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About the Youth Steering Committee

The Plant Powered Youth Steering Committee (YSC), an initiative from Chilis on Wheels and Friends of the Earth, is the youth arm of the Healthy Future Students and Earth Coalition. Founded in 2022, the YSC advocates for plant-based, climate-friendly, and culturally appropriate options in K-12 schools through grassroots advocacy, policy engagement, and education.

Photo Gallery

Video created by Marielle Williamson
2023 Youth Steering Committee

Key Accomplishments of the Youth Steering Committee 


  • Initiated  a national comment campaign to collect public comments from students, organizations, schools, caregivers, and food service workers in favor of new child nutrition meal patterns that facilitate more plant-based options and plant-forward school menus. Comments were presented to members of Congress and USDA.

  • Coordinated the first-ever youth-led plant-based school food D.C. Fly-In. Check out their blog on this experience. 

    • Students organized 34 Capitol Hill meetings with Congressional staffers where students asked their representatives to:

      • Support the Healthy Future Students and Earth Act.

      • Support the Equitable, Values Aligned Procurement Act.

      • Support the Farm Systems Reform Act.

      • Oppose the Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act.

      • Oppose the EATS Act.

    • Students  met with high-level federal agencies to urge support for more plant-based meals and milks in K-12 schools. These agencies included: 

      • The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

      • The Executive Office of the President (EOP).

      • The Republican and Democrat Education and Workforce Committees.

    • Members met with Congressman Jamaal Bowman to thank him for introducing the Healthy Future Students and Earth Act. 

  • Sent a letter to USDA urging the agency to do all within their power to help school districts meet the growing demand for plant-based school foods. 

  • Completed a wide range of personal projects, including:

    • Local campaigns to add plant-based options to school menus.

    • Research reports on plant-based meals and the impacts of animal agriculture.

    • Blog posts.

    • Children's books.

    • Social media projects.


  • Organized a listening session with  USDA officials to share their testimonies and speak about the positive impacts of including plant-based foods in schools.

  • Developed a petition to collect youth, teacher, and parent testimonies in favor of provisions they helped secure in a House child nutrition bill that would expand plant-based school meals and non-dairy milk options. 

  • Attended the White House Conference on Hunger, Health, and Nutrition and initiated a letter to the White House about the importance of centering youth voices.

  • Met with 30+ Capitol Hill offices in support of policies to expand access to plant-based school food.

  • Published blogs and op-eds about their experiences advocating for plant-based school food.

  • Campaigned for new plant-based options in their own school districts.

  • Created a Healthy Future Students and Earth Act video challenge.

In The Media


Global Vegan Magazine Issue 7 (Fall 2023)

The Power of Youth: How Student Activists are Advocating for Change

The San Diego Union Tribune

Encinitas teen advocates for plant-based school lunches in Washington, D.C.


The Coast News Group

Encinitas teen advocates for sustainable school food at US Capitol

Contact the Youth Steering Committee

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