WASHINGTON — The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and dairy industry leaders from across the country are virtually meeting this month with Members of Congress to advocate for changes to several Child Nutrition Reauthorization policies and discuss the nutritional benefits of dairy products in child nutrition programs.
Specifically, dairy leaders are advocating for the following:
- Allow schools to again serve low-fat flavored milk in school meal programs, which is currently permitted on a temporary basis. This is consistent with recommendations in the two most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
- An extension for dairy companies to meet Target 2 sodium levels in the School Meals Program and reconsideration of Target 3 sodium levels for particular products, such as cheese, where sodium is necessary for food safety and functional purposes.
- Sensible package and variety flexibility for yogurt and milk in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) that were allowed during the COVID-19 pandemic and were proven to be effective in both increasing food access and furthering the nutritional integrity of the WIC program.
“Scientific research shows that dairy provides significant nutritional benefits to children’s health, but we know that a staggering 79 percent of middle school-aged children do not receive three daily portions as recommended by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee,” said Dave Carlin, Senior Vice President, Legislative Affairs and Economic Policy at IDFA. “That’s why it’s critical to preserve dairy products as a major component of school meal programs, and that’s why we’re meeting with lawmakers this week to brief them on these important policy priorities.”
The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Washington, D.C., represents the nation’s dairy manufacturing and marketing industry, which supports more than 3.3 million jobs that generate $41.6 billion in direct wages and $753 billion in overall economic impact. IDFA’s diverse membership ranges from multinational organizations to single-plant companies, from dairy companies and cooperatives to food retailers and suppliers, all on the cutting edge of innovation and sustainable business practices. Together, they represent 90 percent of the milk, cheese, ice cream, yogurt and cultured products, and dairy ingredients produced and marketed in the United States and sold throughout the world. Delicious, safe and nutritious, dairy foods offer unparalleled health and consumer benefits to people of all ages.