Rep. Delgado Introduces Bipartisan Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act

March 12, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representatives Antonio Delgado (NY-19) and Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (PA-15) 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.

“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.”

“My family and I take great pride in producing healthy, nutritious milk, which is a vital source of key nutrients of public health concern such as calcium, potassium, and vitamin D. Congressman Antonio Delgado has been a strong advocate for Upstate New York dairy farmers as a member of the House Agriculture Committee,” said Eric Ooms, Valatie, NY dairy farmer. “I am grateful to Congressman Delgado for leading this bipartisan legislative effort to give our schools the flexibility to serve children the nutritious dairy that will help them to grow and stay healthy.”

“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 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 Representative Antonio Delgado (D-NY) for introducing the bipartisan Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act. Representative Delgado is a strong advocate for policies to help children obtain the nutritional benefits that are vital to a healthy eating pattern, and allowing schools to offer whole milk provides a valuable way to do that,” 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,” said Michael 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.