Assemblyman Chris Tague (R,C-Schoharie) is furious about the way schools are handling the current milk carton shortage and the lack of response from the government. As a former dairy farmer, Tague has long used his position as an assemblyman to advocate for farmers all over New York. He has played a huge role in returning whole milk to schools. Now, there is a threat of milk being removed from schools altogether.
There is currently a nationwide shortage of half-pint milk cartons across the nation. Evergreen Packaging, the leading packaging manufacturer in North America is responsible for the packaging of fresh milk and supplies various schools, nursing homes, and prisons with the products. With so many clients and requests, the company just can’t seem to keep up with the demand.
“Let me be very clear; there is not a shortage of milk- there is a shortage of milk cartons,” Tague said. “There are obvious solutions like opting for recyclable plastic bottles or dispensers and cups, but the anti-milk Majority aren’t even attempting to implement these options. How we handle this shortage will set a precedent for the availability of milk in schools, and right now, it is not going in the right direction.”
After receiving letters outlining the shortage and its implications, some schools have opted to only provide juice and water, completely removing the nutrient-rich beverage from cafeterias. Their justification for this decision is the product’s lack of availability and the higher cost of purchasing milk in plastic bottles.
“This is a dangerous situation,” said Tague. “The federal government has been trying to oust milk from schools for years. They’ve even outlawed whole milk from schools to combat obesity, yet their solution to the shortage is to encourage kids to drink juice filled with preservatives and sugar. Their actions are hurting not only farmers but the children as well.”