Students at 

 Alexandria City   Public Schools 

 need balanced 

 menus - now 

 

Sign the Petition!

 

Join the coalition of parents, students, and community members in asking that ACPS serve healthier, balanced meals to all their students by signing the petition below.

It's simple:

Our children deserve to be served the healthiest possible meals at school.

And we know that Alexandria City Public Schools can do better.

Our children are eating too many ultra-processed products, too much meat and eggs, and not enough fruits and vegetables. This kind of imbalanced diet contributes to 678,000 deaths in the US annually and causes 1 in 3 Americans to live with a preventable chronic illness.

And because food environment is the primary influence of food choice - especially in schools where the options are pre-decided for students, for up to 2 meals a day - ACPS schools have a responsibility to create the healthiest possible menus for our children.

Nutrition science is clear. ACPS menus can and must make these common sense changes.

That's why our coalition of concerned parents, students, and community members is asking ACPS leadership to commit to reducing the amount of disease-promoting foods on their menus and replace them with the things we know make kids grow strong and healthy: fresh fruits and vegetables, lean plant proteins, and whole grains. 

 

The leading causes of preventable disease, chronic illness, and premature death in the United States are all related to diet and poor nutrition—diseases like diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, and even some cancers. 

 

Children born today have a shorter predicted life expectancy than their parents as a result of skyrocketing diet-related diseases. We must do better for our children—but the time to act is now.

Eliminate processed meats like hot dogs, pepperoni pizza, sausage and egg sandwiches, chicken nuggets and fish sticks

Reduce the amount of foods high in cholesterol, saturated fats, and sodium like meat, egg, dairy, and other processed products

Replace unhealthy menu items with foods rich in nutrients and high in fiber like fruits, vegetables, plant proteins, and whole grains

Diversify protein options to include plant sources by serving a warm, meatless entree at every meal

Alexandria, Virginia is already suffering the consequences of imbalanced menus.

The problem: ACPS menus don't reflect a balanced diet.

32% of high schoolers in Alexandria didn't eat green vegetables in the last week. 38% of Virginian adolescents ate less than 1 serving of vegetables a day

By 2030, it's projected that the number of Virginians with diabetes will almost double and diet-linked cancers will almost triple

Over 30% of adults screened in Alexandria have high cholesterol and 28% have high blood pressure

Diet-related diseases make up 6 of the top 10 causes of death in Virginia and kill up to 38,600 Virginians every year

1

Too many ultra-processed foods made with disease-promoting refined grains, sugars, & processed meats

2

Too many products high in cholesterol, saturated fats, and sodium like meats, eggs, and full fat dairy

Too few health-promoting fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and legumes

3

Imbalanced menus make it harder for students to get the nutrients they need to learn, grow, and excel.

Independent public health organization Balanced reviewed the healthfulness of ACPS menus and gave it a "D" grade—nearly a failing grade, with huge consequences for our children's health. In their analysis, Balanced found that the ACPS served:

These leading

health organizations recommend balanced food environments that promote increased consumption of fruits, vegetables, plant-proteins, and whole grains and reduced consumption of foods high in cholesterol, saturated fats, sodium, and excess calories.

Our kids deserve better. They deserve a long life free from preventable, diet-related chronic illness.

Help us ensure a healthier future for our children by joining our effort today.

SUPPORTERS

Meet some of the people behind this effort for ACPS students' health.

Cindy Million

Parent

My two children attend an ACPS elementary school. I believe that we owe it to all of our children to provide them with health-promoting food—not foods that are known carcinogens, like processed meat, or foods that contribute to heart disease and diabetes. What we feed our children now can have a lasting effect on their lives. Let’s stand together to make that effect a positive one.

 

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 GET INVOLVED 

If you'd like to help our effort by volunteering, fill out this form and we'll be in touch!