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by Kate Krauss, director of development

I’m new at Slow Food USA (well, relatively). And what with my new-job enthusiasm in full swing, I’ve been telling everyone I know to join Slow Food USA. Some join, some flat aren’t interested, and still others skirt the issue. Not too long ago, I had dinner with a friend who admitted she didn’t quite have $60 to give. Fair enough. Another friend explained that while she was really committed to buying organic and eating well, she wasn’t exactly sure what we did. Hmmm. More troubling.

As the new membership and development director here, it pains me to think that our $60 membership fee is keeping people from joining. Particularly now, as we wade into the world of national food policy, we need to build a movement that is full of passionate people willing to fight for change – whatever they can afford to give.

So: first of all, through the end of September, Slow Food USA is scrapping the $60 donation requirement, and offering membership with a donation in any amount. Click here to join.

And then there’s the matter of my other friend, the one who doesn’t know exactly what it is that we do. Again, it pains me to think that we’re not doing as good a job as we could at communicating who we are and what we do.

So what is it that Slow Food USA does? To begin with, we are cultivating local communities that support sustainable agriculture, and we do it through a growing network of over 200 chapters that bring together people who care about the food they eat with the people who grow and prepare it sustainably.

And now, with our Time for Lunch campaign, we’re also growing a food movement that can put pressure on decision-makers to change national food policies and practices to make it easier for everyone to eat healthy, tasty food. This summer, we’ve started with school lunch and the Child Nutrition Act. Ultimately, we’re going to help take on the Farm Bill.

If you have questions about how your money will be used, what you’ll get in return for joining us, or anything else, please let us know. We’d also love to learn what you enjoy about your membership, what you didn’t get that you should have, and what you like and don’t like about the work we’re doing – so tell us!

I mean, if my closest friends don’t get it (and they hear about it from me. Waaaaay too often), I imagine you have some questions, too.