The U.S. Department of Agriculture is now accepting proposals from Greek yogurt makers to provide yogurt to schools in up to 12 states as part of the USDA's School Lunch program, which added Greek yogurt to menus last year.

Senator Charles Schumer who urged the USDA to add the new program is encouraging New York Greek yogurt makers like Chobani, Alpina, Fage and Upstate Niagara to apply before the November 12, deadline.

This is the third time the USDA is accepting bids to provide Greek yogurt to schools and the first two rounds resulted in Chobani and Upstate Niagara being selected.

The pilot program now serves 12 states including New York, Arizona, Idaho, Tennessee, California, Iowa, Connecticut, Illinois, North Carolina, Vermont, Washington and Mississippi.

Following news last year that schools that participated in an initial 3-month Greek yogurt pilot had consumed 200,000 pounds and $300,000 worth of Greek yogurt, Schumer urged the USDA to expand this program to additional states in his pursuit of permanently adding this high-nutrition and protein-rich food to the USDA School Lunch Program.