Untitled 1 Healthy School Food Maryland
Real Food for Kids - Montgomery

2017 Priorities

One-pager on RFKM priorities and accomplishments

RFKM conducts yearly member surveys to understand our members' concerns and establish our priorities for advocacy. Our Board of Directors then sets a smaller number of organizational goals. For 2017, our goals are:

- Decrease added sugar in school food to ≤10% of calories, especially at breakfast
- Install best practice salad bars at all school levels
- Increase scratch cooking
- Remove junk food marketing from schools

MCPS' new Wellness Regulation (as of July 2017) prohibits the marketing of any foods or beverages that do not meet the requirements to be sold on campus outlined in that regulation.

We also recognize that decreasing the repetition of kids' foods like pizza, burgers, fries and processed chicken has been one of the highest priorities for our membership, so that has been added to the rubric for 2017 that we are using for the School Food Environment Grades through our coalition Healthy School Food Maryland.

2017 Member Survey Results

RFKM conducted our 2017 member survey between February and April of 2017. There were 365 respondents from 2997 invitations (12.2% response rate), of which 252 completed all the substantive questions (8.4% completion rate). Our survey in 2017 focused on the changes to the MCPS Wellness Regulation. We asked detailed questions about the marketing of food in schools and food brought by parents because of a rule issued by the federal government requiring schools to make changes to their wellness policies to address these issues, and a desire to better understand the positions of our membership in these areas. That led to a petition and sign-on letter that we sent to MCPS. Sadly, none of the top requests from our petition were ultimately included in the updated Wellness Regulation. However, because of the federal requirement, MCPS did prohibit junk food marketing, but only in the narrowest possible manner per the federal rule. They also explicitly allowed the use of corporate logos for companies that produce primarily food that does not meet the Wellness Regulation, as long as the specific food or beverage item is not mentioned.

Unlike previous years, we did not make a complete priority list that would enable us to create a top 10 ranking for 2017. We also purposely excluded questions on issues on which our membership had already clearly expressed their concern (e.g., reducing sugar in school foods) because of the large number of other questions, but continued to advocate in those areas. 

Complete 2017 survey results

2018 Priorities and Progress
2016 Priorities and Progress
2015 Priorities and Progress
2014 Priorities and Progress
2013 Priorities and Progress

". . . it's great that [MCPS is] serving healthier types of pizza, hamburgers, etc., but I want my kids to be excited about delicious and nutritious meals that don't fall into one of these junk food categories. At home, we serve home-cooked meals almost exclusively, but we'd like that message to be reinforced at school also."
- Brad Behr, MCPS Parent

"I teach high school and the students are begging for healthier choices--especially the kids who receive free and reduced meals. Their options are limited."

- An MCPS teacher

"Please no more chicken nuggets, pizza, fries and other junk foods. Positive peer pressure can help some kids open up to new, healthier foods. School is a good opportunity for that." - An RFKM Supporter

         Copyright © 2019   Chesapeake Institute for Local Sustainable Food and Agriculture (HSFM's fiscal sponsor)