Food insecurity in the U.S. continues to be a serious problem, with one in six Americans dealing with hunger on a daily basis. While the solutions will not be simple, everyone involved in providing food for our country should work together towards ensuring all Americans have equal access to the healthy foods represented in MyPlate – such as low-fat and fat-free dairy, whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lean protein.
One positive step is that milk, cheese and yogurt – which offer so much nutrition per penny — are a key part of national food programs that help give Americans access to healthy food. For instance:
- Dairy products are a key category available for purchase through SNAP, offering an affordable source of several important nutrients
- Through the WIC Program, milk, cheese and yogurt are made more accessible to low-income pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women, and infants and children up to age 5 who are at nutrition risk
- Dairy foods are an important provider of nutrition through the School Breakfast Program, which reimburses schools and child care facilities for providing breakfast to low-income students and children
In addition to these national programs, nutrient-packed low-fat milk and dairy foods are readily available from the local corner market to the gas station and beyond. And, due to the realities of transporting milk, most of the milk you’ll encounter for purchase will be local.
Being able to purchase healthy foods is step one – be sure to look into National Dairy Council’s recipe database for dietitian-approved meal ideas that bundle together nutrient-rich foods like fruit, vegetables, dairy and lean meats