For the first time since 2012, school cafeterias may be allowed to serve whole milk. That’s all thanks to the House’s passage of the Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act.
The bill permits the National School Lunch Program to serve whole milk, passing by a landslide 330-99 in the house Wednesday afternoon. Now, the bill is heading to the Senate.
When First Lady Michelle Obama made updates to the school lunch program, regulations stipulated the kind of milk that could be served, permitting only low-fat milk variations.
Rep. Glenn Thomson (R-Pa.) introduced Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act to revise the Obama-era milk requirements. If it’s approved by Senate and signed by President Biden, the measure will become law, and kids will have the option of whole, reduced, low-fat, fat-free, flavored, and unflavored milk in school cafeterias.
Thompson said, “I am pleased to see my bipartisan Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act pass out of the U.S. House of Representatives, and I ultimately look forward to restoring access to these nutritious beverages in schools across the country.”
“If whole milk is a good option to fuel Santa’s extraordinary Christmas Eve journey, then why isn’t it an option for American schoolchildren in their lunchrooms,” said Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) during comments on the House floor.
Dairy groups have voiced their support for the update
“NMPF is delighted that the House approved the bipartisan Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act,” said Jim Mulhern, President & CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation. “Milk’s unique nutritional profile gives it an unparalleled role in providing kids the nutrients they need. Expanding the milk schools can choose to serve to include 2 percent, and whole is a common-sense solution that will help ensure kids have access to the same healthful milk options they drink at home. House passage is a critical step, and we urge the Senate to consider this bill immediately so it may be enacted into law.”
International Dairy Foods Association President and CEO Michael Dykes said, “IDFA praises the strong bipartisan passage of the Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act by the U.S. House of Representatives and calls for swift action on the companion bill in the U.S. Senate so that schools can once again provide children with a wide variety of milk options that deliver essential nutrients and meet their individual needs — whether that be whole or 2%, low-fat, or lactose-free milk.”
»Related: Dairy industry giving a big push to whole-milk bill in House