Policy Program Manager and Stakeholder Liaison
School Food FOCUS
Public Health Solutions
40 Worth Street, Floor 5
New York, NY 10013
School Food FOCUS is a national collaborative that leverages the knowledge and procurement power of large school districts to make school meals nationwide more healthful, regionally sourced, and sustainably produced.
Please see a note below from our colleagues at School Food FOCUS regarding a call for action to support school food in the Farm Bill.
Enjoy the weekend,
Sent: Friday, October 28, 2011 11:55 AM
Subject: Action needed TODAY to support School Food in the Farm Bill!
IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED!!
PLEASE CALL MICHIGAN SENATOR STABENOW TODAY TO SUPPORT SCHOOL FOOD IN THE FARM BILL BEING SHAPED RIGHT NOW!
The Food and Farm Bill is a vital opportunity to develop policies that deliver affordable, regionally produced food to schools. In order to get their priorities in ahead of the Supercommittee deadline for budget cuts, the House and Senate Agriculture Committee leadership is planning to rewrite the Food and Farm Bill by Thursday, November 3. This would be the fastest farm bill decision-making process in history!
Your action is critical because you are in or near a key congressional district, and because FOCUS has relatively few districts nationwide that are as well placed. Please call Senator Stabeno at (202) 224-4822 with the message below.
Please start with the basic message in italics below and add one or more of the bulleted talking points, focusing on what you think your member will be most open to. For example, Senator Stabenow is interested in access to fruits and vegetables.
The Message: I am a constituent and stakeholder of School Food FOCUS, calling Senator Stabenow to say: School food can be central to the solution of childhood obesity and the Farm Bill can help school districts bring in more healthful food. Strengthening small and mid-scale farms and supporting regional processing facilities are vital to more healthful, sustainable school food procurement. The nation's core anti-hunger and sustainable farming programs are equally important, and should not be pitted against one another. There are no cost provisions within existing programs that can meet these goals. For example (pick one)
· I support increased access to healthful foods for school districts, especially in underserved markets. For example (pick one)
o Congress should protect existing programs that provide incentives for regional producers to sell minimally processed foods to school districts.
o School districts in underserved areas should be eligible to apply for funding that targets access to food.
· I support policies that increase access to regionally grown foods for schools. For example (pick one)
o I urge you to reauthorize Food and Farm Bill programs that support regional school food supply chains.
o Please ensure that any new regional development programs' funds can also be used to support improvements along school food supply chains.
o Congress should encourage USDA agencies to purchase regional foods for school food service.
o Congress should encourage USDA to recognize schools that serve regional foods in their school meal programs.
Note: If the staffer seems interested, you can offer to share the full document outlining School Food FOCUS policy recommendations.
Thank you for taking action!