Washington, D.C. — Republican Leader of the House Agriculture Committee Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (PA-15) and Congressman Antonio Delgado(NY-19) have introduced a bill to allow for unflavored and flavored whole milk to be offered in school cafeterias.
The Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act of 2021highlights the many benefits milk provides to young Americans. From providing numerous essential nutrients to multiple health benefits, milk remains critical to youth development.
“Milk provides nine essential nutrients as well as a great deal of long-term health benefits. Due to the baseless demonization of milk over the years, we’ve lost nearly an entire generation of milk drinkers, and these young people are missing out on the benefits of whole milk,” said Rep. Thompson. “It is my hope the Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act will give children a wide variety of milk options and bolster milk consumption—a win-win for growing children and America’s dairy farmers.”
“The Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act will help young people maintain a healthy diet while supporting our upstate dairy farmers and processors,” said Rep. Delgado. “I am proud to lead this bipartisan effort to provide more choices for healthy and nutritious milk in schools. This legislation is good for young people and good for our dairy producers in today’s tough farm economy.”
“The recently updated Dietary Guidelines for Americans reaffirmed dairy’s central role in providing essential nutrients, including those of public health concern. The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee also found that 79 percent of 9-13-year-olds don’t meet the recommended intake for dairy. We commend Representatives Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R-PA) and Antonio Delgado (D-NY) for introducing the bipartisan Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act. Whole milk provides a valuable way for children to obtain dairy’s nutritional benefits as part of a healthy eating pattern,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation. “This bill will help provide our children the nutrition they need to lead healthy lives.”
“Thank you to Representatives Glenn Thompson (PA-15) and Antonio Delgado (NY-19) for their leadership on this bill to allow schools more flexibility in offering the wholesome milk varieties that children and teens enjoy at home. Expanding milk options in schools helps ensure students get the 11 essential nutrients daily that only milk provides, including protein, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin A, niacin, vitamin B12, riboflavin, and potassium,” saidMichael Dykes, D.V.M., president and CEO of IDFA.
BACKGROUND ON MILK IN SCHOOLS
- In 2010, Congress passed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act which amended nutrition standards in the School Lunch Program. Among the changes, the law mandated that flavored milk must be fat-free within the program.
- To help encourage nutritious options in the School Lunch Program and increase consumption, Rep. Thompson introduced legislation, H.R. 4101, the School Milk Nutrition Act of 2017, which provided schools the option to serve 1% flavored milk varieties.
- In May of 2017, the USDA announced a rule that allowed schools to receive waivers for low-fat (1%) flavored milk, rather than only fat-free, which is the essence of H.R. 4101.