As the school year kicks off and Congress dives back into legislation after the August recess, IDFA remains active in supporting legislation that would increase access to milk in schools.
IDFA has been working with the National Milk Producers Federation to pass a bill through Congress that would help to reverse recent significant declines in school milk consumption. H.R. 2407, The School Milk Nutrition Act of 2015, was introduced in the House by Representatives Glenn Thompson (R-PA) and Joe Courtney (D-CT) in May. At a House Education and Workforce Committee hearing earlier this year, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack stated, “In terms of the nutritional bang for the buck, there’s probably nothing better than a glass of milk.”
To help address the concern that kids consume less milk than their parents did, IDFA has created a fun informational video that discusses how difficult it is to replace the nutrients found in one eight-ounce glass of lowfat milk. The video shows statistics highlighting the importance of milk in children’s diets and explains that adolescents only consumed half of the three recommended servings of milk in 2005-2006 compared to the amounts in 1977-1978.
The video also shows the amounts of various foods that would need to be consumed in order to get the same nutrient package found in one eight-ounce glass of lowfat milk, flavored or unflavored. “I don’t think people realize how much it would cost school districts to replace the nutrients found in milk,” said Ruth Saunders, IDFA vice president of policy and legislative affairs.
Progress on the bill comes at a key time as Congress must act quickly to reauthorize a strong Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, the set of federal nutrition standards that were passed in 2010, which are set to expire on September 30, 2015. IDFA supports changes to the program that will increase participation and ensure that children maintain access to healthy dairy products.
For more information about The School Milk Nutrition Act of 2015 or Child Nutrition Reauthorization, contact Saunders at email@example.com.