Protect School Foods from Trump

President Trump's administration announced its plans to "make school meals great again." To you or me that would mean making school lunches healthier. But to Trump? It means weakening school nutrition.

We have until January 29, 2018 to oppose this effort. Please sign this petition to tell the U. S. Department of Agriculture not to go backward and "make school meals unhealthy again." 

The plan was for schools to gradually decrease the amount of salt in school meals to safer levels over time (thanks to a landmark policy that CSPI and others won under the Obama administration), and that plan is already underway. Yet the Trump administration wants to delay the next phase of sodium reduction by three years and get rid of any future reductions.

A three-year delay means school kids would eat 84 more teaspoons of salt—more than three months' worth of extra salt from school meals.

Nine out of 10 kids eat too much salt. High salt intake is linked to high blood pressure, even in kids, which can lead to heart disease and stroke later in life.

We must protect the progress we've fought so hard for. Schools are working to provide low-income children (through the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs) healthier school meals with less salt; more whole grains; fruits, and vegetables; and no trans fat, in addition to removing most soda and junk food from schools. The Trump administration should support that progress, not roll it back.
Dear Secretary Perdue:

I oppose your proposal to weaken school nutrition. Most schools are making great progress toward serving healthier meals with less salt; more whole grains; fruits, and vegetables; and no artificial trans fat, and removing soda and junk food. We should build on that progress, not stop it.

The three-year delay of the second sodium reduction targets for school meals would lock in unsafe levels of sodium. Many schools and food service companies are working toward or already providing healthy and appealing meals with less salt. Any remaining challenges can be addressed through technical assistance.

Unfortunately, nine out of ten children consume too much salt, increasing their risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Delaying the second phase of sodium reduction from the originally scheduled School Year 2017-2018 to School Year 2021-2022 puts children's health at risk and would result in kids consuming an extra 84 teaspoons of salt (over the course of the three-year delay).

There is also no need to continue the whole-grain waivers. 85 percent of schools are providing kids with appealing and tasty whole-grain options. If all schools in Alabama, Idaho, and Montana can serve whole grains to their students, schools in the rest of the states should be able to as well.

Eating more whole grains is associated with reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, provides more nutrients, and are a healthful source of fiber. Kids on average consume too few whole grains and too many refined grains.

[Your comment here]

Rather than weakening school nutrition, I urge the administration to support school efforts to continue the progress to improve school food.

Sincerely,

[Your name here]
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