Help Schools Serve Real Food
The Time for
Lunch Campaign plans to send thousands of letters to congress calling for big changes to the upcoming Child Nutrition Act. Slow Food USA is launching this campaign in an effort to do their part in ending child obesity and diabetes. Don’t you think you owe it to your children and their friends to help them out? It takes only a few seconds to fill in your information and the Slow Food USA folks send the letters out for you. Done, and you can say you did your part in helping out. Want to do more? They have those opportunities too.
Slow Food USA
and its 90,000 members and advocates are rallying the public to tell Congress to get serious about ending child obesity. “President Obama’s proposal to add $1 billion per year to the Child Nutrition Act is an important step forward,” stated Josh Viertel, president, Slow Food USA. “But, it’s not enough to give America’s kids a healthy future, especially when nearly one third of our children are overweight or obese and when Congress spends at least $13 billion per year subsidizing the production of unhealthy processed foods. The public needs to speak up and tell Congress to make real improvements to school lunch.”
Congress gives schools $2.68 for each lunch served, of which only about $1 goes towards the actual ingredients. One Dollar! Are you kidding me? No wonder food is processed and poor quality. In his proposal, President Obama would like to add $1 billion per year to the Child Nutrition Act, but the money will need to be split up between many critical programs. At most, schools would receive an additional 20 cents per meal. This is not enough to guarantee serving a healthy lunch with fruits, veggies and whole grains. School nutrition directors and advocates agree that that would cost at least $1.00 more per lunch to accomplish. “The math speaks for itself,” continued Viertel. “Obesity and diabetes costs our nation $263 billion per year. And school lunch is so under-funded that most schools can only afford to serve the cheap processed foods that fuel obesity and diabetes. Investing at least $1 billion in child nutrition programs is the smart thing to do. Otherwise, we’re continuing to put our kids, our economy, our health care system and our quality of life at risk.”
speaks for itself is an understatement. So our government spends $263 billion per year on treating the results of a poor diet and only $1 billion to try to prevent the disease resulting from a poor diet. Our government subsidizes the processed food industry with $13 billion per year and only $1 billion to help our children live a healthy life. With 1/3 of your child’s daily nutrition being eaten off a tray or out of a bag, shouldn’t you expect more?
The Time for Lunch campaign web site (www.slowfoodusa.org/timeforlunch
) makes it
quick and easy for anyone to send emails to their legislators. Slow Food USA has set a goal of sending 100,000 emails to Congress. Go there NOW and do your part!Beth Ann Bentley is the publisher of iLunchBox.com, a nutrition educator and the mother of four school-aged children.