Milk Day Of Action: June 9 2011Thu 02 Jun 2011
Story by Jessica Tully
Milk Day of Action: Say “No” To Flavored Milk In Schools
Incredible momentum! Over just five short weeks, 155 parents, teachers and students from New Jersey to Utah, Hawaii to Alaska - have rallied to plan the first wave of “Flavored Milk Days of Action” to happen simultaneously on June 9th. These caring adults and students are taking action, calling on their local school administrations to use their power to make lasting change by eliminating flavored milk in their own school. The Food Revolution will learn from their experiences and develop a model of community change that everyone can apply this summer in preparation for back-to-school.
Children nationwide face the double perils of a childhood obesity and diabetes epidemic plus out-dated and wrong-headed ideas that say kids need milk to be dressed up with additives. The science is in, and sweetened milk is on its way out. The return of pure, natural milk has begun in districts across America, but it may require a bit of good old-fashioned activism to catch on in all local schools.
With just 8 days now until the Food Revolution’s first “Flavored Milk Day of Action” on June 9th, leaders are creating fun and educational events that best fit their school’s personality and school calendar. In New Hampshire, Kathrine, a mother of two, was inspired by eating lunch at her children’s school that something had to change. She successfully recruited her kindergartener’s P.E. teacher who is also on the school’s powerful Wellness Committee, to help work with the school, and not serve any sweetened, flavored milks on June 9. The PE teacher was very receptive, and despite having been a “passionate and committed school wellness champion for many years, [eliminating flavored milk] had never occurred to [her].”
Another parent named Kim is using this summer to work with the Wellness committee in the Las Virgenes School District in Los Angeles to plan a district-wide event for the fall. The district has stated that if by the end of a one-week experiment more kids choose pure milk over flavored milk; they will eliminate flavored milk for good! Getting ready for the challenge, Kim is now fast at work collaborating with other district principals and Wellness Committee members to make sure the week is a success. They are considering milk mustache contests and the possibility of bringing a cow to an assembly to illustrate where milk comes from and its value in wholesome, unprocessed form.
School districts from Denver, Colorado to Wenatchee, Washington have taken steps toward better, more nutritious foods for our kids by getting rid of flavored milk. And Minneapolis, Minnesota has just announced it will eliminate flavored milk this summer in time for back-to-school.
You can get your school to make “no flavored milk” part of your school’s wellness policy too. This is a decision that a principal can make together with the cafeteria manager. It can be as simple as calling to make an appointment, getting armed with a few facts, and having a conversation with your school to see if they’ll consider making the switch back to plain, wholesome milk. We’d love for more communities to take a small step on the first Milk Day of Action this June 9th, and we are planning to set a second date for early fall so that schools can make the switch in the 2011-2012 school year.
Here’s what we’re doing to help you:
• Join our “Flavored Milk Day of Action”. You can use our dedicated email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Facebook Food Revolution Community to stay in touch with the Food Rev team, and help one another solve problems and create fun, memorable “Flavored Milk Day of Action” events.
• The exclusive Facebook Group, is loaded with sample flyers, event templates, petitions and school principal letters.
• We have our Flavored Milk Fact Sheet available alongside our national petition here. You can also calculate the extra sugar your kids are drinking with this calculator: (Excel) (Google Doc)
• Staff from the Food Rev Team are holding open “office hours” in the Facebook Group twice a week using the “Group Chat” function. (They are on Wednesdays through June 15: 8 - 9 pm EST (5 – 6 pm EST) and Thursdays through June 17: 12:30 – 1:30 pm EST (9:30 – 10:30 am PST. We will pick back up with more chats and webinars this summer.
Please support our campaign to get rid of flavored milk in schools. Tell your school you want white milk instead!
Sugary Milk Campaign
About the author: Jessica Tully is a California based Field Organizer for the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation.
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