Proposal in Tennessee seeks to authorize schools to distribute whole milk

The Tennessee Senate is anticipated to address a bill that would permit public schools in Tennessee to once again offer whole milk.

The Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act, a comparable measure to the one passed by the U.S. House, was blocked in the Senate while awaiting updated school meal standards from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

In 2010, the Obama administration implemented regulations that restricted the availability of whole milk, allowing only skim and 1% milk to be served in schools.

Senate Bill 1914 aims to grant permission for the serving of whole milk and whole chocolate milk.

According to Senator Frank Niceley, from Strawberry Plains, there has been a recent rule change that allows whole milk to be served in schools, as long as it is dispensed from machines. However, it is still not permissible to serve whole milk in small cartons.

Dr. Niceley emphasizes the importance of whole milk as an excellent source of calcium for children.

The Senate Energy, Agriculture, and Natural Resources Committee and Senate Calendar Committee both unanimously passed the bill.

House Bill 2480, known as Companion, is scheduled to be heard in the House Education Administration Committee on Wednesday. This bill successfully passed the K-12 Subcommittee on Tuesday.

According to Rep. Mark Cochran, a representative from Englewood, the federal regulations regarding school lunches only pertain to food served on a lunch tray. As a result, whole milk dispensers, such as those found at Mayfield Dairy Farms in Athens, would not be considered part of the school lunch service.

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