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Is Dairy Important in the Fight Against Hunger?

June is National Dairy Month, and at Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee, we recognize the significant impact dairy products have in the fight against hunger. Dairy products are not only a delicious part of our daily meals but also a crucial component in providing nutritional security to families in need. This month let’s celebrate dairy farmers and highlight the importance of dairy in our mission to nourish and empower Middle and West Tennesseans.  

The Nutritional Power of Dairy 

Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt are essential for a balanced diet, offering a rich source of essential nutrients including calcium, vitamin D, and protein. These nutrients are vital for bone health, muscle function, and overall physical well-being. For children, dairy is even more critical. It supports growth and development, making it a cornerstone of a healthy childhood. At a time when 1 in 6 children face hunger, stable access to dairy couldn’t be more important.

Dairy’s Role in Food Assistance Programs 

Despite their important role in our diets, dairy products are infamous for being a logistical problem. Milk expires quickly, and most, if not all, dairy products need to always be refrigerated. That said, at Second Harvest, dairy products are a staple in our food distribution efforts. Through partnerships with local dairy farmers and grocery stores, we ensure that fresh milk and other dairy products are regularly available to those we serve through our Mobile Markets and Partner Agencies. These partnerships are invaluable, especially during times of increased need, as they help us provide perishable, high-quality foods that might otherwise be inaccessible to some families. 

Supporting Local Dairy Farmers While Fighting Hunger

Supporting National Dairy Month also means supporting our local dairy farmers who work tirelessly to produce and provide these essential products. By fostering relationships with these farmers through programs like LFPA, Second Harvest not only contributes to local economies but also ensures a steady supply of dairy for the communities we serve. This symbiotic relationship highlights the importance of community and mutual support—a core value at the heart of our mission. 

At Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee, we are committed to ensuring that every individual and family in our community has access to nutritious foods, including fresh dairy. Join us this month in honoring our dairy farmers and helping combat hunger in our region. Together, we can make a significant impact. 

For more information on how you can get involved, visit Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee. Let’s make a difference together—because no one should go hungry. 

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