Schumer: USDA to Begin Soliciting Proposals from Greek Yogurt Makers for 12-State Greek Yogurt Pilot Program

Greek Yogurt Vendor(s) Will Be Selected Through Application Process That Will Begin On May 20th; Schumer Urges NY Greek Yogurt Makers To Apply

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Washington, DC - April 4, 2014 - U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will begin soliciting proposals on May 20th from Greek yogurt makers who will be seeking to provide Greek yogurt to 12 states as part of USDA’s recently expanded Greek yogurt pilot program. Schumer, in advance of the USDA’s Request for Proposal (RFP), is urging New York Greek yogurt producers like Alpina, Fage, Chobani, Muller Quaker and more, to apply for the expanded pilot. The pilot program, which Schumer announced in early March would expand to eight new states, will run from September 2014 to June 2015 and include New York, Arizona, Idaho, Tennessee, California, Iowa, Connecticut, Illinois, North Carolina, Vermont, Washington and Mississippi. USDA will select one or multiple vendors to provide Greek yogurt.
Following news in January 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 NY-made Greek yogurt to school lunchrooms across the country will further the growth of our burgeoning dairy industry, and solidify New York’s reputation as the Greek yogurt capital. So I’m urging all New York Greek yogurt producers to apply for the next round of the USDA Greek yogurt pilot program, because it’s such a great opportunity for them to send their products to new parts of the country and grow business,” said Schumer. “These Greek yogurt producers support jobs throughout our state, in dairy farms from the Finger Lakes to the Hudson Valley; so helping them grow their business through this pilot will help our economy, all while providing a high-protein, nutritious snack for our kids.”