May 19, 2016

New Bill Targets Increased Milk Consumption at Schools

 |  By: Anna-Lisa Laca

This week the House Education and Workforce Committee included several dairy provisions in the Improving Child Nutrition and Education Act of 2016, which was approved on Monday by the committee with bipartisan support. According to the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), an amendment by Congressmen G.T. Thompson (R-PA) and Joe Courtney (D-CT), specifically targeted at addressing declining school milk consumption, was unanimously approved.

The International Dairy Food Association (IDFA) applauded lawmakers for helping promote more dairy consumption among Americans.

 “Fluid milk consumption in schools has declined in recent years, and in fact most Americans are drinking less milk than recommended by the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA),” says J. David Carlin, senior vice president of legislative affairs and economic policy at IDFA. “The fact that the school milk provisions have bipartisan support in this bill is an indication of how important it is to promote better consumption of milk by the nation’s students.”

Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF confirmed the group's satisfaction with the bill.

“This bill takes an important step toward reversing the decline in school milk consumption by asking USDA to examine how to ensure that kids are getting enough milk,” Mulhern says. “By better aligning the school lunch program with the dietary guidelines, options including 1% flavored milk will be back on the lunch tray in school cafeterias as a result of this legislation.”

Safe to say every sector of the dairy industry, from the farmer to the processor, hopes the bill will increase domestic consumption of milk.