Each year, RFKM polls its members on their top priorities. The following are the top ten priorities of our members for 2014, which formed the basis of our petition to MCPS.
1. Advocating for a system-wide solution for easier access to free, unlimited water in cafeterias.
Progress: In August of 2014, MCPS announced a new policy allowing all elementary school children purchasing lunch to receive a free, 8 ounce bottle of water.
2. Offering at least one meal per day that is not a typical "junk food" (e.g., not chicken nuggets, pizza, hot dogs or burgers).
3. Removing chemicals listed as "caution" or "avoid" by CSPI from all food served in MCPS.
4. Replacing unhealthy a la carte items with healthier items.
Progress: The change in policy on permitted ingredients will result in the removal of a number of the unhealthy a la carte items once contracts have expired. This includes Cheetos, Dorito's, Welch's Fruit Snacks, some flavors of "smoothies" and some ice creams.
5. Eliminating or drastically reducing typical "junk food" options.
6. Setting an upper limit for sugar in any product served in MCPS.
7. Replacing unhealthy vending items with healthier items in machines that are on during the school day.
8. Moving from processed, pre-plated and reheated food to food cooked from scratch at the central facility with more prep work done on site at schools with kitchens.
9. At the beginning of each school year, having each school send to parents a list of a la carte items sold at that school with information on how to block children's lunch accounts to prevent a la carte purchases.
10. Offering unlimited fruits and vegetables free to all children who purchase lunch.