The Child Nutrition Act is a federal law that governs the National School Lunch Program, and it’s up for reauthorization this September. In an attempt to change the bill (arguably for the better), school food activists have declared September 7th (Labor Day) National Day of Action to get Real Food in Schools. A consortium of school advocates are calling for petition-signings and organizing eat-ins. Author Robyn O’Brien summarizes the issue, saying:
Today, 1 in 3 American children has allergies, ADHD, autism or asthma, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reporting stunning increases in the number of children expected to be insulin dependent by the time they reach adulthood. With 17.6% of our GDP being consumed by health costs, there is an urgent need to address the health of our children and the impact that this generation of children is having on our country, our families and our health care system.
The Time for Lunch campaign is proposing, among other things, that the federal government increase the amount of money they re-imburse schools by $1 per day per child, and that the money go toward local and ‘real’ food. Advocates are hoping that the Obama administration will come out in support of their cause. When First Lady Michelle Obama planted a garden at the White House this spring, she took the opportunity to speak out about healthy eating:
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