Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, a senior member of the House Committee on Education and Labor, introduced the Protecting School Milk Choices Act which would ensure schools participating in the National School Lunch Program offer students at least one flavored milk option.
In light of New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ proposal to ban flavored milk in New York City schools, this bill would prevent local limitations on flavored milk in the federal school lunch program in order to preserve the choices of schools and students.
“Our dairy farmers in Upstate New York and the North Country work hard to produce nutritious milk for our communities, and I am proud to introduce legislation to ensure a variety of milk choices for our school children. Instead of taking away milk choices from students, my bill will give them better access to essential dairy nutrients critical for their development. Let our New York students drink chocolate milk!” said Congresswoman Elise Stefanik.
"The goal of every parent and educator should be providing young people with healthy, well-balanced school meals. Countless studies have proven the nutritional value of milk to a growing child, and it is important that school menus recognize this. New York Farm Bureau appreciates Rep. Stefanik's support of New York dairy and as well as giving children healthy options in the lunch line," said David Fisher, New York Farm Bureau President.
“The Protecting School Milk Choices Act of 2022 ensures that schools continue to comply with the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans report that recommends offering low-fat flavored milk as a means of ensuring children get milk’s 13 essential nutrients for growth, development, healthy immune function, and overall wellness. A wide majority of parents and medical and nutrition professionals know that offering low-fat flavored milk increases school meal participation, reduces food waste, and maintains the high nutritional value of school meals for children and adolescents,” said Michael Dykes, D.V.M., president and CEO of the International Dairy Foods Association.
Stefanik also joined a bipartisan group of her colleagues in sending a letter to Mayor Adams calling on him to abandon his proposal to ban flavored milk in New York City Schools.
This legislation was cosponsored by Representatives Chris Jacobs (NY-27), Andrew Garbarino (NY-02), and Mariannette Miller-Meeks (IA-02).
Read the full bill text here.