The Special Milk Program provides milk to children in schools and childcare institutions who do not participate in other Federal meal service
programs. The program reimburses schools for the milk they serve.

Schools in the National School Lunch or School Breakfast Programs may also participate in the Special Milk Program to provide milk to children in half-day pre-kindergarten and kindergarten programs where children do not have access to the school meal programs.

§215.7a   Fluid milk and non-dairy milk substitute requirements.

 Fluid milk and non-dairy fluid milk substitutes served must meet the requirements as outlined in this section.

(a) Types of fluid milk. All fluid milk served in the Program must be pasteurized fluid milk which meets State and local standards for such milk, have vitamins A and D at levels specified by the Food and Drug Administration, and must be consistent with State and local standards for such milk. Fluid milk must also meet the following requirements:

(1) Children 1 year old. Children one year of age must be served unflavored whole milk.

(2) Children 2 through 5 years old. Children two through five years old must be served either unflavored low-fat (1 percent) or unflavored fat-free (skim) milk.

(3) Children 6 years old and older. Children six years old and older must be served low-fat (1 percent fat or less) or fat-free (skim) milk. Milk may be unflavored or flavored.

(b) Fluid milk substitutes. Non-dairy fluid milk substitutions that provide the nutrients listed in the following table and are fortified in accordance with fortification guidelines issued by the Food and Drug Administration may be provided for non-disabled children who cannot consume fluid milk due to medical or special dietary needs when requested in writing by the child's parent or guardian. A school or day care center need only offer the non-dairy beverage that it has identified as an allowable fluid milk substitute according to the following table.

Nutrient Per cup (8 fl. oz.)
Calcium 276 mg
Protein 8 g
Vitamin A 500 IU
Vitamin D 100 IU
Magnesium 24 mg
Phosphorus 222 mg
Potassium 349 mg
Riboflavin 0.44 mg
Vitamin B-12 1.1 mcg


[81 FR 24375, Apr. 25, 2016, as amended at 82 FR 56714, Nov. 30, 2017; 83 FR 63790, Dec. 12, 2018]


§215.8   Reimbursement payments.

(a) [Reserved]

(b) (1) The rate of reimbursement per half-pint of milk purchased and (i) served in nonpricing programs to all children; (ii) served to all children in pricing programs by institutions and School Food Authorities not electing to provide free milk; and (iii) served to children other than needy children in pricing programs by institutions and School Food Authorities electing to provide free milk shall be the rate announced by the Secretary for the applicable school year. However, in no event shall the reimbursement for each half-pint (236 ml.) of milk served to children exceed the cost of the milk to the school or child care institution.

(2) The rate of reimbursement for milk purchased and served free to needy children in pricing programs by institutions and School Food Authorities electing to provide free milk shall be the average cost of milk, i.e., the total cost of all milk purchased during the claim period, divided by the total number of purchased half-pints.

(c) Schools and child-care institutions having pricing programs shall use the reimbursement payments received to reduce the price of milk to children.


(Sec. 11, Pub. L. 95-166, 91 Stat. 1337 (42 U.S.C. 1772, 1753, 1766); sec. 5, Pub. L. 95-627, 92 Stat. 3619 (42 U.S.C. 1772); Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1980, sec. 209, Pub. L. 96-499, 94 Stat. 2599; secs. 807 and 808, Pub. L. 97-35, 95 Stat. 521-535, 42 U.S.C. 1772, 1784, 1760; secs. 805 and 819, Pub. L. 97-35, 95 Stat. 521-535 (42 U.S.C. 1773))

[Amdt. 13, 39 FR 28416, Aug. 7, 1974, as amended by Amdt. 16, 43 FR 1060, Jan. 6, 1978; 44 FR 10700, Feb. 23, 1979; Amdt. 17, 44 FR 33047, June 8, 1979; 46 FR 51365, Oct. 20, 1981; Amdt. 23, 47 FR 14134, Apr. 2, 1982; 82 FR 56714, Nov. 30, 2017]

For more information about the Special Milk Program, contact OPI School Nutrition Programs at 406-444-2501. 

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