Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Representative Richard Hanna announced the success and expansion of the U.S. Department of Agriculture pilot program to serve New York-based Chobani yogurt in school lunches.

New York State was chosen as one of four states to participate in the pilot program in July 2013. USDA has decided to continue and expand this highly successful program to four additional states during the next school year. During the pilot program, 200,000 pounds of yogurt were provided to schools in those states.

The continuing pilot program will test the cost effectiveness of offering high-protein Greek yogurt in the school lunch program, which feeds 31 million students monthly nationwide. The program would also promote the health benefits of Greek yogurt. Compared to regular yogurt, Greek yogurt has twice the protein, less sodium and fewer carbohydrates.

Following the expansion of this program to four additional states, there will be a new bidding process in the upcoming months to determine which company will source the Greek yogurt in these states.

New York State leads the country in Greek yogurt production. Chobani is a major employer in Chenango County.