Beginning this fall, Chenango County schools will have the option to include Greek yogurt in school lunches as part of a newly introduced Greek yogurt pilot program issued by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The pilot program announced last week applies to schools statewide and promotes consumption of Greek yogurt as a viable source of protein while also giving a boost to some of the major players in the Greek yogurt industry. According to state legislators, this is a way to encourage healthy eating habits and support jobs in local communities like that of Chenango County, home of the Greek yogurt giant, Chobani.
The propose of the program is to test the cost effectiveness of offering high-protein Greek yogurt in the National School Lunch Program, which feeds approximately 31 million students monthly nationwide. Because yogurt is a highly perishable product, the USDA has limited the pilot to four states: New York, Idaho, Arizona, and Tennessee. The solicitation seeks both 4oz. single serving containers of flavored Greek yogurt as well as 32oz. of unflavored containers to provide schools with a variety of ways to serve to students.