Milk industry bankruptcies also impact schools

Food service directors for some school districts, including New Richmond, are looking for new sources from which to buy milk following bankruptcy filings by two of the nation’s largest milk processors.

Dean Foods Co. filed for bankruptcy in November. Just eight weeks later Borden Dairy Co. did the same.

Borden provides milk to the New Richmond Exempted Village School District, Food Service Director Brenda Young said. A shortage of chocolate milk, the milk of choice for some students, is already being felt, she said.

Young said she hopes to have a new source for milk, including chocolate, soon, but is uncertain of a timeframe. She plans to meet Jan. 15 with representatives from the Unified Purchasing Coop where she hopes to get answers.

The USDA requires school districts to offer milk to students as part of meals. There’s no requirement for the milk to be flavored. And students are not required to take the milk.

A decline in milk sales is said to be the cause of the bankruptcies.

According to a report from Bloomberg, dairy milk consumption per capita - which excludes powdered forms - fell more than 25% from 2000 to 2018, the publication wrote citing data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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