Celebrating all things dairy

27/Jun/19 / 16:00

Every June, there are many reasons for celebration: the end of another school year, the official start of summer with the longest day of the year, and sunny skies ushering in warm weather. Here at the Food Bank, we’re also celebrating all things dairy … because it’s National Dairy Month!
National Dairy Month started out as National Milk Month in 1937 as a way to promote drinking milk.(1) Nowadays, it’s a great opportunity to recognize the importance of nutrient-rich dairy products.
Take milk, for example. Did you know that milk contains 9 different essential nutrients your body needs to maintain good health? One especially important nutrient is calcium, which helps build and maintain strong bones and teeth. 25% of your daily value of calcium can be found in one serving of milk! In fact, milk is the top source of calcium in most Americans’ diets.(2)
Here are some more fun facts about milk and other delicious dairy products:

  • Most people live within 100 miles or less of a local dairy farm(3)
  • Milk travels from farm to store in about 48 hours(3)
  • All 50 states in the U.S. have dairy farms(4)
  • It takes more than 21 pounds of whole milk to make one pound of butter, or 12 pounds of whole milk to make one gallon of ice cream(4)
  • Large ice cream producing states include California, Indiana, Texas, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Minnesota(4)
  • About 300 varieties of cheese are sold in the U.S.(4)

On the other hand, milk can be an expensive item for food-insecure families to afford, making it one of the most requested items at food banks around the country. At Northern Illinois Food Bank, our Milk2MyPlate program connects local food pantries to Prairie Farms Dairy for weekly deliveries of gallons of fresh 1-percent milk.
To learn more about the connection between the dairy industry and hunger relief organizations like the Food Bank, check out our President and CEO Julie Yurko on the “Dairy on the Air” podcast by the folks at Midwest Dairy.

How You Can Help:


  • Volunteer at one of our Centers in Geneva, Rockford or Park City sorting and packing food
  • Donate to help us solve hunger in your community – every $1 donated helps provide $8 of groceries.



Want More?




(1)“June is National Dairy Month.” International Dairy Foods Association.

(2)“9 Milk Nutrition Facts You Need to Know.” America’s Milk Company.

(3)“National Dairy Month.” Midwest Dairy.

(4)“Dairy Fun Facts and Trivia.” University of Illinois Extension.