Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Time for Lunch Eat-in, Monday, September 7

By now, you have probably heard about Slow Food USA's newly-launched initiative for real food in our nation's schools, Time for Lunch.

Time for Lunch is national campaign to tell Congress to provide America's children with real food at school. One of the major milestones for the campaign will be orchestrating more than 100 Eat-Ins in communities across the country on Labor Day, September 7, 2009.

Slow Food Rhode Island will be hosting an Eat-in at the Tiverton Four Corners Arts Center on Labor Day, and we'll be posting up more information on the event throughout the summer.

The Eat-Ins - potluck gatherings - will draw attention to the need for real, healthy food for the more than 30 million children who participate in the National School Lunch Program. The school lunch program is part of the Child Nutrition Act that Congress will reauthorize later this year.

The need for real school food has never been greater. Today, one in four children is overweight or obese, and one in three will develop diabetes in his or her lifetime. In the face of this crisis, our schools are financially struggling to feed children anything but the overly processed fast food that endangers their health. For many children, school lunch is their only guaranteed meal of the day. Right now, those children are forced to choose between going hungry and being unhealthy.

The Child Nutrition Act is a federal law that comes up for reauthorization in Congress every four to five years. It governs the National School Lunch Program, which sets the standard for the food that more than 30 million children eat every school day. In the last few decades, as school budgets have been cut, our nation's schools have struggled to serve children the real food they need.

The deadline for reauthorizing the current Child Nutrition Act is September 2009. Unless we speak up this summer, "business as usual" on Capitol Hill will let Congress pass a Child Nutrition Act that continues to fail our children.

If you cannot attend the Slow Food RI Eat-in, please be sure to sign the petition, contact your legislators to let them know healthy school lunches are important to you, and spread the word to your friends. If you'd like to organize your own Eat-in, information on coordinating Eat-ins is available here.

Otherwise, we look forward to seeing you at the Eat-in at Tiverton Four Corners Arts Center on Monday, September 7, 2009.

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