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Need your help to endorse Farm to School legislation today!

  • Subject: [cg] Need your help to endorse Farm to School legislation today!
  • From: ASFisher@aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 8 Jul 2003 12:30:54 EDT

Support Children’s Health and Local Family Farmers …  
At the same time!

Endorse federal Farm to School legislation today!

Urge your Representative to co-sponsor the Upton-Kind Act

The Community Food Security Coalition's
American Farms Feed America's Children Act


In the House:  Upton-Kind Farm to Cafeteria Projects Act HR 2626
In the Senate: Child Nutrition Initiatives Act S. 995  


Representatives Fred Upton (R-MI) and Ron Kind (D-WI) have recently 
introduced legislation into the House that will provide important new support for 
schools to purchase food from local farmers. The Upton-Kind Farm to Cafeteria 
Projects Act (HR 2626) will provide $10 million to schools and community groups for 
farm to school projects. Virtually identical legislation was introduced into 
the Senate by Senator Leahy (D-VT) as S. 995 (Sec. 102) 

 We need your support now to help gain passage of this landmark legislation!

Background:
As Congress begins to debate Child Nutrition Programs, the country has been 
riveted by news of the problem of obesity and preventable nutritional disease 
in children and the important role that the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act 
can play in combating this problem.  Both S. 995 and HR 2626 address this 
crisis with a modest program to bring locally-grown fresh fruits and vegetables 
into school cafeterias through collaborations of farmers, schools, and 
community organizations.

At the same time, small and medium size farms are struggling to find 
profitable markets for their products.  These farmers largely do not benefit from 
federal farm and food programs, including nutrition programs.  Yet, with the 
removal of certain barriers, farmers can market their fresh foods directly to local 
schools.  Successful farm to school projects are beginning to emerge, 
demonstrating that children's diets improve rapidly through connecting experiential 
nutrition education with the fruits and vegetables produced by local farmers. 
Farmers not only strengthen their markets, but become more involved with their 
local schools. 

What these bills do:
Building on these successes, HR 2626 and S. 995 (section 102) create a 
win-win situation for kids, farmers, and communities.  These bills, if enacted, 
authorize $10 million annually for funds of up to $100,000 to assist with the 
initial costs of a farm to school project. The Leahy bill is preferable in that it 
provides for long term committed  funding. The grants will be used to 
purchase adequate equipment to store and prepare fresh foods, develop food 
procurement relationships with nearby farmers, plan seasonal menus and promotional 
materials, and develop experiential nutrition education related to agriculture.

Why it's important
These bills focus on connecting local agriculture to schools in every state, 
through a competitive, one-time and matching grant directly to local 
communities. This allows each locality to design a farm to cafeteria project tailored 
to specific farm and school community needs. This proposal supports innovation 
at the local level without creating new administrative burdens on either 
schools or farmers. Experience has shown that kids' food choices can be improved by 
connecting farms to the lunchroom. This program directly benefits the food, 
and health needs of our nation's most vulnerable citizens-- our nutritionally 
at-risk children. At the same time, the program will help family farms, 
providing markets and community support for agriculture.

For more information, contact the CFSC's Washington office at 202-543-8602. A 
full copy of the text of these bills is on our website at www.foodsecurity.org

A copy of a sign-on letter urging representatives to become co-sponsors of 
the Upton-Kind bill will be on our website at www.foodsecurity.org  by the 
afternoon of July 9th. 
 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
__Yes! Our organization endorses the passage of the Upton-Kind Farm to 
Cafeteria Projects Act HR 2626 and the Leahy Child Nutrition Initiatives Act S. 995 
(section 102)

___ Yes! Our organization will sign on to the letter urging co-sponsorship of 
the Upton-Kind Farm to Cafeteria Projects Act HR 2626. 


Name:

Organization:

Address

City:                   State:              Zip:

Phone:

E-mail:


Congress is moving quickly! Please sign on by Wednesday July 16. Our goal is 
to have 100 groups in 30 states by then.

Return this form by fax to the Community Food Security Coalition at 
310-822-1440, or e-mail your response to: maya@foodsecurity.org.   For questions, 
contact Thomas Forster at 202-543-8602, or Marion Kalb at 530-756-8518 x 32.





Attachment: F2S National Sign-on.rtf
Description: RTF file





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