Ashby: Bring Back Milk Choice In Schools

Today, Assemblyman Jake Ashby (R,C,I-Castleton), other legislative officials, farmers and nutritionists called on the Legislature to pass the assemblyman’s bill (A.9990/S.8999) allowing New York state school districts to purchase whole and 2 % milk from New York dairy producers to provide to students in the cafeterias.

The federal government prohibits the sale of whole and 2% milk to schools, a policy initially instated to curb childhood obesity and type-2 diabetes. However, studies have found that since the federal policy has been in place there has been little progress in children’s health relating to these concerns. In fact, other studies show that whole and 2% milk actually has a far more positive impact on children’s health.

“Whole and 2% milk provide the essential nutrients that children need to grow healthy, strong and smart. Allowing our schools to once again purchase these types of milk would be a benefit to children and our local dairy farmers,” said Ashby. “There is no time to delay. I encourage my colleagues across the aisle to join us in supporting children’s nutritional health and support my bill before session ends this week.”

Whole milk is 97 percent fat-free and is nutrient-dense providing 13 essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals and fat needed for development in growing children. Studies are finding children who consume whole and 2% milk have a lower risk of heart disease and type-2 diabetes, lower blood pressure, increased satiety without impacting weight gain and better sleep. Another benefit of allowing school districts to purchase milk produced in New York is that it would be helping many local dairy farmers in sales. Family farms continue to struggle in the state and returning whole milk and 2% milk would be a great help.