Home U.S. House passes legislation to allow whole milk in public school cafeterias again
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U.S. House passes legislation to allow whole milk in public school cafeterias again

Rebecca Barnabi
pouring a glass of milk
(© Thitiwut – stock.adobe.com)

The Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act is bipartisan legislation that would allow flavored and unflavored whole milk in participating schools.

Led by U.S. Reps. Glenn “GT” Thompson of Pennsylvania, who is Chair of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee, and Dr. Kim Schrier of Washington, the legislation passed the U.S. House with a majority vote of 330 to 99 yesterday afternoon.

The National School Lunch Program has served only low-fat milk variations since 2012. The bill now goes to the U.S. Senate for approval.

U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger of Virginia helped introduce the legislation in 2021. Current regulations allow public schools to serve fat-fee or low-fat milk only in cafeterias. The legislation would amend requirements for milk under the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) National School Lunch Program.

 “Whole milk can be a source of many nutrients that kids often lack — including calcium, potassium, vitamin D and zinc. When students toss their skim milk into the cafeteria garbage cans, they are not getting any of these vitamins and minerals,” Spanberger, the only Virginian who serves on the U.S. House Agriculture Committee, said. “By allowing schools to provide students with a larger selection of milk, our bipartisan Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act would help kids maintain a diet of essential nutrients and build healthy habits. I’m glad to see Republicans and Democrats agree on the need to support healthy kids, and I encourage my U.S. Senate colleagues to follow our lead and send this legislation to the President’s desk.” 

Whole milk provides many health benefits to children, including better bone health, lower blood pressure, and reduced risk of cardiovascular disease or Type 2 diabetes.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.