At my daughter’s preschool, milk is doled out based on punch cards. At the beginning of every month, I pay 10 dollars for her to have 20 punches. That’s milk every day of the week. And chocolate milk on Fridays, which she thinks is pretty special. If for some reason she runs out of punches, the school just starts a new punch card and adds it to her tuition bill for the next month.
Her entire life, milk has been a readily available commodity. She’s never had to go without, or to suffer from the lack of nutrition that milk provides. For my 4 year old, milk is simply what’s served with lunch. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for other kids around the world.
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.
The milk program in Tanzania initially began by helping local farmers to boost milk production. Now those famers, government agencies, and school districts are working together to bring that milk into the classroom. The launch began this year, with 1,742 students in the Njombe region receiving 200ml packets of fresh, pasteurized milk, Monday through Friday, for the rest of the school year. Those packets contain a quarter of the daily calcium requirements for those students who receive them.
The goal is to bring that milk to a total of 9,000 students (age 9 and under) in the Njombe, Iringa, Mbeya, and Songwe regions. This full circle, “cow to the classroom,” implementation encourages students to focus on learning instead of hunger, and reduces poverty by increasing farmer incomes.
It’s a win-win for all involved.
But reaching that full potential is going to require a little help. Which is where we come in.
For $10 a month, I’m able to provide school milk for my little girl. But for a one-time donation of just $75, a child in Tanzania receives milk for an entire school year.
My child is lucky. She lives in a country where milk is readily available, and in a home where poverty is not a concern. We are lucky. But this is one small way we can help kids and families who don’t have the same resources.
Don’t have $75 to spare? You can make a donation of any size. Every little bit helps to bring milk to the kids who need it most. And just 40 cents a day means milk being provided to one more child who probably wouldn’t have it otherwise.
It’s a gift that benefits not only that child, but also their entire community.
This post has been sponsored by Heifer International. All thoughts and opinions are my own.