BROOKLYN, New York – September 9, 2009 – With children heading back to school and obesity rates – and associated health care costs – skyrocketing, more than 20,000 people rallied at over 300 Eat-Ins (part potluck, part sit-in) to tell Congress its time to give kids real food at school on Labor Day. The Eat-Ins urged national policy makers to give schools the ability to serve food that benefits children’s health, to stop letting fast food companies sneak under the radar of national dietary guidelines and to start linking schools to local farms.
The Eat-Ins were spearheaded by Slow Food USA (www.slowfoodusa.org) as part of its Time for Lunch campaign (www.slowfoodusa.org/timeforlunch). In all 50 states, concerned parents, teachers, farmers, food service workers and members of Slow Food chapters sat down together to share a meal and to make a public demonstration of the need to fix school lunch.
“More than three hundred demonstrations on Labor Day reinforced the power of our message,” stated Josh Viertel, president, Slow Food USA. “Thousands of citizens came together in their communities to tell Congress that we need real food in schools, so our children can grow up healthy.”
Organizers also gathered signatures for the Time for Lunch petition that the campaign estimates has surpassed 30,000 names. The campaign will continue to advocate for changes to the Child Nutrition 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.
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