School Food: How to Take Action

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A guide for getting involved on the front lines of the war on processed, chicken tender-filled school food, from do-it-yourself meetings to national initiatives

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I am starting to put together a resource list for anyone who would like to advocate for better school food.

I began by asking Margo Wootan, of Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) how she answers questions about how to help schools improve their food. Her advice is to visit your local school (CSPI has a ToolKit for this):

  • Meet with principal, teachers, parents, food service directors and staff
  • Talk about how to encourage stronger wellness policies for nutrition and physical activity
  • Focus on healthier meals and removal of less healthful items from vending machines

It's also useful to work on national policies to make it easier for schools to serve healthier meals (CSPI has guidelines and resources for this).

I also know about a few groups that are working on school food issues. Some have published guides to getting started or other useful materials. These range in scope from local to national, and from hands on to policy.:

  • Nourish Life: these materials focus on food and sustainability in schools and communities

Do you know of other resources to help beginners get started on school food advocacy? Please send. My plan is to post a revised version as a Q and A. Thanks!


This post also appears on Food Politics.
Image: Mike Blake/Reuters

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Marion Nestle is a professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University. She is the author of Food Politics, Safe Food, What to Eat, and Pet Food Politics. More

Nestle also holds appointments as Professor of Sociology at NYU and Visiting Professor of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell. She is the author of three prize-winning books: Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health (revised edition, 2007), Safe Food: The Politics of Food Safety (2003), and What to Eat (2006). Her most recent book is Feed Your Pet Right: The Authoritative Guide to Feeding Your Dog and Cat. She writes the Food Matters column for The San Francisco Chronicle and blogs almost daily at Food Politics.

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