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Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Special Milk Program

Program Mission

To encourage the consumption of milk by school-age children by providing milk at low or no cost.

Program Description

The Special Milk Program is available to children of all schools or nonprofit child care institutions that do not participate in the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, the Child and Adult Care Food Program, or Summer Food Service Program. This includes nonprofit day care centers, summer camps, settlement houses and homeless shelters. An eligible shelter's primary purpose must be to provide shelter and a minimum of one regularly scheduled meal service per day to homeless families. The shelter cannot be a residential child care institution.

The Special Milk Program is also available to students attending a split-session kindergarten or pre-primary students in a school that participates in the National School Lunch or School Breakfast Program, if those students do not have access to the lunch or breakfast programs.

How to Enroll in the Special Milk Program

Schools and organizations (known as program sponsors) wishing to participate in the Special Milk Program are required to submit an online application prior to beginning the Special Milk Program. Application information may be obtained by calling the the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services at 1-800-504-6609.

Reimbursement

Reimbursement payments are made to program sponsors based on the number of half-pints of milk served each month to eligible children. There is no limit to the number of half-pints each eligible child can receive each day. Milk served to adults or milk used in cooking may not be claimed for reimbursement.

Milk is reimbursed at a Free rate or a Paid rate. The Paid rate is determined annually by the U.S. Department of Agriculture every July 1, while the Free rate is the average cost of a half-pint as charged by the milk vendor to the program sponsor.