Rep. Delgado Cosponsors Bill for Schools to Buy Whole Milk

The legislation supports students and local dairy farmers by removing unnecessary regulation barring schools from offering whole milk

WASHINGTON, DC — U.S. Representative Antonio Delgado (NY-19) cosponsored the bipartisan Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act of 2019, which allows schools that participate in the School Lunch Program to buy flavored and unflavored whole milk for students.

“Barring schools from purchasing whole milk for students unnecessarily deprives them of good nutrients,” Delgado said. “We all know that milk is important for our kids to drink, yet they’re drinking less of it in schools right now. Moreover, expanding milk options in schools empowers our local dairy farmers. I’m very pleased to sign on as a cosponsor to this bipartisan legislation.”

For years, the School Lunch Program limited milk options available to students to low-fat unflavored milk and fat-free flavored milk. Since these restrictions were put in place, student participation in the School Lunch Program declined along with overall milk consumption in schools. The USDA took steps to remedy the issue in 2017 by allowing some schools to introduce low-fat flavored milk options, but did nothing to address the absence of whole milk offerings in schools. The Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act of 2019 would continue this progress by allowing schools to offer students flavored and unflavored whole milk options through the School Lunch Program.

Delgado, a member of the House Agriculture Committee, has prioritized support for local, family farms in Congress. He recently announced his own 19th Congressional District Agriculture Advisory Board, including members from all 11 counties in the district.

The 19th Congressional District is the eighth most rural district in the country and the third most rural district represented by a Democrat. There are over 5,000 farms and over 8,000 farm operations in the district. During Delgado’s first in-district work period, he toured farms and sat down with local farmers to hear about localized infrastructure, technology needs, and sustainable farming practices.