WASHINGTON—Kids adore her in The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie. Parents love her in movies like The Other Boleyn Girl and Lost in Translation. And now, kids and parents alike are applauding actress and singer Scarlett Johansson’s recent request to Congress to add more fruits, vegetables, and healthy meal options to school lunchrooms.
Johansson has written a letter to Congress urging support for the Healthy School Meals Act of 2010, H.R. 4870, which was introduced on March 18 by Rep. Jared Polis of Colorado. The bill would reward school districts for offering plant-based vegetarian options and healthful nondairy beverages.
“I’ve been involved with efforts to feed hungry children for years,” Johansson writes. “Millions of families in America rely on subsidized school lunches, and these meals are absolutely crucial to children’s well-being.”
The letter—covered by U.S. News & World Report and Politico—is part of PCRM’s campaign to ask Congress to provide students low-fat plant-based meals through the reauthorization of the federal Child Nutrition Act, which helps shape the school breakfasts and lunches served to 30 million children.
The Healthy School Meals Act would reward school districts with additional food aid if they offer most students plant-based vegetarian food choices every day. The bill, which has already drawn support from Rep. John Conyers and 30 other co-sponsors, would create a pilot program to provide select schools with high-fiber, low-fat vegetarian protein products and nondairy milk options.
Vegetarian school lunch options are also supported by the American Medical Association, the American Public Health Association, and celebrity parents such as Tobey Maguire and basketball star John Salley.
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.