This fall, Congress begins reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act, which dictates the National School Lunch Program in the U.S. Even before food prices started to rise, a USDA study found that the program covered only 82% of the cost of school lunches, which are full of processed foods. Meanwhile, vending machines packed with sugary sodas and junk food are becoming the norm in school cafeterias. This is in stark contrast to other countries’ school lunch programs, such as in Japan where school lunch is part of an education program emphasizing healthy eating. Now is the time to get heard if we want schools to serve our kids real food and Slow Food USA is planning a National Day of Action to do just that!
Slow Food USA is a group working to change food policy and attitudes in the U.S. Their mission is:
…to create dramatic and lasting change in the food system. We reconnect Americans with the people, traditions, plants, animals, fertile soils and waters that produce our food. We seek to inspire a transformation in food policy, production practices and market forces so that they ensure equity, sustainability and pleasure in the food we eat.
Chapters across the country organize events where folks can learn about the Slow Food Movement.
On September 7th, slow food groups around the country are planning eat ins to send a message to Congress: it’s time to get the junk food out of our schools and fund real, healthy school lunches. Slow Food USA president Josh Viertel explains the campaign:
If you’re ready to take action, you can sign the Time for Lunch petition by clicking here. Time for Lunch is not only encouraging us to call and write our legislators, but they suggest inviting them to our events! Slow Food USA has a handy guide for contacting your legislators, and they even provide a list of talking points (pdf).
Folks are already planning eat ins all over the country. If there isn’t one near you, you can plan your own.
Here in the Atlanta area, rogueApron is planning an eat in at Piedmont Park. If you want to help with planning, there is an organizational meeting on August 5th, where Judith Winfrey, Leader of Slow Foods Atlanta, will be on hand to answer questions. To find an event near you, you might contact your local Slow Food USA chapter. Do you know of an eat in in your area? Tell us about it in the comments!