Gillibrand, Hanna show support to make Chobani affordable for school lunch

NORWICH – With any luck, 31 million United States children will be able to enjoy the delicious taste and nutritional benefits of Greek-style yogurt in their school breakfasts and lunches next year.

That was the message delivered Thursday at a press conference with U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman Richard Hanna at Chobani corporate headquarters in Norwich. The two took the opportunity during their campaign schedules to show bi-partisan support for Chenango County’s most prominent business and New York’s fastest growing industry, not to mention the dairy farmers that support it.

Sen. Gillibrand said a simple nutritional guideline change at the United States Department of Agriculture is all it would take for school children to enjoy Chobani and other Greek-style yogurts as an option. And with continued attention on the effort through the end of the year, she hoped the new-style yogurt could be served in cafeterias by January.

Currently, Greek yogurt is not differentiated from traditional yogurt despite its higher protein content. But under its present classification, it is more expensive for schools to purchase because it requires up to three times as much milk to produce.

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