Since November, the American Heart Association has been leading the charge on Healthy School Meals for All—that is, no-cost breakfast and lunch for all Michigan public school students.
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Ensuring healthy nutrition habits are developed at a young age can help prevent chronic diseases like high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Aside from the positive public health effects, this policy improves health equity, increases attendance and school performance, decreases behavioral problems, reduces stigma, and strengthens school budgets.
Over the past four months, we have met with the Governor’s office, the Michigan Department of Education, several state legislators, and dozens of external groups to talk about how to move this policy forward. On Thursday, March 16th, I'm pleased to be testifying on behalf of the American Heart Association in support of Healthy School Meals for All before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on School Aid and Education and will also serve as a keynote speaker before the School Nutrition Association of Michigan industry conference.
We will see budget and legislative language introduced over the coming weeks, and we will continue to push this policy to ensure all Michigan residents can live longer, healthier lives.
Stay tuned and thank you for being a voice for a healthier Michigan!
Collin McDonough, Michigan Government Relations Director