Hands Off the Chocolate Milk!-Congressman Sam Graves

August 07, 2023

Dear Friend,

It’s hard to believe, but school is right around the corner. A staple of school lunches for years could go away if Washington bureaucrats get the final word. Remember looking forward to that delicious half pint of chocolate milk nestled nicely in its designated square on your tray? Gone, if the Administration gets their way. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently put out their proposed school lunch standards, proposing a ban on chocolate milk and other flavored milk in elementary and middle schools and reducing consumption in high schools, beginning in the 2025-2026 school year.

No chocolate milk in kid’s lunches? Nonsense.

USDA is pointing to childhood obesity as their reason for ridding schools of the scourge of chocolate milk. However, it’s pretty obvious that chocolate milk isn’t the issue.

Would it be ideal if all kids just liked to drink white milk? Sure, but that just isn’t reality. In fact, chocolate milk serves as an excellent way to get kids the nutrients they need from milk. 77% of total daily milk consumption and 70% of total dairy consumption for low-income children ages 5 to 18 happens at school. The nutrients found in dairy products is critical to child development, yet our kids still aren’t getting enough. Imagine how much worse it will be without flavored milk options.

Yet, Washington bureaucrats once again think that new restrictions on dairy, and school lunches in general, are needed. When is the last time a DC pencil pusher sat in a school lunchroom to see what kids actually eat?

In response to this short-sighted rule, I sent a bipartisan letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack earlier this summer in support of keeping chocolate and flavored milk in our schools.

Our school lunch personnel do an incredible job making nutritious and delicious meals for our kids. They are doing so in difficult times, with supply chain shortages and inflation proving incredibly challenging. Yet, they still get the job done. Tying their hands now with new standards and restrictions is absolutely the wrong thing to do at the wrong time. The bureaucrats have been bound and determined to do away with chocolate milk for years and I’ll be darned if we let it happen this time.


Sam Graves