|NEWS RELEASE||April 28, 2009|
Give Students Vegetarian Lunch Options, Montel’s Daughter Urges Congress in CNN Commercial
Wyntergrace Williams Stars in TV Spot Urging Reform to the Child Nutrition Act; Rep. George Miller and President Obama Asked to Support Meatless Meals
WASHINGTON—Should Congress amend the Child Nutrition Act to add vegetarian options to school lunch lines? The daughter of Montel Williams thinks so—and 14-year-old Wyntergrace Williams is speaking out on Capitol Hill and in a new television commercial airing Thursday, April 30, during CNN’s American Morning.
"Some of us don’t eat right," Wyntergrace says in the commercial. "Fast food, junk food—sometimes, even our school lunches have too much fat and cholesterol." More than 80 of Americans believe that vegetarian meals should be available in schools to children who want them, according to a recent survey conducted by Opinion Research Corporation.
In addition to CNN, the commercial, produced by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), will air on local network affiliates in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. during morning news shows, children’s programs, and "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."
In meetings on Capitol Hill this week, Wyntergrace is joining PCRM president Neal Barnard, M.D., of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) in calling on Congress and President Obama to fight childhood obesity by helping schools serve more fruits, vegetables, and low-fat vegetarian foods.
The House Education Committee, chaired by Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), will soon take up the Child Nutrition Act, which regulates the National School Lunch Program and other federal nutrition programs.
"President Obama’s daughters attend a private school that offers healthy vegetarian options that all students should have access to," Dr. Barnard says. "But most schools will only provide meatless meals if Congress pushes them to do so. Schools should offer vegetarian choices every day, and they should have the funding to make that feasible."
The TV commercial, titled "School Lunch Revolution," can be seen online at http://www.youtube.com/HealthySchoolLunches.
Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research.