Transforming School Food & Drink

PHAI’s school food work focuses on how the law can be used as a public health tool to transform the school food environment into a healthy place for children to learn and grow.

Access to Low Cost Drinking Water in School Settings

Many school districts struggle with aging school buildings and very limited resources.  Access to drinking water throughout the school day at no charge to students is an important step toward ensuring overall child health and to reducing the burden of chronic disease associated with overweight and obesity.  PHAI attorney Cara Wilking has expertise in the legal frameworks governing water access in schools including state and local plumbing codes, school nutrition policies and health, sanitation and environmental policies relevant to school water access and quality. She has contributed to the following publications:

Getting Back on Tap: The Policy Context and Cost of Ensuring Low Cost Drinking Water in Massachusetts Schools a scholarly article describing water access and cost in Massachusetts’ school buildings. 

Mapping School Food: A Policy Guide

Mapping School Food: A Policy Guide [PDF] is a toolkit designed to assist key decision-makers to develop and enforce school food policies.  Based on interviews and case studies, Mapping School Food will help you navigate the legal and policy complexities of transforming the school food environment. Mapping School Food was  funded through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Healthy Eating Research program

Off the Map: Extracurricular School Food

The Off the Map: Extracurricular School Food project focuses on extracurricular environments, unique parts of the school food environment that are often outside the control of school food services and often involve parties outside of the school. The project compliments Mapping School Food with the following resources:

Off the Map was  funded through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Healthy Eating Research program.

Raw Deal: A Report on School Beverage Contracts

Released in 2006, Raw Deal reports on a national survey of school beverage contracts conducted by PHAI and the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). While the school beverage contract landscape has changed considerably since the initial release of the report, it still contains very useful information about the structure of school beverage contracts and issues to consider when renegotiating beverage contracts.

Download the report as a PDF.