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The Physicians Committee



Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi Ask Congress for Healthy School Lunches

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de RossiEllen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi have had tremendous success spreading the message about health issues related to diet and nutrition. Now, the couple is asking Congress to fight childhood obesity and related chronic diseases by passing the Healthy School Meals Act, H.R. 4870. In their recent letter to Congress, they ask lawmakers to support the bill, which would help schools serve healthy plant-based meal options

“Two years ago, we switched to a plant-based diet out of concern for animals and the environment,” wrote DeGeneres and de Rossi to Rep. George Miller, D-Calif. “Many children stop eating meat for the same reasons. Adding vegetarian options in schools would not only benefit these children—it would provide healthier options for all young people.”

The House Education Committee, chaired by Rep. Miller, will soon reauthorize the Child Nutrition Act, which regulates the National School Lunch Program and other federal nutrition programs. The Healthy School Meals Act of 2010, H.R. 4870, would improve children’s eating patterns by encouraging the inclusion of healthful plant-based options in the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs.

DeGeneres is host of the Emmy-winning The Ellen DeGeneres Show and judge on American Idol, and de Rossi starred in ABC’s Better Off Ted and has appeared in Nip/Tuck, Arrested Development, and Ally McBeal.

But they were just two of the many celebrities talking to Congress last month. Basketball star John Salley and 2008 Olympic gold medalist Allyson Felix teamed up with PCRM at a congressional breakfast to ask Congress to support the Healthy School Meals Act, sponsored by Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo.

Salley lead a roundtable discussion for Members of Congress about improving children’s health and the nutritional quality of foods served in our nation’s lunchrooms. The member’s breakfast, co-hosted by PCRM, the Congressional Black Caucus, and the Congressional Families for Children’s Health, featured an array of healthy gourmet vegan dishes catered by celebrity chef Lauren Von Der Pool.

Teen nutrition advocate Wyntergrace Williams (daughter of talk show host Montel), PCRM public affairs director Elizabeth Kucinich, and PCRM president Neal Barnard, M.D., were also on the panel.

To learn more about the Healthy School Meals Act, visit HealthySchoolLunches.org.



 

PCRM Online, June 2010

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