Información en español
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As a teacher in MOCo public schools I see the negative effect
this so called food has on students daily. Many of these students
count on these meals as their only food for the day and sugar and
chemicals aren't fitting for creating a positive learning
-an MCPS Teacher
RFKM ha dedicado un año a buscar el apoyo de los padres de familia
de Montgomery County, los estudiantes y otros miembros de la
comunidad, con el fin de exigir alimentos más saludables para los
niños que asisten a las escuelas públicas. Ahora conjugamos esos
esfuerzos en una petición en línea. Al firmar la petición, los
padres, estudiantes, miembros de la comunidad, empresas, iglesias,
profesionales de la salud, organizaciones y maestros del condado
respaldan las prioridades de RFKM.
¡Contamos con su apoyo para el éxito de esta campaña! ¡Firme ahora la petición, pídales a su cónyuge y a sus hijos que la firmen y compártala con todos sus amigos de MCPS por correo electrónico, Facebook y Twitter!
Texto de la petición en español.
Amazon.com will donate a portion of your purchase to RFKM (through our fiscal sponsor, Chesapeake Institute for Local Sustainable Food and
Agriculture), if you shop at Amazon from our Amazon Smile link:
Please bookmark this link so you'll benefit RFKM each time you shop!
I was stunned to learn that my kids can buy junk in the
middle school cafeterias, right after studying "Nutrition" in their
-an MCPS Parent
Somos Montgomery did a Spanish-language video on our work pushing for healthier school food. Please pass on to your Spanish-speaking friends!
February 5, 2015. As part of our coalition called Healthy School Food Maryland, we
have developed a new
statewide petition advocating
seven different bills that will
come before the Maryland General Assembly this session and will help
bring healthy changes to the food environment in all of Maryland's
public schools. Thanks to RFKM's advocacy work on behalf of the
coalition, we have sponsors in the House of Delegates for all of our
bills and sponsors in the Senate for 6 out of 7! We have also found
multiple co-sponsors for various bills in both houses, including
many members of the committees who will hear the bills. By signing
this petition, you support the proposed legislation to improve
nutrition and transparency standards that we have been advocating
for since RFKM began. We need your help to get the word out around
Maryland and increase our chances of these bills becoming law.
sign this petition and share with friends and family members in
Buy Tickets (tickets must be purchased
RFKM will be screening the film “Fed Up” on Friday, March 6, at 7:00
p.m. in the
Communications building in downtown Silver Spring. You won’t want to
miss this compelling documentary about sugar, processed food, and
the crisis of obesity and diabetes in our youth today. Following the
screening, local celebrity Aviva Goldfarb, founder of the Six
O’Clock Scramble, will lead a Q&A, along with Lindsey Parsons and
Karen Devitt, RFKM Co-founders. Attendees are invited to a wine and
hors d'oeuvres reception afterwards featuring State Delegates David
Moon, Jeff Waldstreicher and Will Smith, who are currently
sponsoring bills for our coalition "Healthy School Food Maryland"
and Montgomery County Council President George Leventhal
recently joined RFKM's Advisory Board). Seating is limited and all
tickets must be purchased in advance, so get your ticket now. We are
also looking for sponsors for this event. If you have your own
business and would like to promote it,
send us an email and we’ll
let you know about sponsorship opportunities.
Watch the Trailer -
Buy Tickets (tickets must be purchased
January 6, 2015. The results are out for our 2015
member priorities survey. We were very pleased to have 404
responses, which is a 27% response rate for our parent members. The
top ten priorities of our members are listed below. Parent
priorities have not changed greatly from last year, but we do have
two new items (numbers 8 and 10) in our top ten list this year, as
we have suggested new possible solutions/goals for addressing member
concerns. The greatest concern of parents this year (and number 2
from last year) is a menu populated with typical kid foods like
chicken nuggets and pizza and the desire for a more diverse menu.
Most notably absent from our top ten list this year was our number 1
priority from last year: "Advocating for a system-wide solution for
easier access to free, unlimited water in cafeterias." This is
likely due to our success in addressing this issue through advocacy
last year that resulted in the offering of free bottles of water in
elementary schools this year.
Read the full report
October 29, 2014. RFKM is pleased to announce yet another positive change
in response to our advocacy efforts in the Montgomery County Public
Schools. In addition to the removal of a number of chemical
additives from future bids for MCPS food that we announced two weeks
ago, 8 ounce bottles of water will now be offered for free to any
child purchasing lunch! RFKM has been lobbying about free and
accessible water for students for quite some time and we have
finally achieved some success. We are hoping that this change will
make it less likely that students will buy other sugar-filled
drinks, like flavored milk or juice, since they will already be
provided with a healthy and free drink option. Previously, children
who had milk allergies or lactose intolerance were offered a free
juice. In order to get a cup to fill with water, they were required
to provide a doctor's order.
Offering at least one meal per day that is not
typical "junk food" (e.g. not pizza, hot dogs,
chicken nuggets, etc.).
