Congress: Don't Gut School Lunch Standards and Damage Our Children's Health!
  • Petitioning U.S. House of Representatives

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Congress: Don't Gut School Lunch Standards and Damage Our Children's Health!

    1. Petition by

      Margo G. Wootan, D.Sc. at CSPI

UPDATE:  During the week of June 23, 2014 the House will vote on a budget bill that includes an amendment allowing schools to request a waiver to excuse them from meeting the new school meal standards. This is a case of pizza manufacturers, French fry companies, and canned food makers lobbying to put their special interests ahead of kids' health.  Members of Congress need to hear from us NOW so they don’t roll back the important progress the country is making on healthy school meals. Write to them and ask them to vote to strike the waiver!**

Some members of Congress are playing politics with our children’s health: by attempting to gut nutrition standards through the appropriations process. They might say they just want to provide schools with a little more “flexibility,” but their changes would roll back standards on salt, whole grains, fruits/vegetables, and snacks. These are the same people who legislated that pizza is a vegetable (because it contains a little tomato sauce)!

As a mom and the Director of Nutrition Policy for the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), I know that school food improvements are working. Thankfully, ninety percent of schools now meet the updated nutrition standards for school lunch, helping millions of students get more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. But recently this common sense approach has come under attack, and I need your help.

Critics complain about the “nanny state.” But when Big Food comes knocking, they’re happy to step in and micromanage school nutrition standards to win political points.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has been responsive to challenges schools face in implementing the new lunch standards. Schools need support and technical assistance, not a free pass to serve junk to kids. And kids need nutrition standards based on science, not politics.

As a parent with a child in public school, I know it’s confusing to teach children about health in the classroom and serve unhealthy meals in the cafeteria. Child obesity rates are at record-high levels and many students rely on school lunch for good nutrition.

Join me in telling Congress that school lunch is off limits. We're "Fed Up" with you playing politics with our children’s health.

Please urge your members of Congress not to weaken the National School Lunch Program and help ensure that all students have access to healthy foods at school.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. An action-packed week on Capitol Hill for school foods.

      The US House of Representatives debated the Agriculture spending bill, which includes a rider to allow schools to opt out of ALL the nutrition standards for school lunch and breakfast, a provision opposed by more than 200 organizations. Representative Farr filed an amendment to strike the waiver out of the bill, but just before they got to his amendment, the House stopped action on the bill. The House is expected to return to the Ag spending bill the week of June 23rd, 2014.

      The Senate is planning to take up its version of the Agriculture spending bill this week. The Senate bill includes a bipartisan compromise struck between Senators Harkin and Hoeven that directs USDA to further study and address sodium, whole grains, plate waste and participation to help schools meet those and other school nutrition standards--a provision we support.

      Please share this petition with friends, family, and colleagues. The more people Congress hears from, the better!

    2. Reached 40,000 signatures
    3. Update: House Committee Votes to Let Schools Opt Out of Healthy Lunch

      **UPDATE: On Thursday, May 29, the House Appropriations Committee voted to allow schools to gut the new school meal standards.**

      On a party line vote, the committee voted to put pizza manufacturers, French fry companies, and canned food makers, and other special interests ahead of kids’ health. But the fight is far from over. Members of Congress still need to hear from us—so they don’t roll back the important progress the country is making on healthy school meals!

      If you use Twitter, please click here to automatically send a tweet about the urgency of protecting updated standards nutrition in schools: http://ctt.ec/PZMf4

      If you haven't already, please post a link to the petition on Facebook or email it to friends.

      Kids can’t wait for healthy school food. Thanks for defending improved school nutrition standards on their behalf.

      www.change.org/SchoolNutrition

    4. Reached 30,000 signatures
    5. House panel cuts school nutrition standards

      UPDATE: Today the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee voted to move forward with a bill that impacts school nutrition. The bill, which would require the USDA to provide waivers to exempt schools from following the updated nutrition standards, now proceeds to full committee. Meanwhile, the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee is scheduled to meet soon. Your support is needed now more than ever. Please share the petition to help get the word out.
      http://thehill.com/policy/finance/206643-house-moves-forward-with-school-lunch-standards-rollback

      House panel guts school lunch nutrition standards

      Move is intended to help schools that are losing money.

    6. Reached 10,000 signatures
    7. AP: House GOP bill would allow schools to opt out of healthier school lunch

      House Republicans are proposing to allow school districts to opt out of the updated school nutrition standards. This would be a huge step backward, opening up the floodgates to let all the old junk food back into schools, while crowding out the fruits, vegetables, and whole grains that students have been enjoying through program.
      http://www.usnews.com/news/politics/articles/2014/05/19/house-gop-bill-would-roll-back-school-lunch-rules

      House GOP bill would roll back school lunch rules - US News

      By MARY CLARE JALONICK, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) - House Republicans are proposing to let some schools opt out of healthier school lunch and breakfast programs if they are losing money. A GOP spending bill for agriculture and food programs released Monday would allow schools to apply for waivers if they have a net loss on school food programs for a six month period.

    8. Reached 4,000 signatures
    9. Politico: Plans being hatched to block school lunch changes

      Politico journalist Helena Bottemiller Evich discusses in this 5/12 article the efforts by Republican lawmakers to scale back school lunch reforms that have brought more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to millions of students. Read more here:
      http://www.politico.com/story/2014/05/school-lunch-changes-106602.html

      Plans being hatched to block school lunch changes

      House Republicans are gaining steam in their latest effort to scale back key pieces of one of first lady Michelle Obama’s crowning food policy achievements: school lunch reform. The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture is looking at including language in the fiscal 2015 spending bill to potentially halt key school nutrition regulations...

    10. Reached 2,000 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Crystal Smith SAN ANTONO, TX
      • 19 minutes ago

      My child goes to school and I hope that he will get the best nutrition he can while he is there.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • BRIDGETT CARTER OAK FOREST, IL
      • 5 days ago

      I AM A HEALTH EDUCATOR AND A GRANDPARENT THAT HAS SEEN THE DESTRUCTION SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAMS HAS CAUSED ON THE HEALTH OF OUR YOUTH. OBESITY IS RAMPANT AND IT HAS TO STOP.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Dima Asadov DALY CITY, CA
      • 8 days ago

      FED UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      LET THEM EAT THEIR OWN *&#

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Laura Baker CIBOLO, TX
      • 15 days ago

      Lunch standards help provide healthful food options for children. Many children receive most of their meals through the school system and it would be a disservice to our youth to gut school lunch programs. We should continue to support the process of continual improvement of lunch standards.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • DAVID ROY NEW HAVEN, CT
      • 17 days ago

      I would like it if all children were given first priority in the national debate of the budget.A little acknowledged fact they are our future. Feed their bellies and then feed their minds they are a national treasure.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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