Our children spend a lot of time at school. Nearly every school in San Mateo County has had a wellness policy since Congress passed legislation 10 years ago requiring all school districts receiving federal funds for nutrition programs to develop a policy.
Schools have taken different approaches to their wellness policies and some have limited time and money to put these policies into practice. Federal and State mandates to improve health in schools often come with little or no funding, and despite budget cuts and an ever-shrinking staff, schools are expected to do more with less.
The San Mateo County Food System Alliance supports having a garden in every school. Our children deserve environments and programs that directly support the development of life long health and citizenship.
Access to experiential garden-based learning leads to:
Higher academic achievement
Supplemental classroom lessons in core curricular areas
Reinforcement of California’s academic standards-based concepts through real-world applications
Addressing the crisis in children’s health and nutrition through improved eating habits
Creating agricultural literacy and an excitement for eating fresh fruits and vegetables
Helping children to be healthier so they can learn, grow and play
The San Mateo Health System partnered with StarVista to support the San Mateo County Youth Commission in developing and publishing the Adolescent Report: Youth and Adults Working Together for a Healthy Future, which describes the status of health and wellness for youth in San Mateo County. Using data from multiple sources, including the San Mateo Youth Commission’s Adolescent Needs Survey, the California Healthy Kids Survey, the US Census, and the California Department of Education, the Youth Commission was able to assess the health needs of San Mateo County youth and determine relevant policy solutions to address their findings.