To mark the occasion, Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) wants to highlight the contribution school milk programs have made to the health of Canadian children across the country.

Aiming to provide students in every community with the energy to concentrate and perform at their best, the first school milk program was implemented in Nova Scotia in 1974. Other provinces soon followed. In Ontario, for example, the Elementary School Milk Program is celebrating 30 years this year.

Milk is an integral part of children’s nutrition, and school milk programs stem from a long tradition of feeding them and combating malnutrition.

During the Great Depression, Montreal schools distributed free milk purchased from local farmers to children suffering from malnourishment, making locally produced milk essential to their nutrition on school days.

A small carton of milk may seem like a minor thing, but the benefits it engenders are substantial. There are approximately 200 days in a school year, which means there are 200 lunches or, in other words, 200 opportunities for children to make healthy food choices.


School milk programs help us provide a nutritious beverage throughout the school year and teach students to put the lessons they have learned into practice. In Ontario only, nearly 1 million students participate in the Elementary School Milk Program, and in Quebec, more than 15 million cartons of milk were distributed in schools in 2014.

The story of the dairy industry is one of community. It is a story about fostering the importance of daily routines and healthy habits to ensure well-being. Dairy farmers are proud to build a better future for Canada by contributing to the health of tomorrow’s leaders.  end mark

PHOTO:  Milk is an integral part of children’s nutrition. School milk programs have been offering this healthy option to students for more than 30 years. Photo provided by DFC.

Dairy Farmers of Canada
Founded in 1934, Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) is the national organization which defends the interests of Canadian dairy farmers and strives to create favourable conditions for the Canadian dairy industry.

Working in accordance with supply management principles, DFC promotes safe, high quality, sustainable and nutritious Canadian dairy products made from 100% Canadian milk through various marketing, nutrition, policy and lobbying initiatives.

Driven by a strong sense of community and pride, DFC and Canadian dairy farmers actively support a number of local and national activities. Visit for more information.