There’s no better time than Farm to School Month to paper Congress with messages of support for farm to school! Paper plates, that is.
Last week, our friends at the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition descended on Capitol Hill to deliver more than 550 hand-decorated paper plates that you crafted at our Take Action with Farm Aid booth last month at Farm Aid 2016 in Bristow, Virginia and at the National Farm to School Network’s Farm to Cafeteria Conference this June. The message was simple: we need a new Child Nutrition Act that bolsters support for farm to school programs.
Farm to school programs are expanding across the country in a movement celebrated by teachers, farmers, parents, students, school food service professionals and more. These programs, of all shapes and sizes, are producing tangible benefits for kids, farmers and communities nationwide. But we still have a long way to go – only 40% of U.S. schools are participating in these programs. We need to keep moving in a positive direction so that every child in America, and every farmer looking to tap into school markets, can benefit.
Unfortunately, the current Child Nutrition Act – the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, expired last year, leaving a wide span of programs that support school meals, child and infant food security and farm to school programs in limbo.
We need Congress to get back to work. This October, during National Farm to School Month.
And stay tuned for Farm Aid’s new Farm to School Toolkit, which will be out soon, to get inspired and take easy steps to start farm to school programs near you!