Thursday, August 21, 2008

Participate in Protecting Schoolchildren's Food

This just in my mailbox from my local chapter of the Weston A Price Foundation:


One mission of the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (a non-profit organization) is to protect the constitutional right of the nation's family farms to provide unprocessed farm foods directly to consumers through any legal means. www.farmtoconsumer.org

USDA ACCEPTING TESTIMONY ON CHILD NUTRITION PROGRAMS

The USDA is preparing for the 2009 Reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Programs, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and the WIC Farmers' Market Nutrition Program. The reauthorization process provides Congress with a regular opportunity to examine the operation and effectiveness of the Federal nutrition assistance programs, and consider making improvements to their statutory structure under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act and the Child Nutrition Act of 1966.
YOUR TESTIMONY NEEDED!

The USDA is accepting testimony on its Child Nutrition Program. Please make your voices heard by going to the following link:

http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/main?main=SubmitComment&o=09000064805f 47dd

IMPORTANT POINTS TO MAKE
1. Bring back whole milk to school lunch programs. Children need the butterfat in whole milk for growth and development
2. Abandon the unscientific stricture against use of animal fats in school lunches
3. Recommend against using any soy in school lunches.
4. No junk food in school lunches; no vending machines in schools
5. No use of school lunch programs to promote the unpopular, anti-small farm National Animal Identification Program.


FUTURE MEETINGS--PLEASE ATTEND IF YOU CAN!
There are two more meetings scheduled for citizen input. Please attend if you can and submit testimony. Let's let the WAPF message for nourishing traditional foods in school lunches be heard loud and clear!

September 10, 1-4 pm
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS
FNS Midwest Regional Office
GSA Conference Center Room 331
77 West Jackson Boulevard, 20th Floor
Chicago, IL 60604-3507
For more information call (312) 353-1044

September 11, 9 am - 1 pm
DENVER, COLORADO
The Colorado History Museum
1300 Broadway
Denver, CO 80203
For more information, call (303) 844-0300

FURTHER BACKGROUND
For further background information, see the press release on the USDA meeting in Atlanta, August 14, below:

Concerned Parents, Farm-to-School Activists to Testify Before USDA
At Listening Session on Child Nutrition


Atlanta, Georgia, August 14, 2008---USDA may get more than they bargained for at their "Listening Sessions" on Child Nutrition programs, now being held around the country. A number of powerful, grass-roots based organizations are mobilizing forces to bring the voices of parents and children to the next session to be held in Atlanta. This series of hearings about the reauthorization of government school feeding and WIC programs would typically be dominated by testimony from food service providers asking for expanded programs, funding and increased reimbursement rates.

Now, parents and their children also want to be heard. An informal coalition of such diverse groups as Georgia Organics, Les Dames d'Escoffier-Atlanta Chapter, Food & Water Watch, AngryMoms.org, Family Farm Defenders, Georgia Chapter of Sierra Club, National Latino Farmers & Ranchers Trade Association and the Weston A. Price
Foundation of Georgia (a 501c3 nutrition education non-profit), are asking their members to submit comments to the USDA at a session or online, to speak to their concerns about food safety and purity.

In last week's hearing in Baltimore, Sarah Alexander of Food & Water Watch, raised the issue of schools having the choice to purchase artificial growth hormone free and organic milk, as well as non-irradiated food. Food & Water Watch has previously succeeded in getting irradiated food as a separate line item on government order
forms, and since that time, not a single school has chosen to order irradiated meat. Food & Water Watch has also successfully defeated corporate efforts to ban artificial growth hormone-free labeling on milk.


Emboldened by such successes around the country, grass-roots and advocacy groups are now going for more transparency and input on what is being fed to our nation's children. Among the concerns that will be raised by members of various groups to the USDA during their comment period are:

- Parental Consent Before Serving Genetically Modified Food
- Preference for Grass-fed Meats from Small, Sustainable Farms
- Elimination of Artificial Hormones, Antibiotics, Steriods from School Food
- Increased Use of Fresh, Locally Grown Produce
- Affirmative Action on Behalf of Family Farms & Ranches
- Junk Foods Removed from Schools
- Oppose Use of Nutrition Programs to Push the Unpopular National Animal ID System
- Parental Rights in Food Choice


Erin Croom of Georgia Organics' Farm-to-School campaign and Natalie Rogers, Health and Wellness Specialist for the Georgia PTA are slated to testify before the USDA on Wednesday, August 20, 9:00 am - 1:00 pm at the Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center, 2nd Floor Conference Center, Room D at 61 Forsyth St., SW, Atlanta, GA 30303-8930. There are two other listening sessions remaining, in Colorado and Chicago.

For those unable to participate in a listening session, a notice of the request for comments was published in the Federal Register on May 20, 2008, with details on how to submit comments by postal mail or through a courier, no later than Oct. 15, 2008. You may also submit reauthorization comments electronically through regulations.gov or fax to 703-305-2879.

Media Contact: Kimberly Hartke, Publicist 703-860-2711, 703-675-5557 cell

4 comments:

Brenda Kula said...

You know, they'll cut any social program they possibly can. But they'll send billions to Iraq. Craziest thing I've ever heard of. I'm telling you, they need a woman in there. Don't know just who yet. But men have not fixed what needs to be fixed in this country. (Yes, I'm getting off-topic because this somehow brings me around to getting pissed off all over again about this administration!) I mean, it may not make a whole lot of difference, but to me you have to think outside of the box. I don't see any thinking outside of the box when men are in charge. Sorry, I'm ranting. I'm done!
Brenda

Twinville said...

These are a few of the reasons we decided to pull our kids out of public school to be homeschooled.

We usually sent home-made lunches but sometimes either we were too busy, short on some items, or the kids wanted to try something on the school menu.
But most often the kids would complain that the milk tasted like it was salted and sugared, even the plain milk!
The food was greasy, unflavorful or soggy, or overcooked.
And they were always hungry afterwards, too.

And then there were the constant class parties filled with cupckaes, candy, cookies and treats. And the school gave our candy and sugar packed stuff as awards for jobs well done.

I swear it felt like every day my kids were being stuffed ful of unhealthy junk.

Then they've got the poor kids sitting at a desk for 4-6 hours every single day.

And the parents and our education system can't understand why our public schooled kids are overweight and unhealthy.

Gina said...

I hope someone can get through to the "powers" that dictate nutrition in this country. I was 'scolded' by my peditrician's staff for allowing my children to drink whole milk (I *know* how important fat is to the developing brain). They told me I was probably contributing to my children's obesity. um, ok...both of my children are well below the national average for weights (they are in a healthy range). Sadly, it is medical professionals sputtering this insane, unhealthy nonesense. Several of my friends feed their kids skim or 2% and their kids are overweight for their ages. I don't think whether or not you give your kids whole milk is the true factor. They certainly aren't asking about sugary fruit drinks or pop. Just the milk.

Ok, sorry, this touched a nerve!

markb said...

There still is time to submit comments to the USDA regarding the Child Nutrition Act.

For information on the Child Nutrition Act Reauthoriziation we have created a website. You can send a letter to the USDA here:

http://www.healthyschoolscampaign.org/childnutrition