BOARD OF EDUCATION DISTRICT 3: SCOTT MARK SCHMERELSON
Dear Members of the Los Angeles Food Policy Council,
You could not find a more ardent supporter of your initiatives. For the last 35 years at many school sites as a teacher, counselor, assistant principal and principal I see the need for healthy food offering for our schools. I believe in your policy of serving healthy foods free of antibiotics, artificial colors and additives. I believe in using local produce when available and also developing local industry in the process. Our children have been hooked on the wrong kinds of food. They seek out foods high in fat and salt which are obviously unhealthy. I am a witness to the fact that many of our children have their only healthy meals at school.
I am also concerned with the amount of waste that I observed every day during my school career. Our food offerings must be attractive and tasty. We must work with our state and federal government programs to allow students to select the foods that they want and not be forced to take a complete meal which will be tossed in the trash while saving the single item that they wanted. I believe that on a regular basis, food tasting opportunities must be scheduled at our schools. New food items should be presented to a student food tasting group before serving the entire student body. Student input is essential to make the plan work. The menu should be announced every day during the daily announcements. Respected Student Body leaders as well as school athletes should be part of the announcements that encourage healthy eating. Parent newsletters should list the menus and ask parents to encourage their children to try new items and to eat healthy.
As a principal who supervised the nutrition and lunch periods, I know of what I speak.