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Dairy Organizations Express Support for Senate’s Update to Nutrition Guidelines in Schools

Dairy Organizations Express Support for Senate’s Update to Nutrition Guidelines in Schools

The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) are the two latest organizations to praise the Senate’s approval of new legislation that makes changes to federal feeding programs, notably in schools’ cafeterias.

"The measure approved Wednesday directs the Department of Agriculture to review milk consumption in both the school meal programs and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). It also calls for adjustments to promote greater consumption of milk as recommended by the DGA,” said IDFA and NMPF in a joint statement.

According to Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF, the new legislation will help increase milk consumption in schools after a steady decline.

He said in a statement that the legislation "will help reverse the trend of declining milk consumption in schools, a trend that unfortunately is in direct conflict with federal Dietary Guidelines, which say children should be drinking more milk for lifelong health.”

"Mulhern noted that from 2012 to 2014, schools served 187 million fewer half-pints of milk, although total public school enrollment grew during that period,” he said in a statement.

Also on a positive note, the new legislation will help schools better address the needs of students who are lactose-intolerant by offering lactose-free milk.

For some background, “[t]he child nutrition reauthorization bill is now expected to move to the full Senate for consideration. The House has begun consideration of a similar measure but has not approved any legislation so far. Authorization for federal child nutrition programs formally expired at the end of September 2015, but the existing programs continue to operate pending approval of the reauthorization bill.”

IDFA and NMPF are just the latest of many organizations to express support for the new legislation.

The School Nutrition Association has said it will support the legislation through to its passing. It is hopeful that the new legislation will loosen up challenging restrictions for schools while not losing the ultimate goal of helping America’s children be healthy.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

1/21/2016

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