Jackson Walters is an active youth advocate for the American Heart Association. Jackson and his Mom, Amy, have taken an active role in advocating for healthy, nutritious school meals. Jackson has met with members of our Congressional delegation numerous times to ask for their support for the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. We caught up with Jackson upon returning from national Lobby Day in Washington, D.C., and asked him to share some of his experiences with our readers.
Advocates from across the nation traveled to Washington DC to talk to their lawmakers about the importance of school nutrition in the fight against childhood obesity. The North Dakota delegation had the opportunity to visit with Senator Hoeven, Senator Heitkamp and Congressman Cramer. Youth Advocate Jackson Walters and his mom, Amy, participated in a full day of advocate training in preparation for our day on the Hill.
Q: Jackson, I understand you and your Mom went to Washington DC with the American Heart Association. How exciting! What was the purpose for traveling to our national’s capitol a few weeks ago?
Jackson: We went to meet with our senators to talk about school lunch and trying to improve the health of ND kids.
Q: School Nutrition seems to be hot topic in our schools, on TV, with our congressional leaders, etc. Why do you think having healthy meals in school is important for kids your age?
Jackson: I think that kids like healthy foods and it makes us feel better when we are at school.
Q: You must have learned a lot while in Washington DC! Tell me a couple of things that really made an impact on you, and how you have shared that information with family or friends since you returned home?
Jackson: I learned that our senators have a lot of people asking them to do different things and it is important that we talk with them and tell them what we think. I want to help the cooks at my school so it is easier for them to make healthy foods for our lunch. Lots of kids don’t get healthy meals and home so it is really important that school lunch is healthy.
Q: What can kids your age to do to stay healthy and strong for your future?
Jackson: Be active, play sports, don’t play too many video games and eat healthy foods.
It's not too late for YOU to get involved with the American Heart Association and advocate for healthy school meals.