Focusing on the Future with Dairy Dollars for Schools

Mar 1, 2017
Dairy Dollars for Schools promotes milk as a part of school meals.

Children are the future. Kids today will grow up to be tomorrow’s consumers, making choices in the grocery store.

To stay ahead of the next generation’s buying habits, Dairy MAX’s school marketing team works with child nutrition professionals each day. These individuals play a key role in schools—helping kids establish healthy habits to last a lifetime. Millions of students are positively impacted by school nutrition staff each day during school mealtimes. Together, Dairy MAX and nutrition professionals work together to help schools achieve wellness policy goals, while engaging students and promoting a healthy, dairy-rich lifestyle.

To help schools meet their nutrition standards, Dairy MAX offers the Dairy Dollars for Schools program. This program provides operational expertise, marketing resources and tools, as well as grant funding to school nutrition programs to serve more dairy to students.

“This program specifically targets child nutrition professionals and is specifically focused on increasing dairy consumption in schools,” says Alyson Kirchner, vice president of school marketing at Dairy MAX. “Dairy Dollars for Schools provides grants, ideas and resources to grow school nutrition programs while engaging students and positively impacting schools’ bottom line.”

Schools can apply for grants, specific to dairy programs, including Sensational S’MOOthies, Coffee Bars, Breakfast in the Classroom, Grab ‘n’ Go Breakfast and Second Chance Breakfast. 

“Child nutrition directors focus on driving average daily participation throughout the school year, and this program helps to drive more dairy throughout the school meal menu,” Kirchner states.

Each program funded by Dairy Dollars for Schools increases the number of child participants in school meals. The increased number of student participants likewise increase milk, cheese and yogurt consumption, in addition to engaging students, teachers and nutrition staff with fun learning activities.

In 2016, Dairy Dollars for Schools achieved great successes, increasing both average daily participation and milk pounds sold. Through Breakfast in the Classroom alone, the number of milk cartons served grew by 220 percent.

If awarded a Dairy Dollars for Schools grant, schools receive a complimentary cafeteria toolkit, full of milk promotional items fun for both students and nutrition staff members. There are currently two toolkits available through Dairy Dollars for Schools—Mighty Milk and Milk Emoji.

“The Mighty Milk promotional campaign targets elementary school kids, encouraging them to drink milk,” Kirchner says.

This campaign is superhero-inspired, featuring Mighty Milk, a milk jug, as the comic book hero. The cafeteria kit includes posters, glass clings, stickers and other materials to encourage young students to unlock their superpowers with milk.

“Milk Emoji is geared toward middle school students, using emojis to attract that age group to drink milk,” says Kirchner.

The campaign is inspired by the popular emoticons used on smart phones and in social media. Milk Emoji’s posters, clings and other materials feature different emoji faces on milk jugs. Each face has a matching message, encouraging middle school students to drink milk.

In addition to coordinating programs like Dairy Dollars for Schools, Dairy MAX’s school marketing team serves as a premier source of school wellness expertise.

“The school marketing team, comprised of school wellness consultants, actively works to educate and strengthen understanding around our programs,” Kirchner states.

Dairy MAX’s school marketing team members are viewed as experts in the field of child nutrition and wellness.

“Through conferences, trainings and meetings across the territory, we work to measure and build results in dairy consumption with every opportunity,” Kirchner says.

In 2016, the school marketing team conducted a total of 108 trainings, workshops and presentations for 5,443 participants, both in-person and online.

“School wellness consultants are viewed as experts and they bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise,” Kirchner says. “They lead trainings around dairy education and marketing programs to drive average daily participation in schools.”

More than half of the trainings educated an excess of 3,000 physical education and child nutrition professionals on the Fuel Up to Play 60 program. Other presentation and workshop topics included Dairy Dollars for Schools and dairy nutrition, given to partner organizations, Education Service Centers and School Health Advisory Councils.

The Dairy MAX school marketing team is dedicated to building the next generation of dairy lovers in schools, driving dairy demand for years to come.