In early January, RFKM conducted a Member Priorities Survey. The results of the survey are listed below, with the top ten items shown based on the percentage of members listing the item as "very important" or "important" with the corresponding percentage.
Advocating for a system-wide solution for easier access to free, unlimited water in cafeterias. 92%
Offering at least one meal per day that is not a typical "junk food"* (e.g., not chicken nuggets, pizza, hot dogs or burgers). 90%
Removing chemicals listed as "caution" or "avoid" by CSPI from all food served in MCPS. 89%
Replacing unhealthy a la carte items with healthier items. 88%
Eliminating or drastically reducing typical "junk food" options. 87%
Setting an upper limit for sugar in any product served in MCPS. 86%
Replacing unhealthy vending items with healthier items in machines that are on during the school day. 85%
Moving from processed, pre-plated and reheated food to food cooked from scratch at the central facility with more prep work done on site at schools with kitchens. 84%
At the beginning of each school year, having each school send to parents a list of a la carte items sold at that school with information on how to block children's lunch accounts to prevent a la carte purchases. 82%
Offering unlimited fruits and vegetables free to all children who purchase lunch. 81%
These priorities will be the focus our upcoming advocacy campaigns and work over the coming year. Keep your eyes peeled for petitions to sign and other requests in the coming months.
RFKM School Representative Training
RFKM has School Representatives in 46 of the 202 schools in MCPS. The job of an RFKM school rep is to advocate for changes in their local school food environment. The first step is usually to create a wellness committee via the PTA or directly via the school of people interested in healthier food or related issues and then to take action through that group. Some of the things that other school reps have done or will do are:
-send RFKM messages to their school listserv to recruit other members
-present to their PTA about RFKM and changes they'd like to see on the local level
-do a school food survey
-meet with their Principal and Cafeteria Manager to advocate for changes
We will be hosting a training for our school reps this Saturday from 10-12 in Silver Spring if you would like to hear more about the job or just get some resources to take advocacy at your school. The training is open to anyone. If you would like to attend, please RSVP to realfoodMCPS@gmail.com.
Will you support the work of RFKM?
We are still far short of our yearly budget. If each RFKM member gave $27, we would be finished fundraising for the year. Can you help?