Late last month, we came together with our coalition partners at the W.E.L.L. coalition for a lobby day to support school wellness issues. Many advocates and supporters of American Heart Association and our partner organizations came out to talk to legislators about an issue that affects New York and our future – funding to ensure our schools have the tools they need to help youth live healthier, longer lives.
When kids have access to healthy programs at school, programs that help them learn how to eat well and stay active, they’ll be more likely to make healthier choices in their lives. That’s why we need to make sure that school wellness programs are adequately funded. We also need our more at-risk communities to have additional funding to address the social determinants of health that put them in greater risk for heart disease, stroke, and early death.
With 1 in 6 New York students experiencing hunger and 1 in 3 at an unhealthy weight, youth need the support of their schools to live healthier now and in the future. School wellness policies can help support our student’s health, well-being, and academic success. It’s time New York school districts make their wellness policies stronger and more comprehensive.
At our W.E.L.L. Lobby Day, advocates talked to their legislators about the need for funding and codifying school wellness policies to ensure our youth learn how to live healthy. They shared their stories of how lack of access to school wellness opportunities affected themselves and their loved ones. When legislators hear the voices of our advocates and how their policies affect everyday folks, their minds can be changed. This is the power of advocacy and we’re glad our supporters could come out for the future of New York kids!