Factsheet | October 7, 2020

Nutrition Matters for Illinois’ Kids

Increasing access to school meals can help strengthen national security

The 750+ retired admirals and generals who are members of Mission: Readiness have long known that food insecurity and malnutrition are linked to obesity, and this is a problem when it comes to our national security. In Illinois, 70 percent of youth between the ages of 17 and 24 do not qualify for military service; obesity disqualifies nearly one-third of youth from serving. High-quality, nutritious school meals can help reduce the risks of childhood obesity and set kids up with healthy habits early on in life.

When we prioritize a nutritious and appetizing cafeteria lunch tray, we are encouraging habits leading to a healthy and successful adulthood.

Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Roger Machut, U. S. Marine Corps

Ensuring that all children have consistent access to fresh and nutritious food is critical for kids to grow up healthy and prepared for any career they choose. Our recommendations for strengthening school nutrition standards will help prepare Illinois’ children for strong futures throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.


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