WILLISTON, N.D. -
Williston High School is successfully promoting more milk consumption among its student population, thanks to a $5,000 grant from the Midwest Dairy Council.
Food Service Director Lynelle Johnson says it's a much healthier option than what many teens choose to drink.
Williston High School employees make at least 50 milk-filled coffee drinks a day using a state-of-the-art espresso machine.
"Kids consume less milk than they used to, but having the coffee machine has improved milk consumption overall," said Johnson.
The high school now purchases 500 to 600 gallons of milk a year just for coffee beverages, which have become popular among students.
"I used to get it in the morning every day, but now I have a first hour so I get it during lunch every day. But I'm lactose intolerant, but I really like the coffee, so I just deal with it," said Libby Swensrud, WHS senior stated.
Johnson says the only negative aspect is that they are promoting caffeine consumption, but they can only serve 12 ounce java drinks with up to 60 more calories than what the milk provides, so it's still healthier than other options.
"If you look at a glass of milk compared to a glass of diet pop or any other drink, it's very high in nutrients, very high in minerals, and not very high in calories. It's good for kids to consume milk," added Johnson.
The coffee shop's atmosphere, extended hours, and healthy food options encourage students to eat well when they miss a meal.
The coffee machine was purchased three years ago.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says milk consumption has decreased by 40% since 1975.