Declining School Milk Consumption in US Schools

US - Schools across America served 187 million fewer half pints of milk in 2012-2014, despite enrollment increasing
calendar icon 26 June 2015
clock icon 2 minute read

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told the members of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce at a hearing on Tuesday that he’s concerned about declining milk consumption in schools because, “in terms of the nutritional bang for the buck, there’s probably nothing better than a glass of milk.”

He agreed to work with Representatives Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA) and Joe Courtney (D-CT) on the bipartisan School Milk Nutrition Act of 2015, H.R. 2407, which is aimed at reversing this trend.

Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN), Ranking Minority Member Bobby Scott (D-VA) and 24 other House representatives held the hearing to review the impact of nutritional standards on schools and families.

They questioned Vilsack about the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids of 2010 and discussed the future implementation of child nutrition programs.

When Thompson asked Vilsack if he was concerned about the decline, the Secretary said: “There ought to be some way of working with your proposal, or a similar proposal, to provide a bit more flexibility and hopefully we would see more consumption of milk.”

The School Nutrition Act of 2015 could play a role by reaffirming the requirement that the varieties of milk are consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. It also would place a cap of 150 calories on each eight-ounce serving and allow milk to be offered in the same age-appropriate container sizes as competing beverages. 

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