The legislature finds that for best health and well-being, school children in the state should receive at least one serving of milk each day. The school milk program established in this section is to provide districts in the state with added resources so that all kindergarten students in public and nonpublic schools may have access to wholesome milk on a daily basis.
Each district in the state is encouraged to participate in the state-supported school milk program for kindergartners. Participating districts must provide one serving of milk on each school day to each kindergarten student attending a public or nonpublic school in the district. No student is required to accept the milk that is provided by the district. The program must be promoted and operated under the direction of the commissioner or the commissioner's designee.
(a) The commissioner shall:
(1) encourage all districts to participate in the school milk program for kindergartners;
(2) prepare program guidelines, not subject to chapter 14 until July 1, 1998, which will effectively and efficiently distribute appropriated and donated money to participating districts; and
(3) seek donations and matching funds from appropriate private and public sources.
(b) Program guidelines may provide for disbursement to districts through a mechanism of prepayments or by reimbursement for approved program expenses.
In accordance with program guidelines, the commissioner shall reimburse each participating public or nonpublic school 20 cents for each half-pint of milk that is served to kindergarten students and is not part of a school lunch or breakfast reimbursed under section 124D.111 or 124D.1158.