MILWAUKEE PUBLIC SCHOOLS UNHEALTHY LUNCHES ARE NOT MAKING THE GRADE!!!!!
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MPS has started their school year over 2 weeks early. The change was made due to low test scores, and the new start date was set to allow students more classroom time to increase these scores. If we care about test scores (not to mention good health!), school lunches should provide healthy fuel for our children's minds and bodies, and help them learn healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime.
The average MPS Middle School/High School Lunch for one day ranges anywhere between 30-50 grams of carbs. According to Livestrong.com the average child should comsume between 22 to 31 grams of carbs in one day. MPS is drowning our kids in DOUBLE the amount recommended! MPS school district is providing unsatisfactory school meals which include fast food style menus with processed foods that contain artificial additives and preservatives. Our kids are paying for this with their health. Lifestyle and diet related health problems are on the rise in children. At least 30 percent of children in the US are overweight, childhood obesity has more than doubled, and it is predicted that one in three will develop diabetes before adulthood. For many of our students, school lunch is their only complete meal of the day. We need to make sure it is a healthy and nourishing meal. We need a change in philosophy not a change in costs.
The USDAs Farm to School Program currently has 277 school districts in the State of Wisconsin participating in their program that issues up to $100,00 in grant money to schools to particpate in growing gardens, buying locally, creating new menu items and offering fresh fruits and vegetables to our kids. MPS has not participated in this program since the 2013-2014 school year. That year there were over 236 schools with gardens being grown in Wisconsin. How many MPS schools were participating and growing gardens that year? THREE!!!!!!!
They tell us as parents we should be grateful that lunch is free. Almost 9 million lunches were served to MPS kids during the 2014 school year. 9 millions times MPS had our children ingest food that is sometimes cold, sometimes not even fully cooked and ALWAYS with very little nutritonal value.
Wauwatosa School District, who uses a different food provider, has reduced lunches for only 40 cents a day if you qualify. And offers healhty Ala Carte Items daily, all under $2.55 a piece. This year they even offer their kids something new to keep them busy AND eating smarter: NEW -- Smoothie Bike coming to the District! A bike with a blender that will make smoothies while you pedal. Keep an eye out for this fun way to incorporate exercise and make a nutritious treat on the Sodexo. (This is from Wauwatosa School District Website).
One of the single most impactful and sustainable ways to make immediate changes to school lunches is to implement healthy salad bars with fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and healthy proteins. Fresh fruits and vegetables at a salad bar can replace the typical school lunch vegetable - "baked" fries or tater tots. Two schools have won grants from Whole Foods for Salad Bar hardware, but these are not being fully utilized. Full salad bars and nourishing, tasty soups should be made available to all schools in the district. If highly processed food, chocolate milk, hot dogs, chicken nuggets and canned fruit are not your idea of a healthy lunch, get involved and help make school lunches healthier. Let's give our kids the right food to fuel their academic performance and teach them how to make healthy lifestyle choices.
Our kids should NOT have to be going home hungry or feeling like they cannot eat healthy just because of the zip code they are from or because of the school district their parents reside in. Show your support for better meals service by our school district by signing below. We'll be in touch soon with more ways to help.
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