Not all schools quick to bring 1% milk back to lunch & breakfast

Federal changes allowed school districts to bring 1% milk back to school lunch and breakfast programs, but a Wisconsin Dairy Council program manager says getting it to the lunchroom isn’t happening overnight.  Tina Peterson tells Brownfield, “A lot of schools will predict or actually order their milk on a budget or on a contract within a year or two ahead, and so you’re going to see the transformation take place over the next year or two.”

Peterson lives in western Wisconsin and says many districts near her made the transformation already knowing there will be less milk wasted by changing from fat-free to 1% milk.  “By incorporating a product that the students are going to like a little bit more, there’s going to be less waste in that product.  That will drive demand, which will, in fact, drive more distribution.”

Peterson tells Brownfield putting more milk in front of school students outside of the lunch and breakfast program is not easy.  “So, there (are) also regulations implemented by the (Wisconsin) Department of Public Instruction as per the size of the milk cartons that can be served to students depending on the age, and also, you can’t compete with a school lunch service program”

So, Peterson says offering milk in a vending machine is not a reasonable option for most schools but many schools are allowing additional purchases of milk through the programs.

Peterson encourages parents to talk to their schools about milk and dairy products in the food service programs.

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