Slow Food USA is a relatively new recruit to the movement to reform the Child Nutrition Act. We entered the fray just last year, and did it in a particularly Slow Food way – by bringing thousands of people together at more than 300 Eat-Ins nation-wide that built public support for helping schools serve healthier food.
Unbeknownst to us at the time, we were borrowing a cue from an organization with far more experience in child nutrition advocacy: the Jewish Council of Public Affairs. Every year at Passover, the JCPA and Mazon: a Jewish Response to Hunger ask leaders in the Jewish community to organize Child Nutrition Seders across the nation, bringing families, neighbors and food providers together for a meal that mixes politics with pleasure and responsibility. The 2010 Child Nutrition Seders are coming up next month.
Using one of the most evocative lines from the traditional Passover Seder – “Let all who are hungry come and eat” – organizers use the meals to re-contextualize the Passover message of redemption from slavery into the modern struggle that hungry children face today. The goal is to send a powerful message to policymakers: we have a duty to end hunger, and investing in child nutrition programs must be part of the strategy.
This year’s Child Nutrition Seders share a policy goal with Slow Food USA’s Time for Lunch Campaign: for Congress to invest at least $1 billion in additional funding in the upcoming reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act. (Slow Food USA is also urging Congress to strengthen nutrition standards and equip schools to buy local.) Since we all share a belief in the power of bringing people together around a single table, Slow Food members and supporters may be interested in attending or organizing a Child Nutrition Seder near you. Learn more on the JCPA web site.