Slow Food USA’s Time for Lunch campaign held it’s National Day of Action on Labor Day this Monday, with over 20,000 people coming together at more than 300 Eat-Ins (shared meals in public settings) across all fifty states. From schoolyards to backyards, on farms and in gardens, Americans from all walks of life came together to send a message to Congress that it’s time to improve school lunches.
Organizers of the Eat-Ins included concerned parents, farmers, teachers, church leaders, college students, and many Slow Food USA members. In Atlanta hundreds of people gathered with homemade signs for a big picnic and rally in Piedmont Park; in Marksville, LA, volunteers planted a school garden before sitting down to eat; a massive BBQ was held in Charlotte, NC; and children and parents each wrote their own letters to Congress at the event held in Phoenix, Arizona. Some towns were host to more than one event, with six in Los Angeles ten in Atlanta, and eleven in Milwaukee.
The Time for Lunch campaign asks the government to make some crucial changes to the National School Lunch Program, governed by the Child Nutrition Act that is up for reauthorization by Congress on Sept. 30. More than 20,000 signatures have been collected online so far, another 10,000 on paper, and many more are arriving every day. The signatures will be taken to legislators when Congress starts debating the Child Nutrition Act to make a strong case for reform.
The Time for Lunch campaign is calling for:
$1 more per child per day to help pay for more fruits, vegetables and whole grains;
Funding grants for educational initiatives such as school garden projects that encourage healthy eating habits;
Establishing higher standards in all facets of student’s daytime diets, including elimination of fast food and unhealthy vending machine items;
Incentives to encourage schools to buy local produce.
Click here to view photos of Eat-Ins around the country.
For more information on the campaign, or to sign the petition go to the website: