Monday, July 8, 2013

New York to Participate in Greek Yogurt Program in School Lunches

News from U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer:
New York state has been selected as one of four states to participate in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Greek Yogurt Pilot Program.

The program will allow school districts to test Greek yogurt on their menus beginning in September. U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer, who championed the program, said yogurt will provide a high-nutrition and protein alternative for children in their school lunches.

On Monday, the USDA issues a solicitation to buy Greek yogurt for delivery to participating school districts. The USDA seeks both four-ounce single serving containers of flavored yogurt and 32-ounce containers of nonflavored yogurt that could be used in various recipes.

The other states involved in the yogurt programs are Tennessee, Idaho and Arizona. Schumer said New York was a perfect selection for the program because of the large number of Greek yogurt plants (Chobani, Fage, Alpina and Muller) making the product right in New York state.

“Starting this school year, students across the state will be balancing New York-made Greek yogurt on their lunch trays. I am thrilled that New York schools will have a chance to participate in the first-ever Greek yogurt pilot program in September," Schumer said.

"Schools in New York, and the other three states participating in the pilot, will soon see that Greek yogurt is an affordable and nutritious high-protein option for their menus,” Schumer said. “I am proud to see this pilot plan reach this final step, because it’s a boon for New York yogurt and dairy industries, and it’s beneficial for the health of our kids.”

Companies wishing to bid on the yogurt contracts have until July 22. The Farm Service Agency will evaluate bids and make awards by the end of July.

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