Don't Harm Our Kids: Stop Unhealthy Changes to Boston School Meals!
This petition had 1,141 supporters
More burgers, mac and cheese, chicken nuggets and pizza--highly processed "foods" of questionable nutritional value--became the majority of hot entrees served every day of every week at all Boston Schools starting April 1, 2015 as a result of school budget cuts.
Students need healthier foods, but instead the School Department and Mayor Marty Walsh approved cost-cutting menu changes that lower the quality of foods served to all 57,000 students in the district.
Food equity is needed, but is this approach really the best Boston can do?
Less healthy meals will harm our children. Students who eat nutritious foods learn better and live healthier, happier lives. They have fewer missed school days. They are better prepared to engage in regular physical activity. All of these things are known to support student success in the classroom and their overall achievement. Whereas increased consumption of highly processed fast foods has contributed to epidemics of childhood obesity and diabetes. Schools have a wonderful opportunity to help shape eating habits for a lifetime. Let's not do the opposite and lead students to think that mac and cheese, pizza, and cheeseburgers are healthy meal choices to be consumed every day.
The Boston Schools have many dedicated and hardworking staff in food services and other areas of health and wellness who are to be commended for their important work. Individual schools have Health and Wellness Councils where parents, staff and students have created projects to promote healthy eating choices. Do not undermine this progress. Stop the unhealthy menu changes and instead put in place best practices from the industry. Better nutrition and better stewardship of public are attainable goals. As the "best practice" videos below articulate, there are certainly other ways to save money in the school meals budget that will not sacrifice our children's health.
TO LEARN MORE: Nationally renowned school-district chef Ann Cooper spells out steps to achieve our goals in a 2min video Improve Outdated School District Meal Program Spending Policies and in her 12min TEDx Talk: Lunch Lessons, Changing the Way We Feed Our Children.
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