Despite what a good anecdote it makes about the low quality of school lunch, ketchup was never actually declared a vegetable. Hash browns and french fries, however, were:
School meals like this don’t exist because congress doesn’t want to provide our kids with good nutrition – and there are 65 pages of regulations to prove it – but because they only give schools a dollar a day per kid and thousands of pounds of government cheese to do it with. (For how the results of this compare with school lunch around the world, check out this blog.)
Obama is looking high and low to reduce costs in the medical system, and there’s a great one lurking in school cafeterias across the US. If we don’t stem the tide of childhood obesity, its burden on our health care system is going to be titanic. Besides which, a well-fed kid is a happy kid, better able to stay awake and focused in his afternoon classes. To accomplish this, we need to give schools more money to feed kids, remove the stigma associated with eating school lunch, and provide educational programs that teach kids about nutrition and physical activity and encourage them to try new foods.
The time for this is now and our best opportunity is the renewal of the Child Nutrition Act pending in congress. Time for Lunch is leading the charge for this important change, and I encourage you read about their work and join the fight to get real food in schools.
Read on for a letter from the campaign, and please consider supporting this important effort.
Remember this date: September 7, 2009. We’ll look back on that day as the moment when people across America took a stand about the food our children eat at school.
Children who grow up enjoying food that is both delicious and good for them learn healthy eating habits that last throughout their lives. Those habits can start at school⎯but only if we give schools the resources to serve real food instead of the overly processed fast food that endangers children’s health.
To make that happen, our leaders in Congress need to hear that when it comes to our children and the legacy we’re leaving them, change can’t wait.
That’s why we’re organizing a National Eat-In for Labor Day, Sept. 7, 2009. On that day, people in communities across America will gather with their neighbors for public potlucks that send a clear message to our nation’s leaders: It’s time to provide America’s children with real food at school.
To get the whole country to share a meal together, we’re going to need the help of all kinds of people: parents, teachers, community leaders, kids and people who’ve never done anything like this before. We’re going to need everyone to pitch in.
Our website will guide you through the process of contacting your legislators and organizing an Eat-In. We’ll give you everything you need to get involved.
In return, we’re asking for your creativity and your commitment. We’re asking for it right now—because with the President calling for health care reform and the First Lady planting a garden on the White House Lawn, we’ve got an opening to pass legislation that gives kids the opportunity to grow up healthy.
This fall, Congress will be debating whether to update the Child Nutrition Act, which is the law that determines what kind of food kids eat at school. By giving schools the resources to serve real food, we can make sure that the legacy we’re leaving our children is a future filled with opportunity, security and good health.
We can only do it if we act now. It’s time to get real food into schools.
Click here to show your support, and please forward this email to friends.