Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa., last week introduced legislation that would increase the variety of milks available in school meals. The Whole Milk Act, H.R. 5640, would amend the National School Lunch Act to allow schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program to serve unflavored whole milk.
Since 2012, schools participating in the program have been limited to providing only low-fat and fat-free unflavored milks and fat-free flavored milk. Mariano said he introduced the bill to reverse the decline of milk consumption in schools that occurred after these restrictions were introduced.
“We appreciate that Congressman Marino introduced this bill, which demonstrates the important role that milk – and milk choice – plays in enhancing the diets of children and adolescents,” said Michael Dykes, D.V.M., IDFA president and CEO. “We agree that schools need more flexibility to provide a range of milk choices to make sure students are getting the nine essential nutrients milk offers.”
Marino also sent a letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Purdue asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture to update guidelines to the National School Lunch Program and allow schools to sell unflavored whole milk during lunch.
IDFA is a longtime advocate for expanding milk choices in schools to combat consumption declines. For example, when the U.S. Department of Agriculture eliminated low-fat flavored milk as a choice in school meals and a la carte programs, students consumed 288 million fewer half-pints of milk from 2012-2015.
Read Marino’s bill and letter here.
For more information, contact Dave Carlin, IDFA senior vice president of legislative affairs and economic policy, at email@example.com.