Slow Food Birmingham held a benefit yesterday to raise awareness of the need to improve school lunches and to encourage schools to use more locally grown and produced foods. The event, named Taste $3.57, saw local chefs pool their culinary skills to demonstrate how nutritious and delicious a school lunch can be at $3.57 – one dollar more than the average school lunch today in the USA.
“The average school lunch costs $2.57”, said Slow Food Birmingham’s Amanda Storey. “Adding a dollar to that could mean the difference between a processed, assembly-line lunch and a fresher, more nutritious meal.”
”We are arguing that with the simple increase of one dollar per school lunch, we can provide healthy, wholesome, nutritious meals for these children,” said participating chef Carole Griffin. “I think people don’t understand how good food can be for $3.57.” Participating chefs created a complete school lunch, including entree, side dish and dessert, for $3.57 or less.
The event was part of Slow Food USA’s Time for Lunch campaign, a call to the nation’s leaders to provide school children with real food in the renewal of The Child Nutrition Act, a federal law governing the national school lunch program which decides what more than 30 million children eat every school day.
The campaign has been successful so far in generating 30, 000 signatures and is now aiming for 50,000 to show Congress that thousands of people across America support giving their children real food, instead of overly processed fast food that endangers their health. The campaign will continue to advocate for changes to the act throughout the fall to ensure that Congress passes legislation that gives kids the opportunity to grow up healthy. Congress is expected to take action on the legislation before the end of the year.
Visit the Time for Lunch website to find out more or sign the petition.