Farm Sanctuary Urges Passage of the Healthy School Meals Act to Benefit Children and Animals

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Meredith Turner, Farm Sanctuary, 646-369-6212, mturner@farmsanctuary.org

Farm Sanctuary Urges Passage of the Healthy School Meals Act to Benefit Children and Animals

Citizens Across Country to Participate in National Call-In Day on April 21 in Support of This Federal Legislation

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. - On
Wednesday, April 21, concerned citizens nationwide will join

Farm Sanctuary, the nation's leading farm animal protection
organization,
in a National Call-In Day to
urge legislators
to support H.R. 4870
, the Healthy School
Meals Act.

Introduced
in March,
this new legislation would offer financial
incentives to
school districts that offer their students plant-based food options and
non-dairy beverages. "If passed, the Healthy School Meals Act would have
a tremendous impact on children's health, farm animals, and the
environment," said executive director of Farm Sanctuary,
Dr. Allan Kornberg. Dr. Kornberg has practiced both primary care
pediatrics and
pediatric emergency medicine, and recently served as
Senior Vice President for the
National Initiative for Children's Health Quality
.
"As a pediatrician
with
more than 25 years of clinical and executive leadership experience in
medicine,
I am keenly aware of the impact diet has on
child development. American children are
increasingly
affected by obesity and other adverse health conditions related to a
poor diet."

Schools
participating in the National
School Lunch Program receive cash subsidies and donated commodities and
surplus
foods from the USDA. School
lunches
must meet federal nutrition requirements, but specific food options are
determined
by local school food authorities. The Healthy School Meals Act would
make plant-based proteins and
non-dairy milk an affordable option
for schools, increasing the accessibility of these healthy foods to
students nationwide.

Dr.
Kornberg, who once acted as CEO of
Network Health, a Medicaid health plan serving the poor in
Massachusetts, remarked, "Good health
should not be an economic issue. The federally-assisted National School
Lunch
Program provides low-cost or free lunches to more than 30 million
children each
school day. These families rely on the National School Lunch and
Breakfast
Programs to deliver proper nutrition to their children.
The act would help schools that
cannot currently afford to do so provide
healthy, cruelty-free options to their students."

The act would
also address the nutritional
needs of countless children who choose to abstain from consuming animal
products for ethical, health, environmental, religious, or other
reasons.
Currently, students are granted access to dairy alternatives only after
acquiring a doctor's note. The new legislation would do away with this
requirement and thus further increase access to these compassionate
options. Whereas
in the past, schools may only have provided water or juice to students
abstaining
from milk, the new bill specifies that nutritionally-equivalent
alternatives
must be offered, guaranteeing that these students would receive a
healthy,
balanced diet.

On Tuesday,
April 20, Dr. Kornberg will join Elizabeth Kucinich, Director of Public
Affairs
for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), and
student
activist, Nina Gonzalez, for a conference call to inform citizens
further on
the Healthy School Meals Act and offer advice on becoming an effective
citizen
lobbyist.

"By adopting a plant-based diet, Americans
may reap dramatic health
benefits while they
simultaneously act with kindness and decency toward farm animals,"
added
Dr. Kornberg." The Healthy School Meals Act would both safeguard the health of
America's youth and encourage
students to make compassionate choices for animals at every meal."

If you
would like to speak with Farm Sanctuary Executive Director Allan
Kornberg, please
contact Meredith Turner at 646-369-6212 or
mturner@farmsanctuary.org.

###

Farm Sanctuary is the nation's leading farm animal protection organization. Since incorporating in 1986, Farm Sanctuary has worked to expose and stop cruel practices of the "food animal" industry through research and investigations, legal and institutional reforms, public awareness projects, youth education, and direct rescue and refuge efforts. Farm Sanctuary shelters in Watkins Glen, N.Y., and Orland, Calif., provide lifelong care for hundreds of rescued animals, who have become ambassadors for farm animals everywhere by educating visitors about the realities of factory farming.

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