Friday, July 10, 2009

News from Slow Food USA - July 2009

Time for Lunch Campaign Surpasses 100 Eat-In Goal

The Time for Lunch campaign has 137 Eat-Ins planned so far in 41 states on Labor Day, Sept. 7, 2009. That means people in 137 cities and towns across America will be gathering to share a meal and to send a clear message to their legislators: It’s time to provide our children with real food at school.

That number is a great start, but it’s not enough to get the attention of every member of Congress. We need people everywhere to pitch in.

Click here to sign up to organize an Eat-In on Sept. 7.

So sign up today?because this year, we have an opportunity we cannot pass up. In the fall, Congress will decide whether to update the Child Nutrition Act, which is the law that determines what 30 million children eat at school every day. No one wants to have to tell a child, “2009 was the year we could have begun building a strong foundation for your health, for your security and for your opportunity to succeed. But we missed our chance.”

Get the Word Out That It's Time for Lunch

Whether you're promoting the benefits of your CSA at a local street fair, planning a big fund-raising event for your chapter, or organizing another event for a different organization, you have the opportunity to help us capture signatures for the Time for Lunch petition. It's a big step to help us get real food into schools. Call our campaign coordinators to get a petition form or more information at 718-260-8000 or email us at

Eat-Ins Leverage Partnerships & Creativity
With more than 137 Eat-Ins in the works, there are so many great stories to tell about how people are working with their teams and partners to organize truly creative events. Below is just a smattering of highlights, but watch our web site, Facebook and Twitter for more stories as Eat-In details unfold:

Slow Food Russian River is working with Bayer Farm (a six-acre urban farm) and the School Garden Network to create an engaging Eat-In picnic among the public vegetable gardens. Festivities include a snail-shaped piƱata for the kids and the opportunity to interact with local officials from the city, county, school boards and the Hispanic Chamber. Former Deputy Chief of Staff to President Bill Clinton, Maria Echeveste will also speak. Plus, they will be asking attendees to sign our petition.

Slow Food Charleston has developed a summer-long program called "Children Supporting Children for Healthy School Lunch," which is designed to promote the Time for Lunch campaign by having children promote the campaign in front of local food stores throughout the city. The program was also featured in The Post & Courier, one of Charleston's local papers.
Chapters Continue to Bring Back Endangered Foods

To provide greater diversity in the fruits and vegetables we eat, chapters and partners are leading projects to bring endangered foods back to our tables. Below are links to some of these heroic efforts:

New England RAFT Grow-out - Have you ever heard of the Marfax bean? It is one of 16 heirloom fruit and vegetable varieties being grown as part of a pilot program shepherded by Chefs Collaborative this summer. In true farm-to-table fashion, the program is supported by 28 farmers and 35 chefs.

Slow Food Sonoma County-North’s effort to recover a rare potato - You may know about Slow Food Russian River's efforts to save the Sebastopol Gravestein apple. Now a neighboring chapter has its eyes set on a new goal ... bringing back the Bodega Red.

Slow Food Portland brings back rare strawberry - Our friends in Maine are spending the summer helping to bring back the Marshall strawberry described as "exceedingly handsome, splendidly flavored, pleasantly sprightly, aromatic and juicy.” It dates back to 1890.

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