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Resolutions & Amendments

40th International Convention - Los Angeles, CA (2012)


Resolution No. 52
40th International Convention
Los Angeles Convention Center
June 18 - 22, 2012
Los Angeles, CA


            As many as 17 million American children experience food insecurity, meaning they live without consistent access to enough nutritious food to live a healthy life. Hunger and food insecurity contribute to developmental, health and learning problems in children; and


            At the same time, one in five children is obese, three times the rate of one generation ago. Childhood obesity causes serious physical, mental health and social problems for children that continue into adulthood; and


            All school children need to have healthy and adequate nutrition in order to develop, thrive and learn; and


            School nutrition programs play a critical role in addressing both food insecurity and childhood obesity; and


            The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 directed the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to develop improved nutrition standards for school breakfast and lunch programs that increase the amount of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and limit the amount of calories and sodium offered in school meals, and increased federal reimbursement for subsidized school meals by six cents. USDA has now implemented these regulations for school nutrition programs to be phased in beginning in the 2012–2013 school year; and


            The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act and other recent federal action also allow school districts to expand needy children’s access to healthy, nutritious breakfasts and dinners; and


            The Obama administration is considering issuing nutrition standards for food sold in schools outside cafeterias, such as in vending machines; and


            AFSCME members have a great deal at stake in the implementation of these new federal programs and policies. They offer the potential for a wider offering of meals and more scratch cooking by school food service workers but, alternatively, they could represent a threat if school officials turn to private, for-profit food service management companies out of a lack of understanding or interest in meeting the new standards; and


            The record of for-profit food service management companies has included depressing wages and benefits for food service workers, failing to save school districts money, withholding rebates and discounts from school districts, offering cheaper, less-healthy food to students, and earning large profits on a federal program that is intended to benefit the neediest school children.


            That AFSCME supports the improved school nutrition standards and will work with USDA and school nutrition advocates to encourage states and school districts to collaborate with front-line food service workers and their unions, ensuring their successful implementation; and


            That AFSCME will work to ensure that the new school nutrition standards and expanded programs lead to better meals for school children and better jobs for AFSCME members, rather than an expanded market share and higher profits for food service management companies and vending machine distributors; and


            That AFSCME will share with its school employee members information about the successes and challenges that AFSCME members and affiliates have had in individual school districts making the transition to healthier school meals.


Shirley Adams, President and Delegate
James Spears, Delegate
AFSCME Local 2250