When Michelle Milley saw the budget cuts coming to her school, she knew milk had to stay. Working at the school for over 7 years and as the Cafeteria Manager, Michelle knew that economic changes and cuts to the school’s funding meant that adjustments were in store for every department, including the school’s food service program. If one thing was for sure, she wasn’t about to let milk go.
After the school, St Jane Frances in Pasadena, MD, downsized the foodservice department staff, Michelle began to run the entire program herself. Aside from her financial, culinary and marketing responsibilities Michelle’s core responsibility is to ensure proper nutrition to of all the children. So she knew it was necessary to keep milk in the school food program, if other things had to go. Her experience in child nutrition told her that with a busy and stressful lifestyle, many people, including children, reach for the wrong kinds of beverages. Noting this, Michelle began to promote milk with enthusiasm. Her first order of business was to provide only milk in her school lunch line. She also began hanging many of the “got milk?” posters in and around her school. Michelle notes that the students quickly got excited about the newest unveiling of “got milk?” celebrities as the weeks went on!
Because of her efforts in promoting milk, Michelle has seen an increase in milk consumption, with fat free chocolate milk being the all-time favorite choice! At a school with just about 350 students, consumption is at about 250 units per day. She is also encouraging lowfat chocolate milk consumption on the athletic fields, stating that while certain sports drinks are provided, she believes more strongly in the nutritional content and natural benefits found in milk.
Michelle also knows from personal experience how important milk is for a growing teenager. With a 15-year-old son at home, Michelle says that her family can go through 3 or more gallons of milk a week! And, her son’s favorite flavor of milk is definitely chocolate. And, as Michelle rightly puts it, “I don’t care what flavor milk my son drinks. What really matters is that he drinks it!”