The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Ali Jost, 202-730-7159,Mark McCullough, 202-730-7283,Kawana Lloyd, 202-730-7087

SEIU Launches Online Ads to Push for Robust Reauthorization of Child Nutrition Act

First step in major mobilization to reduce hunger, end childhood obesity, improve nutrition, and provide fair wages and healthcare for food service workers


in the first step of a major mobilization to pass a Child Nutrition
Reauthorization bill, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
launched a new online ad
urging congress to expand the program. The online banner ads, which
will run on,, and through Feb. 5,
link to a site where users can learn more about child nutrition
reauthorization and contact their members of Congress.

today's economic crisis, child nutrition programs are even more
critical in helping our nation's future leaders receive the basic
nutrition they need to flourish in school and in life," said SEIU
Executive Vice President Mitch Ackerman. "A more robust expansion of
school lunch, breakfast, summer feeding, child care and WIC is critical
to reducing hunger, ending childhood obesity, and providing fair wages
and healthcare for front line food service workers."

part of SEIU's national mobilization around reauthorization of the
bill, this week, food service workers from across the country are in
Washington, D.C. lobbying their members of congress.

love my work, but it's getting harder to prepare nutritious meals on
the low budget we're working with," said Leslie Williams, a Sodexo
cafeteria worker at Lincoln Avenue Elementary in Orange, New Jersey.
"It breaks my heart to see a child who's hungry. As I see it, part of my job is to make sure the kids are well-fed."

estimated 400,000 workers prepare and serve lunch for school children
in the U.S., including over 30 million students who rely on free or
reduced-priced lunches for a healthy meal. Although they are
responsible for the health and nutrition of our school children, many
of these workers are paid wages so low that they could qualify for free
and reduced-priced lunches as well as other publicly funded programs,
based on the federal poverty line for a family of four.

work that we do--feeding children--is important," said Gladys Estrada
Diaz, a Sodexo cafeteria worker at Edison Middle School in West Orange,
NJ. "But I am paid just $7.80 hour, which doesn't correspond to the
work I do and makes it impossible for me to afford health insurance and
makes it nearly impossible for me to provide for my two kids."

the comings weeks, cafeteria workers hoping to improve their wages and
the services they provide to our nation's children, will continue
lobbying in-district and in Washington for a robust reauthorization of
the Child Nutrition Act. In addition to delivering this message at
Sodexo's annual shareholder meeting is Paris, France next week, workers
will also take their message on the road--including to a school
administrator's conference next month.

To view the online ad and learn more about SEIU's campaign to reauthorize the Child Nutrition Act, please visit:

With 2 million members in Canada, the United States and Puerto Rico, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in the Americas. Focused on uniting workers in healthcare, public services and property services, SEIU members are winning better wages, healthcare and more secure jobs for our communities, while uniting their strength with their counterparts around the world to help ensure that workers--not just corporations and CEOs--benefit from today's global economy.