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Celebrate World School Milk Day

By: Renée Farias

  • Thursday, September 22, 2022
  • 3 Minute Read   

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September 28 is World School Milk Day

Every year on the last Wednesday in September, many countries around the world celebrate World School Milk Day, recognizing the health benefits of school milk and the school nutrition programs that provide milk directly to students. World School Milk Day was declared by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in September 2000 and this year schools and organizations across the globe, including Dairy Council of California, join to celebrate on Wednesday, September 28, 2022.1

Milk is an Important Part of School Meals

As a whole, minimally processed food, dairy milk brings significant value to school meals. Milk and dairy foods’ unique package of nutrients, including vitamin D, calcium and protein, help to bridge the nutrient gaps that currently exist in children’s diets.2 This contribution is important to all children, but especially those in marginalized and underserved communities who are already struggling to access healthy foods.

During the 2022-23 school year, California implemented the nation’s first statewide Universal Meals program, which ensures all students, regardless of socioeconomic status, are eligible to receive a free nutritious breakfast and lunch each school day.3 Programs like this can help achieve nutrition security by increasing students’ access to nutritious foods, like milk, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein, to support optimal growth and development. 

Social_WSMDGuideActivate Your World School Milk Day Celebration

Dairy Council of California invites you to join the global celebration on World School Milk Day! Get started with the World School Milk Day Activation Guide, which includes fun activities and resources to engage students and encourage school milk consumption. Download the activation guide to:

  • Share fun facts for World School Milk Day with students
  • Promote school milk with student School Milk Pledge Cards
  • Participate in the Let’s Eat Healthy World School Milk Day video, which will be released on the Let’s Eat Healthy YouTube channel.

Show off your celebration on social media using #WSMD22 and tag @HealthyEatingCA on Facebook and Instagram for the chance to be featured on Let’s Eat Healthy’s social media channels.

Advancing Nutrition Security in September and Beyond 

September also marks Hunger Action Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness of hunger in the United States, and the historic White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health, set to occur on September 28th, coinciding with World School Milk Day. At the conference, the White House will announce a national strategy to end hunger, improve access to healthy foods and support physical activity. The last conference that addressed these issues was organized over 50 years ago and led to the creation and major expansion of crucial food assistance programs, like school meals.4

Collectively, these events offer an opportunity for nutrition advocates to work together to look for sustainable solutions that enable children, families and communities to access the nutritious foods they need for good health and to achieve nutrition security. Join us in our efforts to teach and inspire healthy eating habits and make healthy, wholesome foods accessible to all by engaging in the Let’s Eat Healthy Initiative. Visit HealthyEating.org/Join to learn more. 

 
References:
1. 22nd World School Milk Day. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations website. http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/templates/est/COMM_MARKETS_MONITORING/Dairy/Documents/World_School_Milk_Day_2018.pdf. Published September 26, 2018. Accessed September 21, 2022.
2. Fulgoni VL, Keast DR, Auestad N et al. Nutrients from dairy foods are difficult to replace in diets of Americans: food pattern modeling and an analyses of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey2003-2006. Nut Res. 2001;31(10):759-765.
3. California Universal Meals. California Department of Education website. https://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/nu/sn/cauniversalmeals.asp. Published September 19, 2022. Accessed September 21, 2022.
4. White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website. https://health.gov/our-work/nutrition-physical-activity/white-house-conference-hunger-nutrition-and-health. Published September 2, 2022. Accessed September 21, 2022.
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Renée Farias

Renée Farias

Renée is the Community Nutrition Adviser for California‚Äôs Central Valley region.

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