Jamie Oliver Said it Right: The Fight for a Strong, Well-Funded Child Nutrition Act Isn’t Over Yet

October 06, 2010

By Mark Bishop, deputy director

I’ve spoken to many people who felt deflated when the Child Nutrition Act reauthorization didn’t pass last week. I understand. We’ve been working hard, and at times it’s hard to understand why our political leaders just can’t seem to find the way to prioritize children’s health.

But Jamie Oliver said it well yesterday in an editorial on CNN. In short, he said that the fight isn’t over and we need to keep the momentum alive — in our schools and in the national political scene.

When Congress returns, members should not only support these new standards but also give people the necessary dollars to get on the path to fresh food. Parents deserve to know what their kids are being fed at school. If Congress won't put the regulations in place, then Americans are going to have to take things into their own hands.

And what should we do? As Oliver says in his editorial:

  • Drop into school and eat lunch with your child. See for yourself what is being served on the breakfast and lunch trays. If you don't like what you see, find other parents in your school who are as frustrated and disgusted as you are. Band together and go to your school board and demand change.
  • Love your lunch ladies. Go visit them and thank them. Let them know you appreciate that they take care of your kids and that you want to help them get better equipment, training and information to make their jobs easier.
  • Make noise. Send e-mails, meet your school nutrition director, go to PTA meetings, and get your kids involved. Take every opportunity to keep school food change front and center.
These points are right on. We need to be informed, we need to understand what’s going into our children’s bodies at school and we need to make our voices heard. At your school, in your state — and let’s not forget, we need to let our national leaders know that we need them to prioritize children’s health.
To speak up at the national level, visit HSC's child nutrition action center, where you can send a letter to your representatives letting them know that child nutrition must be a priority.