Slow Food for fast Change

Slow Food for fast Change

This past Labor Day, Slow Food USA sponsored over 300 potluck eat-in’s in support of their Time for Lunch campaign, urging change in the school lunch system. According to the organization, a little change can go a long way.

One of the many eat-ins held this past Sepetember 7th, at Spiraling Orchard Park in Los Angeles.

One of the many eat-ins held this past Sepetember 7th, at Spiraling Orchard Park in Los Angeles.

With over 30 million children eating school lunches each day, Slow Food USA asserts that change cannot wait. Health-food advocates, environmentalist, and those concerned with the state of the National School Lunch Program rallied together this past Labor Day to support the group’s platform on the issue of what is served in school lunches. In parks, stores, homes, and community gardens across the nation, groups gathered for eat-in potlucks, asking attendees to sign the Time for Lunch petition and help make change happen now.

The main goal of the campaign, which was launched this past June 2009, is to convince Congress to allocate $1 more per student lunch, raising the reimbursement rate from $2.75 to $3.75. Other key objectives of the campaign include reducing the “junk” and “fast” food found in schools, gaining grants for school farm and garden programs, and establishing financial incentives for buying local products.

“It is time to give kids real food: food that tastes good, is good for them, is good for the people who grow and prepare it, and is good for the planet,” stated Josh Viertel, president of Slow Food USA.

The National School Lunch Program, which sets the standards for school lunches, falls under the Child Nutrition Act. The legislation is reauthorized every five years, and this year’s deadline is September 2009. During the 300 plus Labor Day potlucks, Slow Food USA acquired over 20,000 signatures online and 10,000 written signatures for it’s petition. Combined with the attention garnered from the eat-in’s, the group hopes to make Congress reform the standards of the current Child Nutrition Act.

The issues of child obesity and poor nutrition, which lead to health care issues of high -blood pressure and diabetes, support the debate for an increase in the quality of food that children are served. Slow Food USA hopes to develop standards for all food sold in schools, reducing children’s exposure to unhealthy products and promoting in them healthy habits.

To support these changes in school lunch system, go online and sign the petition, asking Congress for change. And, through the month of September, become a Slow Food USA member for a donation of any amount and join this group’s efforts for real food for children throughout the country.

View more picture’s of the Labor Day eat-in’s at http://www.flickr.com/photos/ tags/timeforlunch/.

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