Virginia School Serves up More Milk with Less Waste

Milk dispensers are a cool way for students to add more nutrition and less waste into lunches served in Louisa County, Virginia.

According to the Journal of Dairy Science, milk consumption among children has been declining for decades.

Louisa County High School in Virginia took the initiative to change this statistic and switched to serving up milk from a bulk dispenser. “With the dispensers the milk tastes so much better: it holds its temperature, and its icy cold. And ice cold milk always tastes better. So, I have found with the machine that not only have we gained some milk drinkers but those kids that have always been milk drinkers are drinking more,” says Randy Herman the school’s director for nutrition services.

Development of this bulk milk system, which allows students to pour themselves only the amount of milk they want to drink, has taken several years of research and design by dairy trade associations. Louisa County High School Chef Manager James Best says that “the freshness of the milk product, consistency, and quality is an important thing to us in monitoring the shelf life.”

There are now 13 dispensers in schools across the state with several more in the works.

“I would encourage any schools that are interested to reach out to the Dairy Alliance or the Virginia State Dairymen’s Association. We have programs in place to help schools put these in at no cost to the school district – a better way to serve milk in schools. It’s a win for Virginia, the schools, the students, and parents, who will know that their kids can drink more milk at school,” says Eric Paulson with Virginia State Dairymen’s Association.