“Healthy Bodies and Healthy Minds Go Hand in Hand:” Sen. Durbin on School Food and Learning, in the
March 25, 2010
The Chicago Sun-Times recently published an editorial by Sen. Dick Durbin
on the importance of healthy school food for students' learning. Sen.
Durbin discusses how his visit to a high school illustrated the need
for increased federal funding for the school meal program so that
students can eat food that truly fuels their academic success. This is
an especially critical discussion as Congress begins work on
reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act.
students took home the top prize in a cooking competition that
challenged them to create a school meal that meets strict dietary
standards for only $1 per serving. In preparing their winning meal of
vegetable and chicken jambalaya with spicy cheesy cornbread and a side
salad, the students saw firsthand the challenges that schools face in
serving healthy lunches on incredibly tight budgets. I applaud the
students' hard work and creativity; we need more of that kind of
out-of-the-box thinking in our schools. But their experience proves
that dramatic changes to the school lunch program require more than
creative thinking. They require more funding as well.
He continues by connecting good food with students' opportunities to learn:
reflected on the tremendous academic opportunities the school offers to
students — opportunities that can transform their lives. But in our
effort to feed every student's appetite for knowledge, we can't forget
that healthy bodies and healthy minds go hand in hand.
Thanks to Sen. Durbin for raising awareness of this vital connection.