Untitled 1 Real Food for Kids - Montgomery

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School Food Activism Training

September 22, 2016. RFKM will be hosting a training on school food activism on Saturday, Oct. 22 from 10:00 a.m-12:30 p.m. at our office in Bethesda at 7979 Old Georgetown Road, 10th floor. Topics covered include why school meals are like they are (USDA Regulations, decision-making structures in MCPS); Competitive Foods in MCPS; MCPS Wellness Policy and Regulation; Parties, Snacks and Fundraisers; Starting a Wellness Committee; the RFKM Healthy Kids PTA pledge; Conducting a School Food Survey; Interventions throughout the year (back-to-school night, holidays, testing, etc.); and Building Bridges with Administrators. The training will last two hours followed by lunch. If you’re considering becoming a school representative, serve on a school wellness committee, are new to the job of school rep, have never attended the training or just want a refresher, please come! Everyone is welcome. Please RSVP to lindsey@realfoodforkidsmontgomery.

MCCPTA Resolution on School Food

May 10, 2016
On April 22, 2016 the Montgomery County Council of PTAs (MCCPTA) passed a Resolution to Promote Healthy Food Sold and Served to Children in MCPS. It includes requests to MCPS to transition to scratch-cooking in its central facility or in schools, reduce sugar in school foods, offer only healthy a la carte items in elementary schools, remove soda, sugar-sweetened and artificially-sweetened beverages from school vending machines and remove all synthetic dyes from school foods. It also asks for MCPS to put salad bars in all schools. RFKM worked very closely with the MCCPTA Health and Safety Committee to create and pass this resolution and will continue to follow up with MCPS to ensure its implementation.  Resolution Full Text

Read our Current E-News

Goodbye Cheetos and Doritos

September 22, 2016. As reports from around the district began surfacing at the beginning of thisChips year that Doritos and Cheetos had disappeared from a la carte (snack) options, RFKM confirmed with the MCPS Division of Food and Nutrition Services that they have officially pulled these two products from their a la carte offerings. The products were of special concern to our members, due to food dyes and many other potentially harmful ingredients. According to Marla Caplon, Director of the Division of Food and Nutrition Services for MCPS, “Cheetos and Doritos were products that we elected to remove for sale because the ingredient label had such a plethora of additives and preservatives. We are continuously seeking to purchase food and beverages with cleaner labels.”

RFKM is very thankful to MCPS for recognizing and addressing parent concerns that we have brought to light in removing these products. RFKM first brought the issue of food additives to the attention of MCPS in 2013. In response to a parent petition and testimonies before the Board of Education in June of 2014, MCPS developed a policy prohibiting from future bids for school food many of the chemicals that RFKM had requested be removed (including MSG, trans fat, Blue 2, Green 3, Red 3, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Aspartame, Acesulfame-Potassium, Saccharin, Butylated Hydroxyanisol (BHA), Potassium Bromate, Propyl Gallate, Sodium Tripoly Phoshate, and TBHQ). However, right before that policy was put into effect, a 3-year contract for a la carte foods, many of which contain these additives, was signed by MCPS. Last March, RFKM helped pass a resolution through the Montgomery County Council of PTAs asking, among other things, that MCPS not serve foods with artificial food dyes.

In the meantime, at many individual schools, parent representatives of RFKM had stepped forward to ask for healthier a la carte options. As a consequence, some schools, such as Somerset Elementary School, which tied for the RFKM School Food Improvement Award for 2015-2016, had already replaced Cheetos and Doritos with 51% whole grain pita chips,Healthier a la carte options SmartFood Popcorn and Tostitos, all clean label products with whole grains. However, almost all MPCS middle and high schools, and many elementary schools continued to sell these chips until this year. While Doritos and Cheetos may not have disappeared completely (there are reports that they are still available in vending machines), we are thankful to MPCS for making them less accessible to students by removing them from a la carte options. And we look forward to the time when no MCPS foods will contain artificial colors and other harmful ingredients.

News Coverage on The Lunch Tray - 9/28/16 - Under Parent Pressure, School District Ditches Doritos and Cheetos


Healthy Fundraising Partnership Opportunities

Can your child eat the recommended 5 servings of fruits and vegetables for 5 days in a row? Ask your PTA to partner with RFKM in the 5 for 5 Challenge!

Challenge students and their families at your school to see if they can eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day for a school week for a $5/serving sponsorship. Invite family and friends to sponsor servings, and help meet your healthy eating goal! Each participant will have their own custom online fundraising page, which they can update with blog entries on their experience and send to friends and family to make a tax-deductible donation to split between your PTA and RFKM.

Sick of selling candy bars, magazines and wrapping paper to raise funds? How about local, healthy farm foods?

Fundraisers can be healthy! With FarmRai$er, kids get the opportunity to sell local, healthy farm products via a custom online market. Raise money for your school or organization, promote healthy food, and support local farms and businesses. We want our kids to be healthy - their fundraisers should be too.  Use the code RFKM25 to get $25 in matching funds to start your campaign.


         Copyright © 2016   Chesapeake Institute for Local Sustainable Food and Agriculture (RFKM's fiscal sponsor)