Chobani Picked To Lead Greek Yogurt Pilot Project In Idaho Schools

Jul 26, 2013

New York based Greek yogurt maker Chobani has been chosen to lead a new pilot program through the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That program will feature the high protein yogurt in school lunches starting this school year.

The USDA awarded Chobani with a contract for a pilot program to bring Greek yogurt to school lunch programs in Idaho and three other states.
Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho, along with Arizona, New York and Tennessee will participate to see how cost effective it will be to offer this yogurt as a meat substitute for school meals.  If the test is successful, Greek yogurt could become a permanent fixture of the school lunch program across the U.S.  

Chobani opened a production plant in Twin Falls last December. It employs more than 600 people. The plant produces nearly 1 million cases of Greek yogurt every week.   

In a news release Friday, Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo said, “Greek yogurt is packed with protein and nutrients essential to a healthy diet. I previously commended USDA’s decision to make this healthy option increasingly available to Idaho’s children.”

Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna was quoted in the release saying “I am proud our state is once again taking the lead and working to provide students with healthier options, including those produced right here in Idaho.”

Crapo will join Luna and officials with Chobani and the Meridian School District for an event on August 13 to announce details of Greek yogurt availability in Idaho schools.

Earlier this month, the USDA announced it was taking bids to supply schools with Greek yogurt in four states including Idaho as part of this pilot program. That process closed July 22.

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