Education Dept. signs $12M agreement to provide fresh milk to lunchrooms
The Puerto Rico Education Department and the Milk Industry Promotion Fund signed an agreement through which the agency will invest $12 million to distribute fresh milk to the island’s public-school lunchrooms.
The agreement will be in effect through Sept. 30, 2024 and complies with federal regulations that require offering five food components to lunch service participants and four to breakfast participants.
“It’s necessary for our students to have a nutritious and balanced diet that allows them a healthy development, which, in turn, has an impact on improving their academic performance,” Education Secretary Eliezer Ramos said.
“Our school cafeteria staff strives to adequately feed each of our students with the breakfasts and lunches that are being provided in our schools. This agreement strengthens that commitment,” he said.
Grade A fluid and pasteurized milk is one of the components or food groups required by state and federal regulations, as it is a primary source of essential nutrients for the optimal functioning of the human body, the agency stated.
Milk Industry Promotion Fund Executive Director José Orlando Fabre said school cafeterias will deliver the lists for the Fund to take charge of the deliveries three weeks after classes start Jan. 11, 2022. The cafeteria will keep enough inventory to meet cafeteria-goers needs, he said.
In addition, the Fund will supply long-lasting, homogenized UHT milk for those school cafeterials where it is difficult to deliver fresh milk to avoid incomplete rations, Fabre said.