Two leading dairy groups are looking to throw a few curdles into Mayor Eric Adams’ potential plan to remove chocolate and other flavored milks from New York City public school cafeterias.
The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) responded to a letter written by Congressman Antonio Delgado and other members of the New York Congressional delegation urging hizzoner to let kids have their flavored milk, and drink it, too.
The letter encourages Mayor Adams to reconsider potentially removing flavored milk from school meals, saying “as Members representing both rural and urban communities, we are committed to supporting the dairy farmers, producers, and agriculture partners across New York, while also ensuring that children in NYC schools have access to critical, life-enhancing nutrients. Unfortunately, for many NYC families, the meals children receive in schools are their only source of many recommended nutrients.”
Advocates along with Members of Congress believe that providing children with flavored milk incentivizes them to consume dairy which they believe provides necessary nutrients for healthy development.
“Dairy farmers across the country have long worked to provide children with nutritious food vital to their health and development,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. “Kids need access to milk for that benefit to be realized. Low-fat flavored milk is fully consistent with the federal government’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and it provides students one of the most complete nutrient packages around. We thank Congressman Delgado for leading this strong message to the Mayor of New York, and we thank all New York lawmakers who are stepping up to protect the flavored milk option and the key role it plays in ensuring students have access to highly nutritious options they will choose to consume.”
Mayor Adams addressed the debate on whether or not to remove flavored milks from school meals back in January.
“We’re having a conversation about: Should we have chocolate, high-sugar milk in our schools?” Adams said. “Now, I’m not going to become nanny mayor. But we do need to have our children have options.”
A recent national poll conducted by Morning Consult commissioned by the IDFA suggests that 8 out of 10 NYC and U.S voters support offering flavored low-fat milk in school meals. The poll also showed that parents with children in public schools display markedly higher levels of support, with 90% of NYC parents and 85% of parents nationwide supporting the belief.
“Rather than try to limit school milk options for kids, Mayor Adams and other policymakers should follow the lead of parents, physicians and dietitians, and school meals professionals who widely support making milk central to school meals,” said Michael Dykes, D.V.M., president and CEO of IDFA. “Studies have shown that school meals are by far the healthiest meals of the day for children thanks, in part, to nutritious milk and dairy options. Offering low-fat flavored milk increases school meal participation, leads to children consuming more nutrients of public health concern, and reduces food waste. Maintaining low-fat flavored milk options in school plays an important role in the diet and nutrition of children because milk contains 13 essential nutrients that children need for growth, development, healthy immune function, and overall wellness.”
When asked for a comment on Tuesday, a spokesperson for the Mayor said “We have received the letter, we will review and we will make a determination of what is best for our students.”
Last updated 3/8/2022 5:38 pm.