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Special Milk Program


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The Special Milk Program (SMP) provides milk to children in schools and non-profit child care institutions that do not participate in other Federal child nutrition meal service programs. The program reimburses institutions for the milk they serve.

Schools in the National School Lunch or School Breakfast Programs may also participate in the SMP to provide milk to children in half-day pre-kindergarten and kindergarten programs where children do not have access to the school meal programs.

What type of milk must be offered?

Unflavored or flavored whole milk, low-fat milk, skim milk and cultured buttermilk that meet State and local standards may be offered.

What is involved in operating the Special Milk Program?

The milk program must be open to all enrolled children. Milk may be either non-pricing or pricing. Non-pricing refers to a program which does not sell milk to children. All children are offered the same milk at no separate charge. Pricing program refers to a program which sells milk to children. All children are offered the same milk at the same charge.

What records are required?

The records that must be kept are:

  • The number of half-pints of milk served each day by site and by category (free milk and purchased milk).
  • Applications submitted by the families for free milk (if electing to provide a free milk program)
  • Records of income, expenditures and contributions received.

All records must be retained for a period of three years after the end of the fiscal year to which they pertain.


How Do We Get Reimbursed?
The Special Milk Program is operated on a reimbursement basis, with agencies reimbursed based on the number of half-pints of milk served. The reimbursement shall not exceed the cost of milk to the institution. The rate of reimbursement for milk purchased and served free to needy children in pricing programs shall be the average cost of a half-pint of milk.

Resources for Administrators

Participation Record Summer Camp
Monthly Milk Record

FY16 Special Milk Program Documents

The following documents are for use after July 1, 2015 for the 2015-2016 school year. Applications materials are to be distributed at or near the beginning of the school year.

FY16 Iowa Eligibility Application Instructions
FY16 Iowa Eligibility Application
FY16 Special Milk Parent Letter

Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on July 26, 2016 at 10:07am.