Community Group Of The Month: Spokane District 81Tue 24 Jan 2012
Story by Jaime Morlin
When I first heard about the Food Revolution, I’ll admit it was overwhelming. My personality isn’t very “revolutionary” and people usually meet change with resistance. However, the cause is important and perhaps, I thought, I could make a small difference with baby steps in the right direction. Sometimes small steps can lead to big changes.
Since making this decision and getting involved in the Food Revolution last year, I have now been asked to take a place on our school district’s Health Advisory Committee, and here’s how…
The starting point was establishing a Food Revolution Group on Facebook, the Spokane District 81 Food Revolution, by submitting a request on the Food Revolution activist map.
Through this Food Revolution community group I connected with various members of my local community including another parent at my daughter’s elementary school. She knew several other parents who share our concerns and, together, we decided to push for a Health and Wellness Committee at our neighborhood school.
I approached the principal via email asking for permission for this group of parents to create a health and wellness committee, and he was very agreeable. We are going to begin meeting this year to discuss and implement healthy changes at our school and our principal also said that he would like our group to meet with the physical education teacher to go over the nutrition part of the curriculum with her.
With the principal and staff on board, we have support needed to make some great changes, however there is much more to accomplish.
Having researched the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s site I discovered that it requires all school districts to update their wellness policies in the next year. The implementation guidelines require that public, parents and school administrators jointly participate in creating the new wellness policies.
Based on this, I contacted our school district’s Director of Nutrition Services, again via email, to ask if he was allowing parents to participate in creating the new wellness policy as required by the new federal law. He mentioned an open seat on the school district’s Health Advisory Committee and asked me to join as a parent participant. So now, a “Food Revolutionary” sits on the committee and, hopefully, will champion better nutrition guidelines for our children.
These small beginnings are encouraging and may lead to big changes in the coming year. We will be forming the new Wellness Policy and creating nutrition guidelines for the district, including school lunches and physical activity. My intent is to ask for every item listed on the Food Revolution School Lunch charter, starting with white milk only and school lunches made from scratch.
Every school district is required by federal law to create a new Wellness Policy this year which really puts the Revolutionaries in a great position to make a difference, plus the federal law specifically requires districts to involved parents in writing these new policies. So if you haven’t already, now is the time to go online and look at your schools wellness policies, contact your Nutrition Services Director and ask to be involved, together we can make a huge difference.
Now I know anyone can make a difference by just taking one small step at a time!
About the author: Jaime Morlin is a wife and mother of two beautiful daughters. She’s a small business owner and outdoor enthusiast in the Great Northwest, WA State. Her family thoroughly enjoys cooking together. She is the organizer of the Spokane District 81 Food Revolution.
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