Sunday, May 24, 2009

kids care too

A recent article that I found on the website caught my attention. According to the article a number of fourth grade students tried to protest the food that they were being served in the school cafeteria and hold a boycott. Administrators found out about this and asked the parents to help squash the boycott so it never happened. This makes me sad for a number of reasons, chief among them is that if fourth graders know that they are not being fed healthy food shouldn't they have the right to protest? These kids are 10 years old. If they can figure it out why can't the administration? Another is my belief that this initiative was squashed because the school makes money off the lunch program. They would rather take the profits and disregard the health of their student body than to serve nutritious food at a potentially lower profit.  Another upsetting factor is the thought that public officials do not see the correlation between poor nutrition and potential future health problems.  

There are examples of college students pushing to take back their cafeterias through programs such as Farm to College.  At Yale University in New Haven, CT Alice Waters helped to develop the Sustainable Food Project when her daughter began to attend the university. The food that is served through that program typically "goes first" showing the college students really do care about what is on their plate.   Many people, myself included, are not surprised that college students care.  This is, however, the first time I've heard of elementary school children being this aware and this willing to take on the system.

As I wrote in a previous post it is important to provide decent, healthy meals to our students but corporations and lobbyists keep getting in the way.  That's not stopping these fourth graders.  Not allowed to have their boycott they have turned their efforts to a letter writing campaign and petition.  I wish I lived in Madison, WI; I would sign the petition.

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