As an advocate for kids’ health, I get agitated on a regular basis by something that undermines my efforts. That’s why I’m happy to report on not just one…not just two…but three things that took place recently which made my day!
1) I found out a Jog-a-thon fundraiser I’d started at my daughters’ former elementary school continues to grow and thrive this year even though we moved across the country this summer. A friend e-mailed me with the good news that the PTA moved it from taking place in the spring to the fall which is the prime school fundraising spot. It replaced a long-standing selling fundraiser and brought in double the goal they’d set.
I’d had concerns that the Jog-a-thon might get dropped if I wasn’t there to keep making the case for healthier fundraisers. What a relief to know it has continued support and I’m grateful for the leaders who saw the wisdom in moving even further ahead with it. For more resources, be sure to check out the Healthy School Fundraiser Challenge from School Bites.
2) The next thing that made my day was reading this masterful response by Bettina Siegel to the misguided BAKE SALE Act. That’s the legislation proposed by a Texas congressman to undermine efforts to limit junk food sales in school. As Bettina points out:
What’s stunning here is the short-term thinking so vividly on display…wouldn’t it make more sense to redirect a tiny fraction of the billions of dollars that will be spent on obesity-related healthcare toward school funding, which would eliminate schools’ dependence on the junk food fundraising that contributes to obesity?
That’s exactly the point I’ve tried to make about the importance of strong school wellness policies to aid state budget battles for education. It was encouraging to see another advocate make this case and push back against efforts to put profit ahead of student health.
3) Last but not least, I was excited to see Sally Kuzemchak interviewed about her Snacktivism campaign. Just as she describes it, Snacktivism “empowers parents to work for positive change where kids and snacks are concerned.” I was honored that she mentioned me as a role model in her work:
I really admire Casey Hinds, who seems to have endless amounts of persistence and energy when it comes to improving the food environment for kids. She stays at it, even when her audience isn’t on board and even when she’s the lone parent speaking up. She keeps her eye on the long-term goals and what’s best for children. I admire that because it can be hard when people disagree or push back against change. Emotions tend to run high when the topic of food is involved—and especially when parents feel like they’re being judged for the kinds of foods they’re bringing to school or sports games.
So often advocacy feels like a pattern of two steps forward, one step back. These three steps forward? Sure feels like a happy dance.