Maryland Legislative Session: Healthier Food for Schools

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Healthy School Food Maryland is a statewide coalition lobbying for better cafeteria meals for Maryland schoolchildren. Coalition coordinator Lindsey Parsons recently met with Prince George’s County Advocates for Better Schools to talk about legislative goals for the current session. The coalition is working to pass two bills in the 2016 Maryland state legislative session:

  • The Sensible Sugar in Schools Act (SB 65, HB 528) will require school districts to work toward lowering sugar in meals to levels within the guidelines set by the American Heart Association.
  • The School Food Transparency Act (HB 109) will require schools to list à la carte items and snack foods on breakfast and lunch menus. Parents and teachers often find that kids spend their money on sugary snacks, instead of eating the protein and vegetables served at lunch. (Bonus: This bill is sponsored by Delegate Diana Fennell (D-47), who represents parts of Prince George’s County.)

You  can find more details, including bill drafts and fact sheets, on the Healthy School Food Maryland website.

If you support these legislative goals, there are several ways to get involved:

  • Participate in the hearing for the School Food Transparency Act (HB 109) in the Maryland House of Delegates in Annapolis on Thursday, February 4th at 2 pm.  Please email Lindsey Parsons (info@healthyschoolfoodmd.org) for more details about testifying. Ms. Parsons is particularly interested in finding people from outside of Montgomery County who are willing to testify.
  • Contact your state legislators and let them know that you support HB109 and SB65. Click here and scroll down for a sample letter. Not sure who your legislators are and how to reach them? Go to the Maryland State Archives website and enter your home address.
  • For updates and action alerts, join Healthy School Food Maryland’s mailing list. You may also follow the group on Facebook and Twitter.

For more background information, Ms. Parsons has made her Powerpoint presentation available here: HealthySchoolFoodMDPresentation

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