The Healthy Future Students and Earth Act Would Expand Student Access to Healthful Foods

Federal Legislation

Many U.S. students are seeking out plant-based foods for environmental, philosophical, health, or religious reasons. This legislation would provide grant funding to schools that wish to expand student access to these foods. (H.R. 4108)


January 3, 2023

Work Type




An estimated 9 billion land animals are raised and killed for food every year in the United States – many are subjected to immense cruelty. Whether motivated by concern for animals, the environment, or health, more and more consumers are choosing plant-based products.

Students should have that choice too.

The Healthy Future Students and Earth Act (H.R. 4108) would help address this problem by providing voluntary grant funding to schools, enabling them to expand access to healthy, plant-based, environmentally friendlier food choices in school meals.

Because the factory farming industry is heavily subsidized by the government, schools may face budgetary obstacles that prevent them from offering more plant-forward options.

The Healthy Future Students and Earth Act, introduced by Representatives Nydia Velázquez and Jamaal Bowman, Ed.D, would provide funding to procure plant protein and milk products, provide training and assistance for school staff, and offer nutrition education for students, among other benefits. Schools with a high percentage of students whose families qualify for free or reduced-cost meals due to economic disadvantage would be prioritized for grant funding.

This bill is a win/win/win. It would directly benefit young people — who are increasingly seeking out plant-forward, climate-friendlier foods — by providing a wider range of school meal options from which to choose. Because animal-based foods have been linked to a higher risk for some health problems, such as diabetes and certain cancers, this legislation could provide long-term health benefits as well. It would also benefit animals and the environment, because the majority of animal products that end up in school lunch programs are produced on inhumane and environmentally destructive factory farms.

Learn more about the harm caused by factory farming at aldf.org/farmedanimals.

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