Replacing unhealthy a la carte items with healthier
Eliminating or drastically reducing typical "junk
Setting an upper limit for sugar in any product
served in MCPS that is stricter than the current
limit of 35% by weight.
Offering unlimited fruits and vegetables free to all
children who purchase lunch.
Removing remaining chemicals from the list developed
by the Center for Science in the Public Interest
that was included in our petition from MCPS food
(some have already been removed).
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
Pushing for 25% scratch-cooked main dishes by the
start of the 2015-2016 academic year.
Replacing unhealthy vending items with healthier
items in machines that are on during the school day.
Getting MCPS to reduce sugar loads per meal (by
limiting a la carte purchases, only serving white
milk with sugary entrée items, or through some other
In addition, members of the Board of Education said they would
discuss our idea of putting reusable water bottles on the supply
lists with the Superintendent's office, but cautioned that this
would likely only come as a suggestion to principals. Nevertheless,
RFKM is working on statewide legislation that would mandate the
inclusion of a reusable water bottle on all school supply lists in
the state and suggest that schools create a plan for encouraging a
culture of drinking water. Ideally, the best solution would both
encourage water drinking and be good for the environment. Our hope
is to see a day when all students in Maryland can have access to
water at all times during the school day - a privilege most adults
take for granted. In addition, the legislation would require
cafeterias to provide cups for water free of charge to students as a
backup for children who forget their reusable bottles.
October 15, 2014. Real Food for Kids – Montgomery (RFKM) is
pleased to announce that after over a year of advocacy work with the
Montgomery County Public Schools on the topic of food dyes and other
chemical food additives, MCPS Director of Food and Nutrition
Services Marla Caplon has announced that from now on, a number of
dangerous additives will be prohibited from bids for food served in
its cafeterias. We are very thankful to MCPS and Ms. Caplon for
hearing and acting on parent concerns.
The list includes a number of artificial food dyes (Blue 2, Green 3,
Red 3, Yellow 5 and 6); artificial sweeteners aspartame,
acesulfame-potassium and saccharin; trans fat; lean finely textured
beef (AKA pink slime); MSG; BHA and TBHQ. These chemicals were all
identified as potentially harmful by scientists for Center for
Science in the Public Interest, who worked with RFKM to develop a
target list. RFKM members (who now number over 3500) have expressed
concern about these chemicals due to studies linking them to ADHD,
cancer and other adverse effects. While many parents keep their
children from consuming these chemicals by avoiding school food, 34%
of children in MCPS qualify for free and reduced priced meals and
may eat up to three times a day at school. Children who are
sensitive to these substances may suffer from hyperactivity after
consuming them, which impacts the classroom environment and should
therefore be of concern to all MCPS parents.
The changes will affect all contracts going forward but will not
affect existing contracts until they expire. These changes will
remove from sale many popular a la carte snacks in MCPS, including
Welch’s Fruit Snacks, Cheez-It Crackers, Cool Ranch and Spicy Sweet
Chili Doritos, Baked! Cheetos, Eagle Popped Crisps, several flavors
of the Ridgefield’s Fruit Smoothies and several ice cream bars with
artificial colorings. While some parents may be concerned that
students will have few choices left, there are in fact many
excellent, clean-label snacks available and the example from other
school systems indicate that with time, students get used to new
options. We have also identified a few of the entrée items and
sauces that will be impacted, including the spicy chicken breast
patties, orange chipotle sauce and sweet and sour sauce.
While we’re very excited about the chemicals that will no longer be
in our children’s food, we must note the absence of other substances
that we requested be removed in our
June 3 petition to the school
board: red dyes #2 and #40, blue dye # 1, caramel color, artificial
flavors, azodicarbonamide, sucralose, cyclamates, high fructose corn
syrup (HFCS), potassium bromate, sodium benzoate, brominated
vegetable oil (BVO), BHT, sodium nitrite/nitrate, substances similar
to MSG that contain glutamate, such as Torula yeast and hydrolyzed
vegetable protein, Mycoprotein (Quorn), and sulfites/SO2. We
recognize that the exclusion of these remaining chemicals would
necessitate a substantive change in the way MCPS does school food,
as almost all of the processed foods served in MCPS contain one of
these substances, which may have impacted the decision for a partial
list. RFKM has communicated parent desires that MCPS move from their
model of serving processed, reheated food to preparing food fresh in
their central facility, thereby eliminating many chemical additives.
With the opening of a new central facility estimated in January, we
are hoping that more and more items will be prepared from scratch at
the county level. We will continue to advocate on this point and
need your help to do so. We would like to move to having one
full-time staff person at RFKM in the new year, but we need much
more member support to do so. We would like to move to having one
full-time staff person at RFKM in the new year, but we need much
more member support to do so. Could you either contribute today or
commit to be a monthly sustainer?
For food chemical nerds like ourselves, the complete list of
chemicals to be banned is: Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), trans fat,
lean finely textured beef, 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).
Montgomery schools to prohibit certain chemicals in foods - The
Doritos, Fruit Snacks Get the Boot as Montgomery County Schools
Ban Certain Additives - CBS DC