Teen Celeb Promotes Healthy School Lunches
It’s as eye-catching and kid-friendly as any commercial shown during Saturday morning cartoons. But unlike commercials that hawk fast food and other junk foods, PCRM and Wyntergrace Williams have an important message for students: “Some of us don’t eat right. Fast food, junk food—sometimes even our school lunches have way too much fat and cholesterol.”
Wyntergrace, daughter of television show host Montel Williams, has joined PCRM to help spread the word about the importance of vegetarian options in school lunches. Three years ago, 14-year-old Wyntergrace changed to a vegetarian diet out of compassion for animals and for health concerns. She also persuaded her mother to join her, and now she wants to make sure kids across the country have access to healthful vegetarian foods.
In the 30-second spot, images of a calf in a crate and a scale spinning out of control help show the problems with meat- and dairy-based school lunches.
Following these images, fresh fruits and veggies whirl around Wyntergrace and illustrate the solution to these problems: “More healthy choices like veggie chili, veggie burgers, and great whole grain and vegetable dishes!”
At her own middle school, Wyntergrace noticed it needed more vegetarian options in the lunch line. Realizing that many other students were also looking for healthier cafeteria meals, she started a petition to get healthful foods in her school. School officials agree and would also like to see healthier options in the school lunch program.
Eager to help PCRM give all students the opportunity to find healthier foods at school, Wyntergrace was the first to sign PCRM’s Healthy School Lunch petition to Congress. And she asks that all students and concerned adults across the country sign the petition urging Congress to amend the Child Nutrition Act, which regulates the National School Lunch Program, to include more vegetarian options in school lunches.
Following the launch of her commercial, on April 30 and May 1, Wyntergrace joined Brian Byrnes, executive director of the Chez Panisse Foundation, Neal Barnard, M.D, PCRM president, and leading researchers, school administrators, and students in a PCRM-sponsored Capitol Hill briefing on improving the National School Lunch Program through amendments to the Child Nutrition Act.
Briefing participants tasted an assortment of lunchroom-friendly, healthful, and delicious food samples while they learned PCRM’s priorities for the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act of 2009, including requirements for schools to offer more fruits, vegetables, healthful vegetarian foods, and nondairy, calcium-rich beverage alternatives.
To learn more about the Healthy School Lunch Revolution, watch Wyntergrace’s new ad, and sign the petitions, visit HealthySchoolLunches.org.