Margo G. Wootan, D.Sc.
Director, Nutrition Policy
Center for Science in the Public Interest
1220 L Street, NW, Suite 300
Washington, D.C. 20005
It was an action packed week on Capitol Hill for school foods.
And, we need your continued help to reach out to members of Congress as the Ag spending bills move forward in the House and Senate.
Please let Nancy Becker, [email protected]
, or myself know what you can do to help.
The US House of Representatives took up the Agriculture spending bill (HR 4800), which includes a rider to allow schools to opt out of all the nutrition standards for school lunch and breakfast (Section 739), a provision opposed by more than 200 organizations
. Representative Farr filed an amendment to strike the waiver out of the bill.
The House debated the bill and a number of amendments, but stopped just as it got to Farr's amendment. The House is expected to return to the Ag Appropriations bill the week of June 23rd (though things are a bit chaotic right now given the change in Republican leadership).
The Senate is planning to take up its Ag spending bill (S 2389) this week (as part of a package of spending bills; a minibus). The Senate bill includes a bipartisan compromise struck between Senators Harkin and Hoeven that directs USDA to further study and address sodium, whole grains, plate waste and participation to help schools meet the school nutrition standards. We support this provision.
Please ask your Members of Congress to oppose any efforts to weaken school nutrition standards (in the House that means supporting the Farr amendment; in the Senate that means supporting the Ag spending bill as written). Please:
* Call or email your Representative.
If you would like more information, staff contact information for your Congressional Representative, or talking points, please contact Nancy Becker at [email protected]
. (If you are able to reach out to multiple offices in your state or nationally, that would be very helpful. We have a list of about two dozen members who need some follow up.)
* Send an email to your Representative
. Please share the petition with friends, family, colleagues, members -- or relaunch your organization's own action alert. See model tweets below.
* Tweet at your Representative (see models below)
90% of schools are serving healthy meals. Let's continue the progress! http://bit.ly/1jiVXer #SaveSchoolLunch
Children's health is 1st priority. Keep #schoolfoods healthy! change.org/schoolnutrition #SaveSchoolLunch
Should kids' taste buds be sole determinant of what schools serve them & what taxpayers subsidize in school lunch? http://wapo.st/1l5gGRU
Using plate waste as excuse to get rid of healthy school food is like substituting comic books if students balk at reading Hemingway.
Blanket congressional waiver is overkill, and opening shot in effort to weaken #schoollunch rules. http://usat.ly/1rtkYHS #SaveSchoolLunch
If kids don't eat their veggies every night, parents don't stop serving vegetables altogether; neither should schools. #SaveSchoolLunch
Healthy school foods can be money-makers! http://bit.ly/1l6ofYk Please sign: change.org/schoolnutrition #SaveSchoolLunch
Benefits of whole grains: Stroke risk reduced. Type 2 diabetes risk reduced. Healthier carotid arteries. #SaveSchoolLunch
Many companies have products that meet new sodium targets! http://bit.ly/1kMr0cV #SaveSchoolLunch
For Democrats - replace @MEMBER with the member's twitter handle Health advocates & children's groups agree: #SaveSchoolLunch. http://bit.ly/1neUR12 Can we count on your support @MEMBER? 90% of schools meet school lunch nutrition standards. Kids are eating more fruits & veggies. @MEMBER vote to #SaveSchoolLunch
School lunch nutrition should be about what's best for kids, not food companies. @MEMBER vote to #SaveSchoolLunch
Please don't put the challenges of a few school districts ahead of kids' health. @MEMBER vote to #SaveSchoolLunch
Child obesity levels are sky high, and kids eat up to half of their calories at school. Please @MEMBER help to #SaveSchoolLunch
For Republicans & Blue Dogs - replace @MEMBER with the member's twitter handle. Check out these school lunch success stories. @MEMBER, please help to #SaveSchoolLunch
I'm a mom/dad & I vote. @MEMBER, can I count on you to #SaveSchoolLunch?
For Other Stakeholders
Doctors, PTA & local organizations want to #SaveSchoolLunch. http://bit.ly/1neUR12 Can they count on your support, @MEMBER?
Taxpayers invest $15 billion each year in school meals. Please make sure we get our money's worth! @ MEMBER, #SaveSchoolLunch