Monday, March 22, 2010

Students Taking Charge and petition updates

So a lot has happened in the past couple of weeks!

I probably should have noted this earlier, but I have become the student leader at my school for a grant project called Students Taking Charge.

Through the project we are to develop a SNAC (Student Nutrition Action Committee), and use the funds we are given to sponser wellness related activities at our school.

For any students or teachers who are interested in improving community wellness, I would definitely suggest you get involved in this project. It's really a great opportunity.

We have decided to break the funds into three projects:
1. Organic vegetable gardening (which we have gotten permission to do on school grounds!!)
2. Yogalates classes- offered free after school for anyone who is interested (even teachers)
3. Wellness knowledge extravaganza! (getting speakers to come in and inspire students to take care of themselves :] )

When these projects get off the ground I will post some pictures and things. Right now I am still in the budgeting and communication stage.

Now as far as the petition goes:
The initial explosion of signatures has sadly slowed. I am finding that the students at school who would be enthusiastic about participating in activism have already been reached out to do so. Really the only way for me to get more signatures is walking up to people with a laptop (which I have been doing a lot in my free time).

I will also be holding another petition signing day during lunches at school in the near future.

And just a note on that, people keep asking me why having these ingredients available to the students is so important. I mean, it sounds like a good idea, but why is it necessary?

Here is my response to that:
By witholding the information as to what is in the food students and teachers eat on a daily basis, Aramark is disabling us from making the choice for many of us to be aware of our own health. It is as if many of us are blindfolded, being forced to trust that a corporation that wants to shield our eyes will also want to take care of our bodies.

And it may sound dramatic but: without these bodies, we are nothing.

316 signatures so far, sign the petition today if you have not already.


  1. Wow! Tara I am really impressed by your perseverance! I am a parent who is also trying to improve my son's school food. I am on the wellness committee on the district level and find that many who are on it are there because their job requires it and they seem to have better things to do. There is not much enthusiasm or motivation to make things happen.

    Good luck and I will keep up with your progress on your blog. I hope to replicate your efforts here. Thanks for the motivation!

  2. Tara, you are providing an amazing service to your fellow students. As a school nurse, I understand the importance of knowing what you are ingesting. Keep up the good work!

  3. I think it's awesome that you're doing this. I remember when I was in high school and I mentioned to a teacher that it was unfair that those of us who brought food from home could bring healthy options, while students who received free or reduced meals (which often included breakfast and lunch) had to eat much unhealthier foods, without being able to choose healthier ones. My teacher told me it was a government issue and left it at that. I wish I had done then what you're doing now, but I'm glad someone's doing something. There's no reason food should resemble more of a manufacturing process than actual food. I support you 100%

  4. Hey Tara,

    Keep up the good work! I was looking at the pictures on your blog and I think I graduated from the same high school as you. I am running a blog over at, all about sustainable living in the Chicago Suburbs. I think it would be really great if you wanted to do a quick post that I could post on Sustainable in the Suburbs, help you gain some more exposure and connect with more people.

    If you are interested you can contact me at

    Keep up the good work,

  5. Hi Tara! I just read your post on Fed Up with School Lunch, and I signed your petition. I write a blog called and would be happy to bring awareness to my readers about your petition. drop me a line if it's okay.
    Best of luck!