NSAC's Blog


Time Running Out for a Healthy School Lunch

July 9, 2010


ACTION ALERT
July 9, 2010

Urge Your Representative to Move Forward Now on
Farm to School Funding in the Child Nutrition Bill!

If your Congressman sits on the House Education and Labor Committee – See Chart Below –  please make a call in support of a healthy school lunch. Time is running short for Congressional re-authorization of the federal school lunch and breakfast programs.  The House must take action soon to ensure this critical first line of defense against childhood hunger doesn’t expire on September 30th.

The Improving Nutrition for America’s Children Act (H.R. 5504) includes $50 million in mandatory funding over five years for Farm to School program connecting local farmers to school lunch programs nationwide, as well as many other important improvements to child nutrition programs.

The House Education and Labor Committee will likely consider the Improving Nutrition for America’s Children Act next week.  Please call your representative and urge him or her to move this bill forward now, with the $50 million in mandatory funding for the Farm to School program included.

An investment in Farm to School programs will help schools to serve fresh and healthy food produced by local and regional farmers.  That’s an investment that will pay dividends in improved child health, scholastic achievement and farm and rural economic vitality.

CALL TODAY!

Please tell your Representative on the Education and Labor Committee that it is important to you that the Committee act NOW to pass this crucial piece of legislation.

It’s easy to call. Please call or fax your representative at the numbers provided in the chart below.  Ask to speak to the staff person listed.  If the staff person is unavailable leave him or her a voice mail message that includes your name and phone number, or simply leave a message with the receptionist.

The message is simple.  “I am a constituent of Representative _____________, and I am calling to ask him/her to move forward now on the Child Nutrition bill — H.R. 5504, the Improving Nutrition for America’s Children Act. Tell him/her that you particularly support the provision in the Act providing $50 million in mandatory funding for Farm to School programs as a wise investment in our children and our local and regional farm economy.”

Background

If funded, the Farm to School Program would offer competitive grants to schools or non-profit organizations to develop purchasing relationships with local farmers, plan seasonal menus, start school gardens, develop hands-on nutrition education, and provide solutions to infrastructure problems including storage, transportation, food preparation, and technical training.

Farm to School grant program was authorized in the 2004 Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act, but USDA has never requested any funding for the program.  Congress now has an opportunity to fund this important program when it reauthorizes the Child Nutrition Act in 2010.

  • Farm to School initiatives around the country have demonstrated that Farm to School is a win-win-win for children, schools, local communities and farmers — providing abundant reasons why this initiative should be available to schools throughout the country.
  • The choice of healthier produce options in the school cafeteria through Farm to School results in children consuming more fruits and vegetables, leading to lifelong improvements in their diets.
  • Schools report a 3 to 16 percent increase in school meal participation when farm-fresh food is served, bringing more school lunch funds to the schools.
  • Working creatively with local producers, some schools have found ways to save money while supporting local agriculture by purchasing locally.
  • The transaction from Farm to School keeps dollars in the local economy, strengthening local economies and creating jobs.
  • Schools provide an important new market opportunity for small and mid-sized family farmers and ranchers.

