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Delgado Bill Proposes Whole Milk, Healthy Kids

March 12, 2021

WASHINGTON – Otsego County's Congressman Antonio Delgado, D-19, (NY-19) and Pennsylvania Republican Congressman Glenn "GT" Thompson have introduced the bipartisan Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act of 2021, which allows for unflavored and flavored whole milk to be offered in school cafeterias.

It "will help young people maintain a healthy diet while supporting our upstate dairy farmers and processors," said Delgado. "This legislation is good for young people and good for our dairy producers in today's tough farm economy."

Thompson decried "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."

"The recently updated Dietary Guidelines for Americans found 79 percent of 9- to 13-year-olds don't meet the recommended intake for dairy," said Jim Mulhern, president/CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation. "This bill will help provide our children the nutrition they need to lead healthy lives."

Here's background on the bill:

  • In 2010, Congress passed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, amending standards in the School Lunch Program. Among the changes, the law mandated that flavored milk must be fat free within the program.
  • In May of 2017, the USDA announced a rule that allowed schools to receive waivers for low-fat (1 percent) flavored milk, rather than only fat-free.
  • The Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act builds upon this rule to ensure that schools can also serve unflavored and flavored whole milk. This will provide schools with more options and flexibility in providing nutritious milk.