WASHINGTON, DC – A bipartisan bill would grant grant schools across the nation to have the flexibility to serve beverages that are nutritionally-equivalent to dairy milk for students. PA Democrat U.S. Sen. John Fetterman joined with some Republicans to introduce the ADD SOY Act. The National School Lunch Program requires that all children have dairy milk on their trays for the school to be reimbursed for the meal, whether the milk is suited for them or not. Based on documented rates of lactose intolerance, nearly 17 million of the 30 million children benefiting from the school lunch program may have some degree of lactose intolerance. If a child wants an alternative, they need to get a note from a doctor or a parent, and even then, the school may not have a plant-based beverage ready for them. The measure would allow serving dairy alternatives. The USDA finds that 29% of the cartons of milk served in schools are thrown in the garbage unwanted and unopened. Another study found that kids discard 45 million gallons of milk each year, amounting to a $300 million loss of tax dollars annually.

SEN. JOHN FETTERMAN