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  • Writer's pictureNatalya Murakhver

Sample Letter Here! Write to the Office of School Food and Demand Change NOW!

Parents, let your voices be heard today! Please customize this sample letter and send it to the acting head of the Office of Food & Nutrition Services, Chris Tricarico. His email is:

Dear Mr. Tricarico,

I am a parent at PS [ ] and I am writing to you because our children’s health and future is at stake. In New York City, nearly half of all elementary school children and Head Start children are not a healthy weight; 1 in 5 kindergarten students, and 1 in 4 Head Start children, is obese. Kids are also fighting serious disease related to obesity. Children as young as 8 years old are on cholesterol-lowering and blood pressure-lowering medication. Fifty percent of children under 15 have fatty streaks in their arteries, the beginning stages of heart disease. Annual health care costs relating to obesity are over $200 billion.

The Office of Food and Nutrition Services feeds nearly 900,000 hungry children a day, and while your meals meet and exceed the USDA requirements, these meals are highly-processed foods—Tostitos taco bowls, beef patties, popcorn chicken, and mozzarella sticks, to be washed down with chocolate milk sweetened with 20 grams of sugar per 8 ounce container.

As a member of The NYC Healthy School Food Alliance, I am writing to implore you to prioritize our children’s health by implementing the following ideas and changes:

  1. Adopting the Alternative Menu as THE MENU, but with a stronger variety of culturally-relevant choices on that menu so that there is kid buy-in, not banishment; promote the Vegetarian Menu as another healthy option for schools that want to go further;

  2. Eliminating sweetened milk citywide;

  3. Ensuring every school has a water jet Installed (this should not have to be requested by a school, it needs to be installed in every school so that we ensure equity);

  4. Making sure that the few schools without salad bars ensure that every student has the option of salad every day;

  5. Adding fresh cut up fruit to the salad bar (children are more likely to eat fruit if it is sliced rather than whole);

  6. Expanding the scratch-cooking program to 10 elementary schools

We’d also like to understand where you are with School Construction Authority in terms of a city-wide formal evaluation and assessment of the costs and infrastructure requirements necessary to transition to scratch-cooking.

We understand that our mutual goal is feeding hungry children healthy food. I look forward to hearing your thoughts and feedback!



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