Prior to COVID-19, school districts were providing meals as “offer versus serve,” where students had the option to choose milk. Post COVID-19, all breakfast and lunch meals “serve” milk to all students who take a meal. School districts are reporting increased milk sales because of the shift — a win-win for dairy farmers and for students, as schools are feeding about 40% fewer students due to closures during the pandemic.
ADA North East’s school programs goals pre- and post-COVID include:
- Increasing meal participation at meal sites which correlates to increased milk and dairy sales.
- Ensuring school meals that include milk and dairy remain part of the school day.
- Building and maintaining essential relationships with schools and food service professionals to maintain credibility and ability to protect dairy’s role in school meals.
One example of a school success following the new plan was in Prince William County, Va.
- September and October 2019: 2,178,598 milk unit totals
- September and October 2020: 2,904,894 milk unit totals
… Equaling an additional 726,296 half-pints of milk sold!