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It’s Not Business as Usual for School Lunches

Business news is bleak. The jobless rate is rising. Toyota’s recalling millions of cars. But in some sectors, businesses have a healthy outlook: They are helping gather signatures for PCRM’s Healthy School Lunch petition.

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As Congress prepares to take up the Child Nutrition Act (CNA), which regulates the National School Lunch Program, businesses across the country are joining PCRM’s Healthy School Lunch Revolution. They are trying to improve childhood nutrition news, which is as grim as any economic headline in The Wall Street Journal.

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced findings that just one in 10 high school students eat the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. And the percentage of overweight and obese children is now at or above 30 percent in 30 states, according to a recent report from the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

But from New York City to Iowa City, Iowa, businesses are spreading the word about PCRM’s petitions that let the federal government know that bad food is unfair to students and can risk their health. They have collected signatures from thousands of concerned citizens who want Congress to know that students deserve healthy options—more fruits, vegetables, vegetarian meals, and nondairy beverages.

In the Big Apple, restaurants such as Candle Café, Caravan of Dreams, Lula’s Sweet Apothecary, and Counter are urging customers to sign the petition.

And in America’s heartland, businesses want to reform meals at the 80 percent of U.S. schools serving high-fat, artery-clogging school lunches, according to the School Nutrition Dietary Assessment Study.

The Red Avocado, the only vegan restaurant in Iowa City, hosted a benefit for PCRM’s Healthy School Lunch Revolution. At the Iowa Women’s Music Festival, music fans were invited to sign the Healthy School Lunch petition. And at the Bijou Theater, also in Iowa City, signatures were collected before and after screenings of Food, Inc.

To join businesses like these—as well as the libraries and movie theaters from Williamsburg, Va., to Boulder, Colo.—in signing the petition and spreading the word about PCRM’s Healthy School Lunch Revolution, visit


PCRM Online, October 2009

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