New Data Shows Strong Support for Healthy School Food

February 24, 2010

By Mark Bishop, Deputy Director

If you're reading this blog, you probably know that we're facing an
obesity crisis and we need to  make changes to improve school food. And
you probably want more money for healthier school food. You probably
even know that Congress is going to be taking up the reauthorization of
the Child Nutrition Act very soon. But what about the rest of the
population — the parents, teachers voters and community leaders who
don't read school food blogs and closely follow these policy issues?
What does the “average” American think about school food? How about
funding for school food? Thanks to a recent survey, we have some good
news to answer this question.

SchoolMealsMatter.org just released the results from a random sample telephone survey of 1001 American adults on their opinions on supporting the child nutrition programs.
And the results could hardly have been better. In short, people get it.
People make the connection between health and education. People want to
invest in children's health.

Let's look at some of the results:

  • 95% agree that there is a direct relationship between healthy eating and the ability to achieve in school
  • 94% agree that schools must receive funding to have adequate equipment for food prep and storage
  • 87% agree that investing in healthy meals can reduce health care costs in the long run
  • 85% agree that the US has a responsibility to make sure all kids in school are not going hungry during the day
  • 84% agree that strong and well-funded child nutrition programs are essential for fighting obesity

And my favorite is the answer to a question was asked after a list of concerns was read, including but not limited to tough economic times and parental responsibility:

  • 77% support expanding the Child Nutrition Act to provide healthier food and cover more kids

77% support more money for better food after being
read all the concerns about exploding budgets and boundaries of the
federal government's role. That's a number that makes healthy school
food about as popular as baseball and apple pie, as they say.

So while school food advocates work together to garner more funding for better food, let's remember:

  1. Our children are facing a very real obesity crisis, 
  2. School food is part of the solution, and . . .
  3. People already support this solution. People want students to have healthier school food. 

Now we need to make sure our legislators know these things too. Click here to send a letter urging your Congressional leaders to make healthy school food a priority!