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Whole milk legislation moves along

The Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act marked significant progress earlier this month when it passed the House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce on a 26-13 bipartisan vote. That allows the bill to move forward to be voted on by the House, with that schedule now to be decided by House leadership.

Pennsylvania Representative and the bill’s prime sponsor, G.T. Thompson, has led the legislative effort to allow schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program to serve all varieties of flavored and unflavored milk, including whole milk. Currently, schools may only offer fat-free or 1% unflavored or flavored milk to be eligible for federal money to support food service.

The main message of the bill’s advocates has been that having whole and 2% milk options available is crucial for children to choose milk with their breakfast and/or lunch at school. When kids choose milk and drink it, they access 13 essential nutrients, including calcium, potassium, and vitamin D, which are identified as three of the top three nutrients of concern in American diets. Providing a product they want to drink has also been shown numerous times to reduce food waste in cafeterias.

Katelyn Allen

June 22,2023


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