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New initiative aims to get milk to Flint families

Guy Montag
Creative Commons

Water donations have been pouring into Flint for months, because of the city's lead-contaminated tap water.

Now, the United Dairy Industry of Michigan wants to make sure Flint families also have plenty of milk.

A new initiative aims to get people to donate 1 million glasses of milk to help children who've been exposed to lead.

It's part of of larger effort to shift the focus in Flint from water to nutrition.

"Many of the children affected [in Flint] were from food-insecure households, often not having access to nutritious foods. Although milk is the number one food requested at food banks, it's rarely donated." UDIM CEO Sharon Toth said, in a statement. 

Experts say calcium, along with iron and vitamin C, can help fight the effects of lead exposure.

The Food Bank of Eastern Michigan will provide support to ensure donated milk is kept fresh and made available for families in need. 

"The nutrients in milk are essential for growing children, and calcium is known to help block the absorption of lead in to the body. A donation such as this, that we can distribute throughout Flint will have a major impact on children suffering from lead exposure," said Food Bank president William E. Kerr.

The UDIM is providing a grant to help the food bank distribute milk to local pantries.

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