Monday, September 3, 2007

Community meeting on National School Lunch Program September 17

The Lawrence Barnes School PTO invites you to a community meeting to discuss the Farm Bill (and its impact on school food) with John Tracy, Field Representative for Senator Patrick Leahy's Office.

DATE: Monday, September 17, 2007
TIME: 6:00 pm
PLACE: Lawrence Barnes School Community Room

In late September or early October, the Farm Bill will be debated and voted on in the Senate. Senator Leahy's vote is critical to improving the nutritional health of all Americans, strengthening the food assistance programs, and developing farm and food policy that promotes healthy eating.

We hope to convey to the Senator that Vermonters want food assistance programs (like the National School Lunch Program - NSLP) to provide foods that ultimately promote good health and prevent disease. Greater representation of (and therefore increased federal funding for) fruits, vegetables and whole grains should be the NSLP's absolute top priority.

Why should we care?

The foods served on our children's school lunch trays are enormously affected by the Farm Bill. Under current legislation, fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods receive less than 1 percent of government subsidies, in spite of ample nutrition research demonstrating that these foods are vital for lifelong health promotion.

Children across the US (as well as across Vermont) simply do not consume enough fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and yet we know these foods are key in preventing long-term chronic disease. While meat and full-fat dairy products have continued to be heavily subsidized and provided in school lunches nationwide, we have witnessed a skyrocketing increase in diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and other diet-related illnesses, often starting at a younger and younger age. Serving truly health promoting foods through the NSLP would make a HUGE difference in countering this trend.

Please join us for this important opportunity to share our concerns.

You need not be an expert on the Farm Bill to attend. Feel free to come and just "listen and learn." Simply showing up will demonstrate that the issue is important to you as a Vermonter. There definitely is "strength in numbers," so if we do have a strong showing we can better ensure that our message will be solidly conveyed back to Senator Leahy, and that hopefully his vote (and others) will result in improved nutrition for Vermont children and families.

1 comment:

Tillie said...

This is great info to know.