is much harder to donate because it is perishable.
In order to bring support to the more than 49 million Americans who struggle with food insecurity, Feeding America ® started a nationwide campaign each September dubbing it as Hunger Action Month. On average, food banks are only able to provide the equivalent of less than one gallon of milk per person each year ““ a trend that Feeding America ® hopes to change.
In honor of Hunger Action Month, four large chain retailers, Rouses, Kroger, Ingles and Circle K, will be participating in various donation programs to provide fluid milk to food banks across the Southeast. These promotions to increase fluid milk sales would not be taking place without the partnerships between Southeast United Dairy Industry Association, Inc. (SUDIA), milk processors and milk retailers.
Kroger’s Pour It Forward program will launch nationwide with all 3,430 stores participating and promoting the campaign through store banners, in-store table tents, cooler clings at the dairy case and posts on social media. Customers will choose a $1, $3 or $5 voucher off of tear pads at check-out. In 2014, Kroger customers donated more than 100,000 gallons of milk to families in need in communities across the country.
“We know our customers care deeply about the issue of hunger in their local communities and are willing to donate dry goods, but it’s difficult to provide fresh, perishable items like milk,” said Lynn Marmer, Kroger’s Group Vice President of corporate affairs. “We are honored to partner with Feeding America for the second year in a row. The ‘Pour It Forward’ program makes it so simple to give hope by the gallon and provide milk to families in need across the country.”
Ingles’ “Stand Up to Hunger with Milk” campaign launched at 202 locations in mid-August. Customers can donate two ways, by either selecting a $1 donation card at checkout or via peel-away labels on Laura Lynn fluid milk gallons. All donations will be converted into coupons for milk and distributed to the local Feeding America food banks in their respective communities. Ingles will also be hosting Hunger Action Month kickoff events at stores in Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina and North Carolina throughout the month, with one large kickoff event in each state:
- Asheville, N.C.: Wednesday, September 9 from 11:00a.m. to 1:00p.m. at the Ingles store located at 669 Haywood, Road, Asheville, N.C. 28806.
- Atlanta, Ga.: Tuesday, September 15 from 12:00p.m. to 2:00p.m. at the Ingles store located at 5075 Peachtree Parkway, Norcross, Ga. 30092.
- Greenville, S.C.: Tuesday, September 22 from 10:00a.m. to 12:00p.m. at the Ingles store located at 2795 E. Main Street, Spartanburg, S.C. 29307.
- Knoxville, Tenn.: Monday, September 14 from 4:00p.m. to 6:00p.m. at the Ingles store located at 11847 Kingston Pike, Farragut, Tenn. 37934.
All 45 Rouses locations in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi will be participating in the GAMD this September in partnership with Feeding America. Dairy cooler clings, store signage and social media posts will encourage customers to donate $1, $3 and $5 during checkout.
Circle K’s across the Southeast will become the first convenience stores to participate in the Great American Milk Drive with their Milk for Kids program. Gas pump toppers, front door signs and credit card pin-pad signs will be displayed at 336 Kangaroo Express stores and 248 Circle K stores in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.
Shoppers will be able to donate $1, $3 or $5 to Milk for Kids during checkout via donation cards placed at the register. All donations will be turned into vouchers for free milk that will be sent to local food banks after the program ends.
“We are excited to have Circle K partner with us here in the Southeast,” said SUDIA general manager Cheryl Hayn. “We know that Millennials are spending more and doing more shopping at convenience stores, and we are excited to try this new avenue for milk donations.”
Since launching last fall, more than 404,000 gallons of milk have been donated to the GAMD nationwide. Milk is a nutrient power-house, packing in eight ounces of protein and nine essential nutrients in each glass.
To learn more about how you can get involved with Hunger Action Month and the Great American Milk Drive, visit www.milklife.com/give.
About the Southeast United Dairy Industry Association On behalf of dairy farm families, the non-profit Southeast United Dairy Industry Association, Inc. (SUDIA), works with schools, health professionals, retailers, dairy processors and the public to promote dairy foods. For more information, visit www.southeastdairy.org.
For more information please contact director of marketing and partner relations Mark Farmer via phone at (770) 994-5828 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org