Real food for school lunches is a necessity to make our children healthy. To draw attention to the need for Congress to pass a better Child Nutrition Act that brings real food to schools, Slow Food USA’s New Orleans Chapter is hosting a Take Time for Lunch event, Saturday, September 12, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Edible Schoolyard New Orleans located at Samuel J. Green Charter School, 2319 Valence Street (entrance on Liberty Street.)
In addition to Slow Food New Orleans and Edible Schoolyard New Orleans, local participating organizations include: Kids Rethink New Orleans Schools, marketumbella.org, New Orleans Food & Farm Network and the Food Policy Advisory Committee. Information, garden tours, and children’s activities will be offered at the free event, which will be held rain or shine.
Take Time for Lunch is part of a series of more than 280 Slow Food events around the country, supported by many grassroots organizations, to demonstrate support for getting real food in school lunches.
In a time of escalating obesity and diabetes epidemics, our schools are serving children precisely the fast food and junk food that endangers their health. This year, Congress and the Obama ad-ministration can give schools the resources to serve real food by:
1. Increasing school lunch reimbursements by $1/child/day in this year’s Child Nutrition Act. Providing real food at school is a down payment on health care reform.
2. Protect against food that threatens children’s health. Establish strong standards for all food sold at school, including food from vending machines and school fast food.
3. Teach children healthy habits that will last through life. Fund grants for innovative farm to school programs and school gardens.
At the New Orleans Take Time for Lunch, participating organizations will host information tables and lead related activities: attendees will have the opportunity to join the Slow Food USA’s Time for Lunch Campaign to lobby Congress. The New Orleans Food & Farm Network will offer free seeds and garden advice. marketumbrella.org will lead a wholesome kid’s activity related to their Crescent City Farmers Market Marketeer program, and the Edible Schoolyard will offer guided arts and crafts activities and tours of their schoolyard garden. A brief presentation at noon by Edible Schoolyard, Kids Rethink New Orleans Schools, and Slow Food New Orleans will be made.
A Slow Food USA Campaign. For more information, go to www.slowfoodusa.org/timeforlunch
Market Umbrella is an independent nonprofit 501(c)(3), based in New Orleans, whose mission is to cultivate the field of public markets for public good. Market Umbrella has operated the Crescent City Farmers Markets (CCFM) since 1995.
The Crescent City Farmers Market operates weekly year-round in four New Orleans neighborhoods. The CCFM hosts nearly 80 local small farmers, fishers and food producers, and more than 100,000 shoppers annually.