Thompson unveils bipartisan measure to allow servings of whole milk in school lunch program

U.S. Rep. Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R-PA) on Jan. 29 sponsored bipartisan legislation that would allow the nation’s public schools that participate in the federal school lunch program to serve whole milk.

“Milk is the No. 1 source of nine essential nutrients in the diets of our students, but if they don’t drink it these health benefits are lost,” Rep. Thompson said. “Milk consumption has been declining in schools throughout the nation because kids are not consuming the varieties of milk being made available to them.”

Rep. Thompson introduced the Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act of 2019, H.R. 832, with U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN) to allow for unflavored and flavored whole milk to be offered in school cafeterias.

“It is my hope that the Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act will bring a wider range of milk options to American lunchrooms so students can choose the kind they love best,” said Rep. Thompson.
Among the eight other cosponsors joining Reps. Thompson and Peterson in introducing H.R. 832 were U.S. Reps. Rodney Davis (R-IL), Mike Kelly (R-PA) and Elise Stefanik (R-NY).

“I’m proud to join Congressman Thompson in this effort that will provide more choices for nutritious and healthy milk to kids in schools, and a valuable market for dairy farmers in Minnesota, Pennsylvania and nationwide at a time when they’re continuing to face extremely difficult market conditions,” Rep. Peterson said.

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 amended nutrition standards in the federal School Lunch Program and mandated that flavored milk had to be fat free, among numerous other changes in the law.

Subsequently, according to Rep. Thompson’s statement, the changes – coupled with lower participation in the school lunch program–- has led to a decrease in milk consumption in schools since that time.

Declining milk consumption in schools not only impacts students, but also dairy farm families and rural communities across the nation, as well, according to Thompson’s statement.

H.R. 832 has been referred for consideration to the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee.