Schoolchildren deserve access to fresh, locally grown food.
Yet the foods served up by most school cafeterias are bad for kids, bad for local farm businesses and bad for the environment.
Who gains when the school menu is full of chicken nuggets, “cheese” pizza, french fries and tater tots? Giant food corporations that support factory farms and chemical companies, like Monsanto.
TAKE ACTION: Tell Congress to Support the “Kids Eat Local Act!”
Feeding kids processed food filled with cheap ingredients can have profound and long-lasting health effects.
Eating ultra-processed food is linked to heart attack, stroke and early death. It also promotes obesity and diabetes, two life-threatening conditions that are on the rise among kids in the U.S.
The “Kids Eat Local Act” (HR 3220), Introduced by Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), would help public schools source more local food, which would in turn give kids access to healthy, nutritious lunches.
It would also help support local farms by creating more market opportunities.
Rep. Harder (D-Calif.), a co-sponsor of the bill said:
“Local schools should be able to buy local produce for our kids—that’s common sense—but for too long, red tape has gotten in the way. This bill would get rid of these useless bureaucratic rules and make sure that our kids can get healthy local produce while also supporting our local farmers—this is a win-win.”
Schools are currently prevented from specifically asking for food that’s produced locally.
The “Kids Eat Local Act” would give schools more purchasing flexibility by allowing them to use the terms “locally grown, locally raised and locally caught” in procurement requests.
The “Kids Eat Local Act” has no cost for the federal government or school meals program. Instead, it helps connect farmers to consumers and gives children the right to fresh, local food.
Locally grown food is more nutritious because it’s often harvested at peak freshness and transported shorter distances—which is good for the environment.
Food produced locally tends to come from smaller producers that use organic or regenerative farming practices which preclude the use of toxic pesticides and help mitigate climate change by building healthy soil and promoting biodiversity.