(WHTM) — Pennsylvania state lawmakers are making a push to serve whole milk in school cafeterias on Wednesday. They say it would also support Pennsylvania Dairy farmers.
Under federal regulations, schools can only serve 1% or skim milk in schools, and supporters of the bill say, since then, milk consumption has been trending down.
That is why State Representatives John Lawrence and Clint Owlett introduced the Whole Milk in Pennsylvania Schools Act.
According to the Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board, student milk consumption dropped 35% when flavored milk was taken out of schools. Supporters say Pennsylvania schools, using state funds, should not be denied the ability to buy Pennsylvania Agricultural products.
On the federal level, United States Senator Pat Toomey is also making the push. He introduced the Milk in Lunches for Kids Act to allow schools to serve whole milk and 2% milk.
The Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association says students should have the option to choose whole milk in schools.
“We have lost an entire generation of milk drinkers due to the federal government’s 2010 mandate that only skim milk could be served in schools. The skim milk-only mandate hurts our kids, hurts our farmers, hurts our economy, and hurts the state’s largest sector of our #1 industry.”
The Pennsylvania Farm Bureau is also urging members of the state General Assembly to support the legislation.
“Schools should have the ability to provide healthy options for students,” said PFB President Rick Ebert, “and whole milk contains a number of key nutrients essential for good health and is a more flavorful product. We support this legislation because it will not only provide a much-needed boost for Pennsylvania dairy farmers, but it will also help foster a new generation of healthy kids who drink milk.”