Every five years the federal Child Nutrition Programs, including both School Breakfast and School Lunch, are given a fresh look in an effort to ensure our nation’s schoolchildren are provided with nutritious and safe meals. The major legislation that authorized these programs in 2004 will expire in September of this year after a one-year extension. If action isn’t taken soon in reauthorizing and improving these programs we may lose some important momentum gained in recent years (thanks in great part to Farm Aid partners and funded-groups, including the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition and Community Food Security Coalition) to get fresh, family farm-food onto more lunch trays across America.
The House of Representatives Education and Labor Committee yesterday passed a bipartisan Child Nutrition bill, otherwise known as the Improving Nutrition for America’s Children Act, which includes $50 million in mandatory funding over five years for Farm to School programs connecting local farmers to school lunch programs nationwide, as well as many other important improvements to child nutrition programs.
Please make a call to your Representative in support of moving this crucial bill forward NOW with the $50 million in funding for the Farm to School program included. For info about contacting your Representative, click here.
An investment in Farm to School programs will help schools to serve fresh and healthy food produced by local and regional farmers. That’s an investment that will pay dividends in improved child health, scholastic achievement and farm and rural economic vitality.
For more information on how to jumpstart a Farm to School program in your own community, check out Farm Aid’s Farm to School Toolkit.