School Food
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CSPI's Nutrition Policy Project is working with concerned citizens, health professionals, government officials, and other nonprofit organizations to strengthen national, state, and local policies and programs to promote healthy eating and physical activity to help reduce the illnesses, disabilities, premature deaths, and costs caused by diet- and inactivity-related diseases such as heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity. For more information on our current projects and other policies to promote healthy eating and physical activity visit: nutritionpolicy.

Parents, teachers, school administrators, elected officials and others in small and large communities across the country have been successful at improving the nutritional quality of foods and beverages in their local schools.

Parents are defeating exclusive soft-drink contracts between schools and Coca-Cola and Pepsi. Schools are extending lunch periods so that kids get through the cafeteria line and still have time to eat. And, school food service directors are increasing healthy drink and snack selections, without losing revenue. Whatever your situation, we all share the common goal of improving the nutritional quality of the foods and beverages that our kids eat and drink at school and protecting our children's health. The School Foods Tool Kit is designed to help you realize those goals.

The School Foods Tool Kit can be downloaded on-line at no cost. To download the School Foods Tool Kit, double click on the red bars below.

This Kit includes:
Part I: How to Improve School Foods and Beverages
(Acrobat 516k)
This section includes goals and strategies for improving school foods and beverages as well as background materials and fact sheets on children's diets and health, school meal programs, and vending and other school food venues. It also has a section on techniques that you can use to affect change, with guidance and model materials for communicating with decision makers, the press, and other members of your community.
Part II: Model Materials and Policies
(Acrobat 644k)
This section provides model legislation, sample letters, and a list of resources that can be adapted and used as appropriate for your community.
Part III: Case Studies
(Acrobat 132k)
In this section you can read about and find contact information for individuals, organizations, and states working to improve the nutritional quality of school foods and beverages.

We acknowledge the valuable contribution of Vicki Berends, Tracy Fox, and Amanda Purcell for their help with reviewing this Kit. We thank California Project LEAN, California Center for Public Health Advocacy, and Shasta County Public Health Department for allowing use of their materials in this Kit. We also thank the Amaturo Family Foundation, the Argosy Foundation, and Mr. and Mrs. William J. Ruane for their generous financial support of the Center for Science in the Public Interest's Nutrition Policy Project. We especially thank all the activists around the country who through their hard work and tenacity serve as a source of inspiration and provided models for the approaches described in this Kit.

The School Foods Tool Kit was written by Claudia Malloy, Director of Grassroots Advocacy, Joy Johanson, MPH, Nutrition Policy Associate, and Dr. Margo Wootan, Director of Nutrition Policy.

For more information send an email to: or call 202-777-8352.

To order a hard copy of the School Foods Tool Kit by check, please send $10 US or $15 Canadian to:
CSPI’s School Foods Tool Kit 1220 L St. N.W., Suite 300
Washington, D.C. 20005

To order a hard copy of the School Foods Tool Kit by Visa or MasterCard, please print out and complete the form and fax it to 202-265-4954 or send it to:
CSPI’s School Foods Tool Kit 1220 L St. N.W., Suite 300
Washington, D.C. 20005

Visa or MasterCard Order Form