Speak Up for Healthy School Food

July 30, 2015

Five years ago, Congress passed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA), raising the standards for school food for the more than 31 million students that eat meals at school each and every day. The debate surrounding the act was loud and divisive.

And it’s about to happen again.

While we don’t know exactly when the next bill will be introduced, we do know that the debate has already begun with advocacy groups and political leaders lining up on both sides of the issue. The divisive nature of politics will no doubt lead to a messy food fight.

Some members of Congress along with powerful food industry lobbyists want to roll back the science-based nutrition standards set forth by HHFKA along with the important gains that have been made for student health — and we can’t afford to let that happen.

That’s what we — along with many other organizations and political leaders — are working hard to support the nutrition standards, and to support schools by increasing access to training. After all, 95 percent of schools across the country are already meeting, and in many cases exceeding, the current standards. Rather than roll back that progress that’s been made by the vast majority of schools, we’re focused on supporting their efforts and lending a hand to the 5 percent of schools that are still working toward this goal.

The current nutrition standards require that school meals contain more fruits, vegetables and whole grains; less sodium and fat; and fewer excess calories. And while there’s always room for improvement, schools across the country are showing that students like — and actually prefer — healthier school meals.

This debate is about more than just food. Nutritious school lunches, breakfasts and snacks help fuel children’s learning and lifelong growth and help create the conditions for health in our nation’s schools. Further, healthy school meals reinforce the work that parents are doing at home to model healthy behaviors. And for those children who don’t have access to healthy food at home, school meals provide them with the sound nutrition they need and deserve.

For these reasons and more, we’re asking you to lend your voice to this important issue by letting your Congressional representatives know that you support healthy school food. And further, that we can’t afford to roll back the progress that’s been made in serving our children healthier school meals.

We’ve made it easy for you to send a letter to your Congressional representatives by simply entering your ZIP code via the following link. You can use or revise the templated letter that we’ve created, or write your own. Start your letter here.