Who doesn't like Nick Offerman? He's a funny, funny man whose "Parks and Recreation" character, Ron Swanson, is one of TV's most memorable characters. This week, he used his comedy skills for a serious issue, school lunches.
It seems like it should be a simple thing to provide children with healthy lunches at school. In reality, it's complicated because the government controls the lunch program, and it seems like special interests groups that want to make money off the school lunch program control the government. How else can you explain that pizza is considered a vegetable in the school lunch program? Unless, of course, pizza grows on trees.
The current administration has made attempts to improve nutrition in school lunches. Foods like pizza, taquitos, sloppy joes and fish fingers, while still more prevalent than they should be, are now accompanied by fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and foods with a lot less sugar.
The American Heart Association wants the government to continue to make improvements. It produced this video in association with Funny or Die to grab people's attention. They're asking viewers to sign a letter for their U.S. representatives, encouraging those in the Senate and House of Representatives to continue to build on the progress we've made in school lunch nutrition. In September, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 is up for renewal. The act authorizes all federal child nutrition programs, including the School Breakfast and National School Lunch programs.
The school lunch program has a long way to go before it's providing truly healthy meals for all students. It's important for all of us, whether we have children or not, to let those who run the program know that we expect improvements when the act is renewed. This is one easy way to help accomplish that goal — so do it.
Related on MNN:
- An interview with school lunch blogger Mrs. Q
- Tips and recipes for packing healthy school lunches
- What kids around the world eat for lunch