This post is made possible by support from Heifer International. All opinions are my own.
Happy First Day of Fall! My sons are back to their crazy hectic school schedule including extracurriculars (hello Student Council, Drama Club, and Insert-Almost-Every-Other-Club!) and sports–lacrosse and karate is upon us. Getting my boys ready for back to school meant depositing funds into their school lunch accounts. Every.school.day they drink milk with lunch–I can access their accounts to see exactly what they purchase! Fortunately, we can afford school lunches with milk but I wanted my boys to be hyperaware that this isn’t true for most. Despite the whirlwind of the past few weeks, I continue to find ways to encourage my boys to give back.
September 27th marks the 18th World School Milk Day; a celebration dedicated to commending the health benefits of school milk programs. Since 2008, Heifer International has been working to grow one of those programs in Tanzania, where children have long suffered from a lack of proper nutrition. With the help of farmers, government agencies, and school districts, Heifer has created a school milk feeding program to encourage a generation of milk-drinkers and increase the well-being and nutrition of eager students.
Credit: Heifer International
ABOUT HEIFER SCHOOL MILK FEEDING PROGRAM
The Heifer School Milk Feeding Program launched in July 2017. The program reflects full circle implementation of Heifer’s work to help communities; in this case “cow to the classroom.” The launch represented the first phase of the program; 1,742 pupils in the Njombe region received fresh 200ml packets of pasteurized milk and will continue to receive a free, daily packet of fresh milk every day Monday – Friday during the school year.
The ultimate goal of the program is to provide 9,000 pupils (ages 9 and under) in the Njombe, Iringa, Mbeya, and Songwe regions with a packet of free fresh milk every day Monday – Friday during the school year. One packet (200ml) of milk contains at least a quarter of the daily calcium requirements for children.
WAYS TO GIVE BACK
We give back in multitude of ways year-round (volunteering in-person and donations) but sometimes we get so caught up in life that we forget to give continuously. I am raising my boys to give more and be better global citizens. Supporting the Heifer milk program will positively impact communities by:
- Providing milk for children who suffer from a lack of proper nutrition
- Empowering students to focus on learning instead of hunger
- Creating a reliable market for producers
- Increasing farmers’ incomes and reducing poverty
When I approached my boys to make a milk money match, I had to explain to them what it was. For example, if milk costs 50 cents a box at your child’s school and your child wants to donate $2, this would be the equivalent of 4 boxes at their school or 5 days worth of support via the Heifer milk program ($75 can provide one student with fresh milk for a school year, which = 40 cents a day).
Both boys were very excited to learn about the Heifer School Milk Feeding Program. They wanted to know how they could participate and get others involved. I’m thankful for programs like this for fostering giving all year-round and helping to raise socially responsible kids.
MAKE A DONATION TODAY
You can help. Make a donation of any size! Just $75 can provide one student with fresh milk for a school year (that’s just 40 cents a day)!
BONUS: Share this post on your social media (Facebook or Twitter) channels. Add #GiveHeifer to the post. Women Online will donate $1 for each of those shares (up to $2000 total) to Heifer’s School Milk Feeding Program.