You might remember that last August I blogged about our son was going to be hungry in school due to the new limits on calories, protein and dairy in the school lunch and breakfast program. I proposed School Lunch Solutions.
Within the days of schools starting across the United States, thousands rallied and contacted their elected officials that their children were not getting enough food in school. A small group of friends created Sensible School Lunches on Facebook. There was a grass roots effort that has worked tirelessly over the past 7 months to create change and sensible solutions for all children in the National School and Breakfast program, not a one size fits all approach.
In December, the USDA released some “changes” to the program but really it was a public relations splash which I again blogged about here.
I contacted elected officials along with numerous friends in other states. We wrote letters to the USDA but the best approach that seemed to be working with our Senator’s offices. I sent links to the Health aide from Senator Hoeven’s office that included fellow North Dakota friends input such as Val Wagner’s blog posts, Annie Carlson’s blog posts and again to the Sensible School Lunches Facebook page. I also spoke to the Health aide from Senator Hoeven’s office on the phone and shared with her specific examples our son, Hunter was experiencing with lack of calories in his school lunch.
|Part of our future, Hunter, age 15|
Today I received a Facebook message from a friend in another state that has been working tirelessly to create change and sensible solutions in school lunches. This week, the Sensible School Lunches Act (see link for the bill) was introduced by North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven, Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor, Kansas Senators Jerry Moran and Pat Roberts, Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe, South Dakota Senator John Thune and Indiana Senator Dan Coats. I included links to every Senator that introduced the bill because we need an army of people now to contact them and if you are not from their state, contact your own elected officials and ask them to support Senate Bill 427 the “Sensible School Lunch Act” which would amend the Healthy, Hunger-Free Act by eliminating the weekly maximum of grains and meat/ meat alternates. AND ask them to remove the daily one size fits all calorie restrictions.
This matters to children that are different sizes, like our son Hunter who was interviewed for this national Associated Press article. He needs nearly 5,000 calories a day to maintain his weight. We have disposable income and can adjust to afford to have him bring extra food to school.
But for the 67% of children nationwide that qualify for the free and reduced lunch program, they are going hungry because of the ONE SIZE FITS ALL calorie restrictions.
|Part of our future, Miss E, age 5|
Our children need to be fed to learn. They are our future. Act today. Whether you have children this impacts or not, our future generation needs you to engage and share your voice.
Contact your two Senators from your state. (Link to email addresses)
Contact your elected U.S. House of Representatives official. (Link to directory of email addresses)
Would you like to the Sensible School Lunches Act pass? Share your voice.
Do you have a sample email to reference when contacting our own senators? I’d really like to email my senators here in Iowa but I don’t know what to say!
Katie @ Pinke Post says
Yes! I will post draft emails soon. My son has one he is sending out and another friend is blogging her emails. More to come!
Consider it done! Thanks for keeping this issue out in front of people.
Julie R. says
Oh My!!! I love your ACTION!!! I’m a North Dakota Native who works in School Food Service in Texas! I’m loving your responses and plan! I was so proud to see Senator Hoeven sponsoring the bill but now I know the truth behind the ACTION! You rock!!! Thank you and I’m proud to say I’ve found you here and we’ve contacted our Senators and Representatives in Texas!
Katie @ Pinke Post says
Here is the comment I wrote on Senator Hoeven’s Facebook page post: Thank you Senator Hoeven! We are so proud and grateful you have introduced this legislation. I am concerned that we still have the calorie limits that limit our kids ability to take in proper nutrition they need to grow and learn during the school day. One size does not fit all. My son, age 15 needs nearly 5,000 calories per day to maintain his weight with his activity and is only allowed 850 calories at lunch. We can afford to bring additional food to school for him but it is not enough. He is hungry. What about the 67% of the kids nationwide that are on free and reduced lunch that don’t get extra? Are the calorie limits still going to be in place in the proposed Sensible School Lunch Act? Thank you again. Katie Pinke, Wishek, North Dakota