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There are an estimated 408,000 lactose intolerant children in US schools. Many of them receive reduced price or free lunches through this program but the program does not offer a single non-dairy milk, cheese, or yogurt option. If you take a look at the USDA’s Foods Available List you’ll see that there are nearly 200 different food items to choose from. Surely, the USDA can add non-dairy options for the hundreds of thousands of children that need it.
With your help, we can make this happen. There is already a petition with over 47,000 signatures in support of this mission and you can take action NOW to contact your state representative asking for the change.
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Subject: It’s time to add non-dairy options to the USDA Foods Available List
Dear CONTACT NAME,
I am writing to ask that you reach out to your contacts at the USDA regarding the addition of non-dairy options for the National School Lunch Program. There are more than 49 million children in grades K-12 in the United States. An estimated 12% of these students are lactose intolerant. That comes to about 408,000 students. That isn’t including students who do not consume dairy products for health, religious, ethical, and other reasons.
Children across America deserve non-dairy options. There is currently a Change.org petition with over 46,000 signatures asking the USDA to add plant-based milks, cheeses, and yogurts to the Foods Available List.
The USDA Foods Available List contains nearly 200 foods offered to schools around the U.S. at a reduced rate and, oftentimes, at no cost. The time is now to let schools choose what is right for their students by adding non-dairy products that are healthier, delicious, and allergen and cruelty-free.
Please advocate for the addition of non-dairy options to the USDA’s National School Lunch Program’s Foods Available List — because all children deserve a healthy lunch at school.