SCHUMER: THIRD ROUND OF GREEK YOGURT PILOT PROGRAM NOW OPEN; USDA SOLICITING PROPOSALS FROM GREEK YOGURT MAKERS TO PROVIDE YOGURT FOR 12- STATE PROGRAM – SCHUMER ENCOURAGES NY GREEK YOGURT PRODUCERS TO APPLY; APPLICATIONS ACCEPTED UNTIL NOVEMBER 12
Schumer Successfully Urged USDA To Institute – and then Expand – Successful Greek Yogurt Pilot Program; Pilot Program Now Available in Schools in Twelve States – NY, AZ, ID, TN, CA, IA, CT, IL, NC, VT, WA, MS; Currently Seeking Solicitations to Provide Yogurt From January 2015 to March 2015
NY’s Own Chobani & Upstate Niagara Have Been Selected In Past to Provide Greek Yogurt to Schools – Schumer Encourages Upstate NY Greek Yogurt Producers like Alpina, Fage, Chobani, Muller Quaker To Do The Same
Greek Yogurt Vendor(s) Will Be Selected Through Application Process That Is Now Open; Schumer Urges NY Greek Yogurt Makers To Apply
Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has begun soliciting proposals from Greek yogurt makers to provide Greek yogurt to schools in up to 12 states as part of USDA’s School Lunch Program, which, at Schumer’s urging, was expanded last year to include Greek yogurt. Proposals will be accepted from now until November 12th. Schumer, in light of the USDA’s solicitation, is urging New York Greek yogurt producers like Alpina, Fage, Chobani, Muller Quaker, Upstate Niagara and more, to apply before the November deadline. This is now the third time in which the USDA is soliciting bids, and past rounds have resulted in Chobani and Upstate Niagara being selected to provide greek yogurt. The pilot program, which Schumer announced in March 2014 expanded an initial pilot to twelve states: New York, Arizona, Idaho, Tennessee, California, Iowa, Connecticut, Illinois, North Carolina, Vermont, Washington and Mississippi. The current solicitation is to provide Greek Yogurt from January to March 2015, and the USDA will select one or multiple vendors to provide the product.
Following news last year that schools that participated in an initial 3-month Greek yogurt pilot had consumed 200,000 pounds and $300,000-worth of Greek yogurt, Schumer urged the USDA to expand this program to additional states in his pursuit of permanently adding this high-nutrition and protein-rich food to the USDA School Lunch Program.
“Bringing New York-made Greek yogurt to school lunchrooms across the country is a nutritious protein-packed option for kids, bolsters the growth of our burgeoning dairy industry, and solidifies New York as the Silicon Valley of Greek yogurt. So I’m urging all New York Greek yogurt producers to apply for the third round of the USDA Greek yogurt pilot program. This is a great opportunity for them to send their products to new regions, grow their business, and show the entire country what Greek yogurt is all about,” said Schumer. “These Greek yogurt producers support jobs throughout our state, in dairy farms from the Finger Lakes to the Hudson Valley; so having one of our local producers selected for this pilot would help the dairy industry and our entire economy, all while providing a high-protein, nutritious snack for our kids.”
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