Wednesday, May 6, 2009

News from Slow Food USA

POLICY UPDATE: Child Nutrition Reauthorization
Conversations about the Child Nutrition Act, the law that funds and sets standards for national school food programs, are heating up. The Act expires at the end of September, so it will be discussed and debated before then in both the House and the Senate. There are already new bills that set out higher standards for schools that have recently been introduced in the House and Senate ( In the coming months, we will be providing specific help about how to contact your legislators and what to say. In the meantime, check out our recent blog post about Wisconsin fourth graders boycotting school lunch.

Fair Labor Milestone
SFA’s (Student/Farmworker Alliance) “Dine with Dignity” program achieved a significant advocacy milestone at the end of April as food service provider Bon Appétit Management Company came together with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers to establish an “innovative new model for fair labor standards in Florida’s tomato field.” According to Bon Appétit, the agreement establishes game-changing fair labor requirements that integrate a minimum fair wage, worker empowerment stipulations, and incentives to growers who exceed minimum requirements.
New Biodiversity Experts
Glenn Roberts, maker of handmade mill goods and organic heirloom grains at Anson Mills and Kraig Kraft, an agricultural ecologist who is a PhD candidate at UC-Davis, have joined Slow Food USA’s Ark of Taste Committee, the group that reviews nominations to Slow Food USA’s catalog of more than 200 delicious foods in danger of extinction. Read more about their backgrounds and passion for promoting and eating Ark of Taste foods.

Announcing Midwest Relief Fund Recipients
You undoubtedly remember the devastating floods that ravaged many parts of the Midwest for the past two growing seasons, which ruined countless acres of crops, feed, equipment and infrastructure, and for some – livestock. Many producers suffered losses at market as they had little to bring, or those markets were shut down temporarily; others still were forced to undertake costly relocations of their entire operations. To help some of those producers, Slow Food USA reinitiated efforts at generating financial support through the Terra Madre Relief Fund (TMRF). Since last summer, we’ve received donations from members and friends of Slow Food USA, and we are pleased to announce that we have selected four recipients who will benefit from that generosity. These four producers are passionate about sustainable agriculture – its role in their own families as well as their communities and their place in the environment. Recipients of the Terra Madre Relief Fund are:
Grinnell Heritage Farm in Grinnell, IA
The Siemon Farm in Viroqua, WI
Kings Hill Farm in Mineral Point, WI
Featherstone Fruits & Vegetables in Winona, MN
Over the course of the next few months, we hope to bring you stories from a couple of these farms as they are recovering this season. Stay tuned!

Terra Madre Delegates Continue to Inspire
Although it has been several months since Terra Madre delegates met in Turin, Italy, their dedication and passion continues to inspire us. We recently highlighted the efforts of two delegates through the Slow Food USA blog. Jim Embry (left picture) discussed his perspective on sustainability, movement building and networks, based on his work as a community organizer in Lexington, Kentucky. Annie Myers, who is a senior at NYU’s Gallatin School discussed regional food systems. She received a grant from her school to lead a series of field trips to food production processing sites and waste management locations within the New York City metropolitan area.
Upcoming Events

Sat., May 9 - Slow Food Oahu Organic Gardening Workshop and Tour
Mon., May 11 - Secrets of the Farmer’s Market, Slow Food Huron Valley
Sat., May 16 - Kentucky Herb Festival
Sat., May 16 - Ark of Taste Rare Foods Feast with Slow Food Carolina Piedmont
Sun., May 17 - Slow Food Sacramento’s Cajun Crawfish Boil, Ya’ll!
Sun., May 17 - Slow Food Minnesota’s “Wild About You” Farm Day & Foraged Dinner
Sat., May 30 - Slow Food Bluegrass’ NatureFest! at the Nature Preserve
Sat., May 30 - Slow Food Orange County Barbeque
Sun., May 31 - Field to the Fork with Slow Food Temecula Valley

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