Statewide Educational Effort Seeks to Address Food Insecurity During National Dairy Month; E! Celebrities and Community Partners Lend Support
SAN CLEMENTE, Calif., May 24, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Recognizing that nutrition education leads to healthier food choices and in support of National Dairy Month in June, the California Milk Processor Board (CMPB) is launching “California Thrives on Milk,” a month-long series of free educational wellness events in select underserved communities that show a marked rate for “food insecurity” across the state.
California’s Rising Rate of “Food Insecurity”
According to the California Association of Food Banks, while California produces nearly half of the nation’s fruit and vegetables, 1 in 8 Californians – 5.4 million – struggle with food insecurity. “Food insecurity” is defined as the occasional or constant lack of access to food needed for a healthy, active life; and has a serious impact on an individual’s well-being, affecting both learning and work potential, and is positively correlated with low intake of fruits and vegetables, obesity and chronic diseases (1).
In California, Latino low-income adults have the highest food-insecurity prevalence (38.2%) while the rate of food insecurity with hunger was highest for African-American low-income adults. California counties with primarily rural or agricultural-based economies tend to have the highest rates of food insecurity (2).
“While California is a leading producer of agriculture including wholesome milk, many who live here lack the education they need to support wise eating habits for themselves and their families,” said Steve James, Executive Director CMPB. “We’re working to change that with a range of free community-based, wellness offerings to help guide consumers to more healthful choices this summer.”
Nutrition Education Shown to Increase Fruit, Vegetable and Milk Consumption
A 2013 USDA study found that children participating in certain nutrition education programs increased their daily fruit and vegetable consumption at home by a quarter-to a third-cup, and were more likely to choose low-fat or fat-free milk. Participating seniors consumed about a half-cup more fruits and vegetables daily (3).
“California Thrives on Milk” Campaign Launch
Throughout June, the “California Thrives on Milk” campaign will offer a series of free educational activities and events in Los Angeles, Fresno and Bakersfield. In each market, registered dietitians will host weekend “smart shopping” grocery store tours to help shoppers identify nutritious food choices, understand nutrition labels, and share healthy meal recipes incorporating milk. Additionally, one family in each market will participate in a “Before and After Refrigerator Makeover,” whereby a new refrigerator, freshly stocked with a range of healthful foods selected by a registered dietitian including fruits, vegetables and milk, will be gifted.
Community Partners Lend Campaign Support
In partnership with local community non-profits including the Boys & Girls Club and Hands4Hope LA, the CMPB will execute community improvement projects in each market that will leave a lasting impact. The family-friendly activities include plantings at shared community gardens and fresh food fairs with healthful cooking demonstrations by a celebrity chef and fitness activities.
The “California Thrives on Milk” campaign supports the USDA’s Summer Meals program, which offers healthy meals for kids when school is out of session. The program is open to everyone 18 and under, regardless of income and no paperwork or documentation is required. Families can find Summer Meals locations by texting FOOD or COMIDA to 877-877, calling 2-1-1 or visiting https://www.fns.usda.gov/summerfoodrocks.
E! Reality TV Celebrities
To raise awareness for the effort and encourage participation, the CMPB is partnering with E! network reality TV show stars Liz and Carmen Milian from “Christina Milian Turned Up.” Celebrity chef Liz Milian will lead several cooking demonstrations and share her own favorite healthy recipes featuring milk.
Milk Helps Californians Thrive
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, milk contains three out of the four nutrients to encourage- Calcium, Vitamin D and potassium- that are often missing from the diet. These nutrients, along with six others, provide important health benefits:
- Calcium: Builds healthy bones and teeth; maintains bone mass
- Protein: Serves as a source of energy; builds/repairs muscle tissue
- Potassium: Helps maintain a healthy blood pressure
- Phosphorus: Helps strengthen bones and generate energy
- Vitamin D: Helps maintain bones
- Vitamin B12: Maintains healthy red blood cells and nerve tissue
- Vitamin A: Maintains the immune system; helps maintain normal vision and skin
- Riboflavin (B2): Converts food into energy
- Niacin: Metabolizes sugars and fatty acids
To learn more about the “California Thrives on Milk” campaign, please visit www.gotmilk.com.
About the CMPB The California Milk Processor Board was established in 1993 to make milk more competitive and increase milk consumption in California. Awareness of “got milk?” is over 90% nationally and it is considered one of the most important and successful campaigns in history. The “got milk?” trademark is a federally registered trademark and service mark that was licensed by the National Dairy Board in 1995 for use in its advertising, including their long-running “Milk Mustache” campaign. The CMPB’s Spanish-language campaign began in 1994 using the tagline “Familia, Amor y Leche” (Family, Love and Milk). The “toma leche” (Drink Milk) campaign replaced it in 2006, in order to better align the English and Spanish language work. The CMPB is funded by all California milk processors and is an instrumentality of the California Department of Food and Agriculture.