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PHOENIX -- To help tackle the critical need for more milk at food banks all over the country, those who help feed the hungry have launched the Great American Milk Drive.

Locally, representatives from the Arizona Diamondbacks, Shamrock Foods and state milk producers were on hand Wednesday to launch a nation-wide program to help the needy have sufficient milk at St. Mary's Food Bank in Phoenix.

"It's important that we fill the food bank with food and dairy, because there is such a shortage," said Diamondbacks President and CEO, Derrick Hall. "This is a call to action."

According to Feeding America, the nation's largest domestic hunger-relief organization, milk is one of the items most requested by food bank clients, yet there is a nationwide shortage because it is rarely donated. Feeding America clients receive the equivalent of less than one gallon of milk per person per year.

"To be honest, I'm shocked at how staggering the numbers are," said Craig Caballero, president of the Arizona Milk Producers and vice president of the United Dairymen of Arizona, Craig Caballero. "It's an epidemic, but it's one that's easy to cure, if we commit ourselves to it."

Hunger impacts one-in-six Americans, including 12.5 million families who do not have access to adequate nourishment to help them reach their full potential. There are more than 800,000 food-insecure individuals in the Phoenix area.

With a simple click of a mouse or text message (text "Milk" to 27722), it is now possible to buy milk and donate it for as little as $5 to a family who does not have regular access to milk. By entering your zip code, you can ensure that the milk is delivered from the farm to a local Feeding America food bank in your very own community.

Sandra Haros , Reporter

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