Lunch Week: Time for Better School Lunch

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Monday’s lunch at Miami Dade schools. /Michelle Gutierrez

I’m a member of Slow Food Miami.  Slow Food is an international organization which advocates for the celebration and preservation of local and sustainable food traditions, community and culture.  The group fosters the sustainable agriculture of diverse foods, including heirloom seeds or rare livestock breeds around the world.  They organize leisurely meals to support local farmers and remind people of the joy of relaxed and convivial meals.

This year, Slow Food is moving further into the political sphere by promoting a Time for Lunch campaign.

The Child Nutrition Act is up for renewal this month.  This law regulates the school lunches that millions of children in our country eat.  Have you or a child you know eaten a school lunch lately? Do you remember what they were like?  If so, then you know some things have to change.

Here is what Slow Food has to say about school lunches:

“Every school day, we have an opportunity to build a strong foundation for our children’s health by serving them real food at school. Children who grow up enjoying food that is both delicious and good for them learn healthy habits that last throughout their lives. Each year that we fail to satisfy our children’s right to real food is another year we deny our children good health, we diminish their ability to learn and we close the door on their opportunity to succeed.

The need for real school food has never been greater. Today, one in four children is overweight or obese, and one in three will develop diabetes in his or her lifetime. In the face of this crisis, our schools are financially struggling to feed children anything but the overly processed fast food that endangers their health. For many children, school lunch is their only guaranteed meal of the day. Right now, those children are forced to choose between going hungry and being unhealthy.”

Read more of their platform here.

Slow Food invites those interested to sign their petition.  You can also attend Eat-in potluck meals to show support for the school lunch campaign on Labor Day weekend.  There are some local Eat-ins going on in Pinecrest, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale and Delray Beach.  Slow Food Gold and Treasure Coast is hosting an Eat-in in Jupiter on Labor Day.

How might this work in Miami?  More on this later in the week…

Some more links about the school lunch campaign:

Chef Ann Cooper (“The Renegade Lunch Lady”)

School Lunch Talk

Better School Food Checklist

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