HFH Update 10/2011
On Food Day, Milk from the Heart Serves Low-income Families, Reflects on Need for Hunger Awareness
NEW YORK (October 24, 2011)—Today, as communities across the country observe Food Day, Milk from the Heart is providing fresh low-fat milk to low-income families with children in undernourished communities in New York City. But for Milk from the Heart, a project of social services provider Homes for the Homeless, “Food Day” isn’t a once-a-year event. Since launching in February, Milk from the Heart has distributed milk to thousands of New York City children five days a week.
Sponsored by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Food Day aims to expand access to healthy food for Americans. That mission aligns with Milk from the Heart’s goal to promote nutrition among low-income children. Only 20 percent of American children and adolescents drink low-fat milk, according to report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in September. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends low-fat milk for all children ages two and older, because it contains the calcium and Vitamin D children need to grow, while limiting unnecessary calories.
Yet in New York City’s poorest neighborhoods, stores are less likely to sell low-fat milk than they are in New York’s wealthier ZIP codes. And even when available, milk is often priced out of reach of low-income families. Milk prices have increased from $1.47 for a half-gallon in 2000 to $2.06 for the same amount last year. And New York families’ incomes are the lowest they have been in 14 years, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
“The number of children throughout New York City who are in desperate need of free milk is a jarring signal that this so-called ‘jobless economic recovery’ hasn’t yet reached the wallets of working-class and poor New Yorkers,” says Homes for the Homeless President and CEO Ralph da Costa Nunez.
Milk from the Heart distribution sites are located at 13 locations throughout Manhattan and the Bronx, where families line up around the block to receive milk distributed by a mobile milk truck. Milk from the Heart distributes approximately 14,000 quarts of milk a month.
Milk from the Heart was founded by Homes for the Homeless, a leading New York City-based social services provider. Homes for the Homeless understands that poverty is a family issue. Since 1986, Homes for the Homeless has provided services to enhance the lives of New York City's neediest families. The programs range from family homeless shelters to summer camps for children experiencing homelessness and poverty, to the latest project, Milk from the Heart, which provides free milk to hundreds of children in undernourished communities in New York City.
To schedule an interview or arrange a visit to a Milk from the Heart site, contact Diana Scholl at 212-358-8086 x1223, DScholl@ICPHusa.org. For more information about Milk from the Heart, go to HFHnyc.org/milkfromtheheart.
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