menus - now
Sign the Petition!
Join the coalition of parents, students, and community members in asking that MCPS serve healthier, balanced meals to all their students by signing the petition below.
Our children deserve to be served the healthiest possible meals at school.
And we know that Montgomery County Public Schools can do better.
Our children are eating too much meat and eggs, too many over-processed products, 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 - MCPS schools have a responsibility to create the healthiest possible menus for our children.
Nutrition science is clear. MCPS menus can and must make these common sense changes.
That's why our coalition of concerned parents, students, and community members is asking MCPS 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.
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
Montgomery County is already suffering the consequences of imbalanced menus.
Meet some of the people behind this effort for MCPS students' health.
As a mother of a Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) kindergartner; a family physician in the local community; and a concerned citizen, I have partnered with Balanced to work towards more healthful school meals. What our children eat definitively impacts physical, mental and emotional health — ALL children at MCPS deserve the best nutrition we can offer. We need more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans and less meat, dairy, added sugars and highly processed foods on their plates.
13.1% of Montgomery County adults do not eat a single serving of vegetables every day, and 13.1% of adolescents eat vegetables 3 or more times per day
73.6% of Montgomery County residents have identified chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes as a leading threat to community health
33% of Montgomery County adults have highest risk cholesterol levels, and 36% have been diagnosed with high blood pressure
57% of the deaths in Montgomery County are caused by diet-related chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, and stroke
The problem: MCPS menus don't reflect a balanced diet.
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.
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 MCPS menus and gave it a "F" grade—a failing grade, with huge consequences for our children's health. In their analysis, Balanced found that the Montgomery County Public Schools served:
Too many products high in cholesterol, saturated fats, and sodium like meats, eggs, and full fat dairy products
Too many ultra-processed foods made with disease-promoting refined grains and processed meats
Too few health-promoting fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and legumes