Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, MD, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Medicine, University of Ottawa
and Inaugural Family Medicine Chair, Canadian Obesity Network reviewed our cafeteria menus and said "While it's terrific to see appropriately portioned meals being served to Montgomery County's children it would certainly appear as if nutritional considerations stopped at calories. Looking at January and February's menus as examples what strikes me is that the children are being fed no-name fast food on a daily basis. Worse still, they're being fed fast food under the banner of healthful eating. Pizza, tacos, cheese "dippers", chicken nuggets, tater tots, burgers and hot dogs - there's no mistaking these for anything other than fast food - and while it's lovely that vegetables are included with their junk food, the food remains junk and yet the kids are being taught by eating it they're "Stepping up to good health".
In 2011, Montgomery County Council asked for a report on our school food. That report found that other school districts do more to create healthy cafeteria options. Examples of steps other school systems have taken include eliminating processed foods and sweetened beverages, serving more locally grown produce, and providing salad bars. You can see that report here: http://www6.montgomerycountymd.gov/content/council/pdf/agenda/cm/2011/110912/20110912_ED1.pdf
We ask you to take a fresh look at your 2011 report, and use these ideas to make Montgomery County Public School cafeterias a healthy example for the rest of the country.
This petition was conceived of and started by Rena and Zahava Van Leeuwen, age 9, students at Carderock Springs Elementary School, with help from their mother.