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Mpls Park Board Takes On Healthy Food Policy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- A proposed food policy is causing some controversy among the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board.

"Many people don't realize that the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is the largest child care provider in the state of Minnesota," said John Erwin, park board president.


The board serves over 86,000 meals to kids in Minneapolis parks. If you add snacks into the equation, there are approximately more than 220,000 food opportunities.

"We think it's really important that we try to feed kids as healthy a food as possible," Erwin said.

Last week a proposal came forward that would require all meat served in city parks, such as hot dogs and burgers, to be lean. Also soda pop would be banned and all breads served would have to be made with whole wheat. Juice servings would also be limited to only 8 ounces a drink.

Park Board Commissioner Jon Olson, who's also the owner of a Dairy Queen in North Minneapolis, is against the proposal. He was too busy to do an interview WCCO Radio, but he did tell the Southwest Journal: "Can't we have choices anymore? Do we have to dictate everything?"

Erwin says the proposal was sent back to park staff for revising last week. He said it was too "overreaching."

Parents at parks in north Minneapolis are excited to hear healthier food options could soon be coming.

"The kids eat a lot of junk already, and they get it at home," said Nakisha Tyus, a mother of two. "If kids can get a better meal at the park, who better to give it to them then the city."

The board will review the revised proposal next month before making a decision.

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