Local lunch on Think Out Loud - TODAY!
If you can't make the national Farm to Cafeteria conference this weekend in Portland (drats) but are interested in the topic, you can learn what's going on and weigh in on OPB's Think Out Loud today, Friday 3/20 from 9 to 10 AM. The title of the show is Local Lunch, and here's how they describe the issue:
Grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup may not seem like the advance guard of a revolution, but that's exactly what Representative Brian Clem (D-Salem) is hoping for. Along with Rep. Tina Kotek, he's sponsoring House Bill 2800, which would provide up to $19 million in state money for schools that spend some of their federal dollars on Oregon food. What's Oregon food? Anything that was "produced, packaged, packed or processed" in the state. This is where the grilled cheese sandwiches come in.
Portland Public Schools is one of two districts taking part in a Kaiser Permanente-funded pilot program to see what happens when schools are given seven extra cents per meal to spend on local lunches. PPS chose to concentrate those pennies into monthly "local lunches" (grilled Tillamook Cheese sandwiches and Pacific Natural Foods' tomato soup were on offer this week). Gervais Schools decided to spread their grant money around more broadly. According to a recent report, the grant money triggered more in-state spending from the schools' existing coffers: grants of about $66,000 dollars turned into more than $225,000 spent on local products. What's more, argues Clem and other Farm to School supporters, that money in turn will itself have a multiplying effect as it makes its way around the state. The result, they say, will be healthier students, healthier farms, and a healthier economy.
If you can't listen this morning @ 9, you can always catch the rebroadcast tonight. And of course you can join the conversation online, too - they regularly raise questions on the show that were posted online.
PS - They had another relevant show earlier this week on what books, plays, and other media are appropriate for school, and which are being censored right here in Oregon. Check it out.