We care deeply about our communities and the health and wellbeing of our nation. The dairy community has made significant contributions to child health and wellness and continues to address the issue of food insecurity in America. Each year, dairy works with local food banks to provide the essential nutrients found in dairy foods to those in need.

America’s farmers wake up every day with one purpose, and that is to feed people. We want all Americans to have access to culturally appropriate, affordable, nutrient-rich foods, including dairy foods, to help reduce food and nutrition insecurity and improve health equity. And that commitment has never been more critical.

America is facing both an economic and nutrition recession. Many are undernourished in critical nutrients important to health and wellness. It’s time to invest in health by focusing on nutrient-rich foods that provide the most nutrition per calorie, per penny and per bite. In 2022, approximately 85% of the 200 food banks in the Feeding America network reported an increased or sustained demand for food assistance compared to the previous month. And dairy is one of the most requested items.

According to recent estimates, over 34 million people in the U.S., including 9 million children, are food insecure.

Dairy farmers and companies, alongside so many essential workers across the U.S., work hard every day to broaden access to nutritious, affordable dairy foods for the growing number of people facing food and nutrition insecurity. The amount of dairy foods distributed through Feeding America has doubled from 226 million pounds of dairy to 506 million pounds of dairy from 2016 to 2022. There’s more work to be done, and the dairy community remains dedicated to being part of the solution.

Ending Hunger, Improving Health

National Dairy Council, funded by America’s dairy farmers and importers, is committed to increasing access to nutrient-rich milk and dairy foods for those facing food and nutrition insecurity, and supporting nutrition research, education and partner engagement during the critical prenatal and childhood years and across the lifespan.

Food Security & Schools

One in six children in the U.S. faces hunger, and for many, school meals are a lifeline and may be the only healthy meal that they receive on some days. About 30 million students rely on the school meal program for important nutrition their growing bodies need. In 2021, 3.11 billion pounds of total dairy was provided through school meal programs, including 2.87 billion pounds of milk, 167 million pounds of cheese and 78 million pounds of yogurt. While the federal government provides some critical aid, school nutrition programs will continue to be in financial peril and too many students are at risk of going hungry.