Through our advocacy work, involving meetings and communications with the Director of Food and Nutrition Services and the Chief Operating Officer for MCPS, as well as meetings with members of the Board of Education and multiple testimonies at 5 different Board of Education meetings, RFKM has already accomplished the following changes to the MCPS food and wellness environment.
MCPS removed Cheetos (containing MSG, artificial flavors, and a variety of synthetic food dyes depending on the flavor) and Doritos (containing MSG and a variety of synthetic food dyes depending on the flavor) from a la carte options at all schools. Read more . . .
RFKM passed a resolution through the Montgomery County Council of PTA (MCCPTA) that requests that MCPS 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. The text of the official resolution. Read more . . .
After almost three years of requests by RFKM, MPCS created a district-wide Wellness Committee, which included 50% non-MCPS employees and 25% parents, as we had requested. They also invited our Executive Director to sit on the committee. The committee met throughout the year and made recommendations on physical education, physical activity, mental health, nutrition, and the nutrition education curriculum. As of 9/29/16, we are still waiting for the final list of recommendations that were shared with the responsible offices in MCPS. MCPS COO Andrew Zuckerman confirmed in fall of 2016 that the committee will continue to meet and was intended to be a standing committee. Read more . . .
MCPS issued a new
Wellness Regulation (JPG-RA) that prohibits products with
carcinogenic artificial sweeteners aspartame and acesulfame
potassium for school day sales. This effectively bans daytime sales
of G2, a lower-calorie Gatorade product and Fruit Wave H20, a
flavored, sweetened water sold in vending machines in middle and
high schools. The new regulation was developed by a committee that
met in the spring of 2015. The committee included RFKM's Executive
Director, who lobbied for this and many other changes to the
MCPS announced a new policy prohibiting from future bids for school food many of the chemicals that RFKM had requested be removed. The following chemicals will be prohibited in future MCPS food: Monosodium Glutamate (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 (STPP), and Tert-Butylhydroquinone (TBHQ). Read more . . .
A trial of healthier vending and a la carte items began in Takoma Park Middle School. Trial results indicated that sales had rebounded to pre-trial levels by the end of the year. Nevertheless, the vending company and MCPS reinstituted less healthy vending and a la carte items in the school at the end of the one-year trial period.
Thanks to our advocacy at the June, 2014 Board of Education meeting, MCPS announced that starting in the 2014-2015 school year, any elementary school child purchasing lunch would be entitled to a free, 8 ounce bottle of water. We are still advocating for a more environmentally sustainable solution that gives children better access to water.
During a Board of Education meeting where RFKM delivered a petition with over 2000 signatures, MCPS school board members asked the Director of the Division of Food and Nutrition Services (Marla Caplon) to conduct a trial of water coolers and cups in a couple schools. Ms. Caplon also indicated that she was working to remove artificial food dyes from MCPS food and was developing a template for principals to use to send a la carte lists home to parents at each school. Video of testimonies Read more . . .
At our request, MCPS replaced "Sidekicks" frozen juice sorbets containing artificial food dyes with two other flavors of "Sidekicks" without artificial colorings.
MCPS removed strawberry-flavored milk (containing 10 grams of added sugar from High Fructose Corn Syrup and Red Dye 40) from sales in all of its schools. Read more . . .
At our request, MCPS agreed to delay turning on vending
machines selling products not meeting their wellness policy (such as sodas and candy) until 30 minutes after the school day ends (rather than right after the last bell).
Read more . . .
At our request, MCPS published a blurb on their elementary school menus indicating to parents that there are a la carte foods sold at the schools and that parents can limit their studentís purchases by contacting their cafeteria manager.
At our request, MCPS published a blurb on their elementary school menus indicating to parents that there are a la carte foods sold at the schools.
our request, MCPS agreed to a trial of healthier a la carte and vending
products at Takoma Park Middle School.