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Office of P-20 Education Policy
Child Nutrition Program Administration
89 Washington Avenue, Room 375 EBA, Albany, NY 12234
Phone: (518) 473-8781 Fax: (518) 473-0018

School Food Service Directors/Managers
Child Nutrition Program Administration
Tuesday, October 31, 2023
Allowable Flexibilities for School Meal Programs Experiencing Milk Supply Shortages

Due to the unexpected nationwide shortage of paper milk cartons, many School Food Authorities (SFAs) are not able to obtain milk in half pints for their school meals programs. Although SFAs are expected to meet the fluid milk requirements to the greatest extent possible, supply chain disruptions, including disruptions that limit milk variety or affect serving size, are considered a temporary emergency condition. In these instances, SFAs are allowed to serve and claim meals during the emergency period by:

  • pouring milk from larger containers into individual cups,  
  • offering one type of milk instead of a variety,
  • offering an alternate form of fluid milk such as low-fat or fat-free lactose-free milk or reduced-lactose fluid milk, or
  • as a last resort, not offer fluid milk altogether.

Please be advised that juice cannot be offered in place of the milk component. SFAs must still adhere to the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program meal requirement that no more than half of the fruit or vegetable offerings may be in the form of juice.

SFAs are expected to maintain documentation of the milk disruption and the procedures implemented during the emergency period. SFAs are only required to notify the New York State Education Department, Office of Child Nutrition at if the SFA is unable to serve any form of milk.

Please contact the Child Nutrition Office for additional assistance.


USDA Nondiscrimination Statement

In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.

Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at:, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to USDA by:

  1. mail:
    U.S. Department of Agriculture
    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
    1400 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; or
  2. fax:
    (833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or
  3. email:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Click here for Nondiscrimination Statement translations.