EGG producers across the country donated 750,000 doz. eggs -- 9 million eggs -- to food assistance organizations coast to coast last month, continuing an Easter tradition for the sixth straight year.
The donation was coordinated by the United Egg Producers (UEP).
A large number of families are struggling with insufficient resources to put food on their tables, leading more and more people to turn to food assistance organizations for help, UEP said.
Eggs are one of the most requested food items from these organizations, UEP said, noting that eggs are a high-quality protein source, with one large-sized egg providing 6.3 g of protein and 13 essential minerals and vitamins.
Additionally, one egg has just 70 calories, making it a nutrient-dense food, which means it provides a high level of nutrition relative to calories, UEP said.
Furthermore, recent research found that eggs have only 185 mg of cholesterol -- 14% less than previously recorded -- and research spanning more than 40 years suggests that healthy adults can eat eggs without affecting their cardiovascular health, UEP said.
A fact statement on the Iowa Egg Council's website notes that eggs have so much protein that scientists use them as the standard against which other foods are judged for their protein, and based on the essential amino acids eggs contain, egg protein is second only to mother's milk for human nutrition.
Eggs also contribute to brain and eye health, according to the statement.
UEP began its Easter egg donation effort in 2008, and since then, producers have donated 5.75 million doz. eggs -- 69 million eggs -- to food banks and other food assistance organizations.
UEP represents egg farmers who are responsible for 90% of U.S. egg production.