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.
Yesterday, our friends at the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition descended on Capitol Hill to deliver hand-decorated paper plates crafted by festivalgoers at our Take Action with Farm Aid booth last month at Farm Aid 2019 in East Troy, Wisconsin. 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 42% 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 in 2015, leaving a wide span of programs that support school meals, child and infant food security and farm to school programs in limbo. But a new Child Nutrition Act Reauthorization (CNR) is on the way. This brings a major opportunity to ensure that every child has access to local, farm-fresh food and that innovative projects like school gardens are supported in schools all across the country.
And take some time to explore Farm to School Rocks!, Farm Aid’s Farm to School Toolkit, to get inspired and take easy steps to start farm to school programs near you.