Students across Arizona will have a new option in the lunchroom thanks to a pilot program launching in four states.
John Huppenthal, the superintendent of public instruction for the Arizona Department of Education, said Arizona was selected for the new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) high-protein, non-fat Greek-style yogurt program, which offers higher nutritional benefits for students.
Schools that are USDA Food sponsors, participating in the K-12 National School Lunch Program (NSLP) will be part of the program that runs from Monday, Sept. 16 through Nov. 6.
Huppenthal said Arizona was picked for the program based on sponsor relationships, statewide geography, yogurt manufacturers, distribution systems and having established warehousing models.
After Nov. 6, students in Arizona, as well as New York, Tennessee and Idaho will complete an evaluation of the program.
By the end of the year, USDA Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) and Farm Service Agency (FSA) will evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the pilot and determine next steps for marketing the program nationwide.
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