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Strategic Alliance  

Rapid Response Alert
October 13, 2010

221 Oak Street
Oakland, CA 94607
Tel: 510.444.7738
Fax: 510.663.1280



What Are We McTeaching Our Kids?

This week a number of Bay Area McDonald’s restaurants are sponsoring McTeacher’s Nights fundraisers. The fundraiser, developed by the restaurant giant, gives a percentage of profits to schools whose teachers volunteer to work behind the counter for an evening, serving up the company’s signature hamburgers, fries, and chicken nuggets to families dining out in support of local schools. Two events are scheduled to take place in East Bay towns Oakley and Clayton on Wednesday October 13th, while others have occurred in California communities in recent weeks.

Through events like McTeacher’s Night, McDonalds takes advantage of the dire economic straits that California schools and families are experiencing to advance their brand as a good corporate citizen, even while their products – high in salt, sugar, and fat -- contribute to poor health and chronic disease.  Schools, faced with acute budget shortfalls, often find it difficult to say no to McDonald’s fundraising offers. Families, too, find themselves between a rock and a hard place when it comes to ensuring their children’s health and education

Strategic Alliance supports efforts to advance fundraisers that don’t hinge on the sale of unhealthy products.  We encourage advocates who reside in communities with McTeacher’s Nights to pitch stories and write letters to the editor in your local papers.  McDonald’s fundraisers happen throughout the school year, so keep an eye out in your community.  

Here are some angles you could cover in your response:

Fast food restaurants should stop undermining parents' efforts to keep kids healthy. McTeacher’s Night underscores the challenge parents face in safeguarding their kids’ health.  From fundraisers to happy meals, fast food companies invest immense resources into deciding what’s on our kids' plates –it just isn’t fair to parents trying to make the best decisions for their kids.  

Healthy fundraisers benefit schools and protect children and families. By enacting healthy fundraising policies, schools can support education without sacrificing health.  Such policies are a clear win-win, fostering community-wide health among schools, teachers, families, and children. 

McDonalds is taking advantage of cash-strapped schools and families. Schools and families are struggling to make ends meet.  Teachers have to fundraise just to provide basic classroom necessities; families work multiple jobs to put food on the table. Fundraisers like McTeacher’s Night take advantage of these realities. And yet, in most cases schools only see 20-25% of the night’s profits, while McDonalds reaps the immense benefits of being perceived as a good corporate citizen.  It’s shameful that McDonalds takes advantage of these troubled economic times at the expense of families’ health.    

For more on healthy fundraising, check out ENACT resources on healthy fundraisers and California Project LEAN’s guidance for healthy fundraising.

Get something in the news? Tell us about it.

For more information, please contact Shakirah Simley on behalf of The Strategic Alliance: shakirah@preventioninstitute.org, 510-444-7738 or visit: www.eatbettermovemore.org.

*Photo retrieved from McDonalds Southern California: http://mcdonaldsocal.com/mcteachers-night




The Strategic Alliance is reframing the debate on nutrition and physical activity away from a focus solely on individual choice and lifestyle towards one of environmental influences and corporate and government responsibility. Current Steering Committee members are: California Adolescent Nutrition and Fitness Program (CANFit), California Center for Public Health Advocacy (CCPHA), California Food Policy Advocates (CFPA), California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, California Park and Recreation Society (CPRS) , California Project LEAN, California WIC Association (CWA), Child Care Food Program Roundtable, Latino Health Access, Partnership for the Public's Health, PolicyLink, Prevention Institute, Samuels & Associates, and Public Health Law and Policy.


The Strategic Alliance is currently engaged in building a broad and diverse statewide membership. To join or for more information, please visit us on the Web, www.eatbettermovemore.org, or contact Shakirah Simley at 510.444.7738 or Shakirah@preventioninstitute.org. And even if you're already a member, please forward this message on to your colleagues so we can continue to strengthen our coalition. Thank you!


The Strategic Alliance is reframing the debate on nutrition and

physical activity - from a focus solely on individual choice and lifestyle,

towards one of environmental influences and corporate and government responsibility.


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