The milk at some Dallas ISD schools doesn't need refrigeration until it's ready to be served. DISD is testing this shelf-stable milk program at nine of its schools.
"It's ultra-high pasteurized, has a long shelf-life," Michael Rosenberger, DISD Executive Director of Food and Child Nutrition, said. "But all the nutrition, all the vitamins, all the reasons that we drink milk in the first place; they're still there 100-percent."
Rosenberger said students are accepting of the new milk at the nine schools in the pilot program. Shelf-stable milk cost about 20-cents more per serving. The pilot test program is to see if there are cost offsets, like lower electric bills and a more stable supply chain, to make it cost-efficient.
"It's potentially the next frontier in milk for schools," Rosenberger said, pointing out there are potential environmental benefits to widely adopted use of shelf-stable milk.
"Imagine if total, you had 100 to 200 fewer heavy-duty trucks around the city running that were no longer running these air conditioners to keep contents of those trucks cold. The environmental benefits layer up very quickly," Rosenberger said. "Perhaps the answer is not that we do 'woosh' 100-percent better, but that we all do 1-percent better in 100 different ways."
The DISD schools included in the shelf-stable milk pilot test program are George B Dealey Montessori Academy, Lakewood Elementary School, Larry G. Smith Elementary School, J.N. Ervin Elementary School, Paul L. Dunbar Learning Center, Gabe P. Allen Elementary School, Margaret B. Henderson Elementary School, and Maria Moreno Elementary School.
The pilot program ends in about a month. Rosenberger is hoping the results will help convince other school districts to join and help cut costs.