111th CONGRESS: HOUSE EDUCATION AND LABOR COMMITTEE

Democrats

Representative Staff Phone Fax
George Miller (7th CA) Denise Forte, Gabrielle Serra 202-225-2095 202-225-5609
Dale E. Kildee (5th MI) Erin Ward 202-225-3611 202-225-6393
Donald M. Payne (10th NJ) LaVerne Alexander 202-225-3436 202-225-4160
Robert E. Andrews (1st NJ) Elisa Krobot 202-225-6501 202-225-6583
Robert C. Scott (3rd VA) Carolyn Hughes 202-225-8351 202-225-8354
Lynn Woolsey (6th CA) Jason Feld 202-225-5161 202-225-5163
Ruben Hinojosa (15th TX) Rosa Garcia 202-225-2531 202-225-5688
Carolyn McCarthy (4th NY) Kim Zarish-Becknell 202-225-5516 202-225-5758
John F. Tierney (6th MA) Rachel Evans 202-225-8020 202-225-5915
Dennis J. Kucinich (10th OH) Yonatan Zamir 202-225-5871 202-225-5745
David Wu (1st OR) Scott Olson 202-225-0855 202-225-9497
Rush Holt (12th NJ) Chris Gaston 202-225-5801 202-225-6025
Susan Davis (53rd CA) Suzanne Swink 202-225-2040 202-225-2948
Raúl M. Grijalva (7th AZ) Joseph Mais 202-225-2435 202-225-1541
Tim Bishop (1st NY) Joanna Serra 202-225-3826 202-225-3143
Joe Sestak (7th PA) Jason Marmon 202-225-2011 202-226-0280
Dave Loebsack (2nd IA) Kara Marchione 202-225-6576 202-226-0757
Mazie Keiko Hirono (2nd HI) Anne Stewart 202-225-4906 202-225-4987
Jason Altmire (4th PA) Cara Toman 202-225-2565 202-226-2274
Phil Hare (17th IL) Kemi Jemilohun 202-225-5905 202-225-5396
Yvette D. Clarke (11th NY) Bridgette Dehart 202-225-6231 202-226-0112
Joe Courtney (2nd CT) John Hollay 202-225-2076 202-225-4977
Carol Shea-Porter (1st NH) Chris Hillesheim 202-225-5456 202-225-5822
Marcia L. Fudge (11th OH) Clifton Williams 202-225-7032
202-225-1339
Jared Polis (2nd CO) Spiros Protopsaltis 202-225-2161 202-226-7840
Paul D. Tonko (21st NY) Becky Cornell 202-225-5076
202-225-5077
Pedro Pierluisi (Puerto Rico) Anina Caso 202-225-2615
202-225-2154

Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (Northern Mariana Islands) Ed Manglona 202-225-2646
202-226-4249

Dina Titus (3rd NV) Sarah Cohen 202-225-3252
202-225-2185
Judy Chu (32nd CA) Carlos Uriarte 202-225-5464 202-225-5467

Republicans

Representative Staff Phone Fax
John Kline (2nd MN) Molly Conway 202-225-2271 202-225-2595
Thomas E. Petri (6th WI) Kevin James 202-225-2476 202-225-2356
Howard P. “Buck” McKeon, (25th CA) Chris Perry 202-225-1956 202-226-0683
Peter Hoekstra (2nd MI) Greg Van Woerkom 202-225-4401 202-226-0779
Michael N. Castle (At large DE) Jessica Gross 202-225-4165 202-225-2291
Mark E. Souder (3rd IN) Kristin Garesche 202-225-4436 202-225-3479
Vernon J. Ehlers (3rd MI) Rachel Fenton 202-225-3831 202-225-5144
Judy Biggert (13th IL) Griffin Foster 202-225-3515 202-225-9420
Todd Platts (19th PA) Rebeccah “Becky” Wolfkiel 202-225-5836 202-226-1000
Joe Wilson (2nd SC) Melissa Chandler 202-225-2452 202-225-2455
Cathy McMorris Rodgers (5th WA) Kim Betz 202-225-2006 202-225-3392
Tom Price (6th GA) Kris Skrzycki 202-225-4501 202-225-4656
Rob Bishop (1st UT) Wayne Bradshaw 202-225-0453 202-225-5857
Brett Guthrie (2nd KY) Megan Spindel 202-225-3501 202-226-2019
Bill Cassidy (6th LA) Holly Booth 202-225-3901 202-225-7313
Tom McClintock (4th CA) Kristen Glen 202-225-2511 202-225-5444
Duncan D. Hunter (52nd CA) Joe Kasper 202-225-5672 202-225-0235
Phil Roe (1st TN) Matt Meyer 202-225-6356 202-225-5714
Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (5th PA) John Busovsky 202-225-5121 202-225-5796

Categories: Action Alerts, Local & Regional Food Systems, Nutrition & Food Access


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