|Brickyard Farmland Threatened by MCPS Proposal for Industrial Solar Array
The 20-acre organic farmland on Brickyard Road is being threatened yet again, this time with a proposal to install a huge industrial solar array. This project would damage or destroy the rich organic soil on that site and effectively foreclose organic farming and farm-based
education on those 20 acres for the foreseeable future. This land had been cultivated organically for 30 years until the Board of Education blocked access by the farmer and blocked Brickyard Educational Farm (BEF) from continuing to offer farm-based programming to public school students and teachers. BEF has a proposal to use this prime farmland for organic farming and agricultural education again, in line with the county and state environmental literacy requirements. BEF has been conducting agricultural education programs at county public schools while awaiting further decisions on the Brickyard farmland.
While we applaud MCPS's pursuit of energy efficiency, solar energy, and sustainability, destroying green spaces and productive farm land clearly is the wrong path to achieve those goals. MCPS should instead install solar panels on the vast acreages of rooftops and parking lots that it owns.
Please help protect this precious farm land and support organic farming and farm-based education. While we applaud MCPS's pursuit of energy efficiency, solar energy, and sustainability, destroying green spaces and productive farm land clearly is the wrong path to achieve those goals. MCPS should instead install solar panels on the vast acreages of rooftops and parking lots that it owns.
Actions You Can Take
MCPS is convening public information meetings on this proposal and is accepting public comments. The current comment deadline is December 1st. Please attend an important public meeting on the evening of Tuesday, November 17th, to raise your concerns and ask questions. Please also write to MCPS.
Please urge MCPS to support organic farming and farm-based education and to install solar panels on rooftops and over parking lots, not on farm land and other green spaces.
For more information on the November 17th meeting and whom to write, please visit:
A Sample Week of Sugary School Breakfasts in MCPS - Let's end this together!
Monday: Bagel with a slice of cheese, craisins, apple juice, chocolate milk (7 1/2 tsp. added sugar; 11 1/3 tsp. total sugar)
Tuesday: Cinnamon Bun, craisins, chocolate milk, OJ (10 tsp. added sugar; 17 tsp. total sugar)
Wednesday: 2 pancakes soggy with syrup already on them, craisins, OJ, chocolate milk (9 1/2 tsp. added sugar; 16 1/4 tsp. total sugar)
Thursday: Bagel filled with cinnamon cream cheese, craisins, chocolate milk, OJ (10 1/4 tsp. added sugar; 17 tsp. total sugar)
Friday: Chicken sausage panwich (aka pancake sandwich) apple juice, craisins, chocolate milk (8 tsp. added sugar; 14 3/4 tsp. total sugar)
The American Heart Association recommends that children ages 4-8 have no more than 3 tsp. of added sugar a day. Hard to meet that with the week of school breakfasts in the classroom above reported from an MCPS school this fall. Please help fund Healthy School Food Maryland's crowdfunding campaign to work to pass a law that will help parents get rid of these types of sugar-loaded breakfasts in school. Please give then share our campaign on social media.
Volunteers Needed for RFKM Board Committees
RFKM is looking for people to join our board committes. Our committees meet no more than once a month at the moment and typically meetings are over a conference call. We have two committees that need members:
Membership and Communications: This committee is charged with increasing our membership and especially increasing participation by people representing communities most affected by childhood obesity and diabetes or who eat school food regularly. They will also be examining our communications to determine how we can improve them, with an eye to reaching the communities most impacted by changes to the school food.
Fundraising and Special Events: This committee is charged with coming up with new fundraising models, finding and approaching major donors, and planning and carrying out special events that have a fundraising component. Committees for events may break off of this committee to plan individual events.
If you would like to join either committee, please write to Lindsey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Special thanks to our sponsor:
MCPS Forming Wellness Committee
Consistent with assurances made in meetings with RFKM last year, Andrew Zuckerman, COO of MCPS, has moved forward with the formation of an MCPS-wide Wellness Committee, which will include parents, students, staff, and people who have interest, knowledge or professions focused on various aspects of health and wellness both inside and outside of MCPS. Dana Davison,
Executive Director of the Chief Operating Office of MCPS and Cara Grant, Supervisor of Pre-K-12 Health and Physical Education for MCPS will be co-chairing the committee. We will share further details about the committee with our membership as they become available. Please write Dr. Zuckerman a short thank you note to show your appreciation for his responsiveness to parent concerns and for the wellness committee initiative, which could have a strong impact on the wellness environment and food in MCPS.
McDonald's Nutrition Education Curriculum Endorsed by Maryland PTA? No Thanks! - Sign On
A Washington Post article on 10/25 revelead that the Maryland PTA, through their web site, was promoting a McDonald's film about a teacher who lost weight by eating only at McDonald's for 6 months. They suggested use of the film to teach children about nutrition. Read more about Healthy School Food Maryland's petition and sign on to ask the Maryland PTA to disavow this curriculum and its use in Maryland schools.
Articles, Petitions, and Videos of Interest
A Seismic Shift in How People Eat
Are Bacon, Hot Dogs and Beef Really Carcinogens?
Snack Facts Released By The Rudd Center
How a Better Diet Could Save Your LIfe
School lunch participation has increased in 27 states in the past year, despite claims that healthier foods have made participation plummet. It's more important than ever to give students healthy food options, and help promote good nutritional choices.