Take Action! Tell Congress to Protect Child Nutrition Programs

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05.14.2014 Nearly 2.5 million children live in food-insecure households in California. For those children, meals served at school are a critical resource and may be the only nutritious meals they receive all day. CFPA strongly believes the nutritional standards for the federal child nutrition programs should be evidence-based and guided by the latest nutritional science. Nutritional standards for children should not be established by politicians in Congress. Unfortunately, as you may have heard, there are quick moving efforts currently underway in both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees to weaken and rollback progress made through the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.

Votes on the Agriculture Appropriations bill are fast approaching. The Senate and likely, the House of Representatives, Appropriations committees are planning to vote on Thursday, May 22nd.

CALIFORNIANS: YOUR ADVOCACY MATTERS!
Our national partners are telling us that California advocacy could critically impact the outcome of the Senate's Agriculture Appropriations bill. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California) is on the fence about these issues and needs to hear from Californians like you by close of business Wednesday, May 21st!

THREE SIMPLE WAYS YOU CAN HELP:

1. SEND AN E-MAIL
Send a brief e-mail to Senator Feinstein urging her to oppose the appropriations riders that weaken the child nutrition programs. Write your own or personalize the following:

TO: Crystal_Martinez@feinstein.senate.gov, Tristan_Colonius@feinstein.senate.gov, Joshua_Esquivel@feinstein.senate.gov

SUBJECT: Protect Our Child Nutrition Programs!

Dear Senator Feinstein,

My name is (name) and I live in (city), California. In the event that the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture considers potential policy riders that would delay, weaken, or undermine the USDA school foods regulations on Tuesday, I strongly urge you to oppose. Changes to the fruit and vegetable provisions; efforts to alter or delay implementation of meal standards in the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program; and plans to weaken or delay rules to limit sodium, sugary beverages, and unhealthy snack foods in our nation's schools diminish the progress we have made to support the health and well-being of our children. Nearly 2.5 million children live in food-insecure households in California. For those children, meals served at school are a critical resource - and may be the only nutritious meals they receive all day. The nutritional standards for the federal child nutrition programs should be evidence-based and guided by the latest nutritional science. Nutritional specifics should not be established within the political process. Accordingly, I strongly urge you to oppose any efforts to intervene in science-based rules regarding the federal child nutrition programs.

Sincerely,
Name, Organization

2. MAKE A CALL
Use or adapt the following script to let Senator Feinstein know why protecting school meals is so important to you:

PHONE NUMBER: (202) 224-3841

"Hi, my name is (name) and I live in (city), California. I'm calling to urge Senator Feinstein to oppose any potential policy riders in the Senate Agriculture Appropriations bill that would delay, weaken, or undermine the USDA school foods regulations. Changes to the fruit and vegetable provisions; efforts to alter or delay implementation of meal standards in the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program; and plans to weaken or delay rules to limit sodium, sugary beverages, and unhealthy snack foods in our nation's schools diminish the progress we have made to support the health and well-being of our children. For California's children, meals served at school are a critical resource - and may be the only nutritious meals they receive all day. The nutritional standards for the federal child nutrition programs should be evidence-based and guided by the latest nutritional science. Nutritional specifics should not be established within the political process. Accordingly, I strongly urge Senator Feinstein to oppose any efforts to intervene in science-based rules regarding the federal child nutrition programs. Thank you for your time."

3. TWEET
In addition to an e-mail or call, tweet your opposition to weakening school meals. Don't forget to tag @SenFeinstein!

Dear @SenFeinstein, look how great school lunch can be: http://bit.ly/1sPtrCi. Don't weaken school nutrition standards. #SaveSchoolLunch

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!
Don't forget that the Senate Appropriations committee is planning to vote on Thursday, May 22nd. All communications with Senator Feinstein need to happen by close of business Wednesday, May 21st! 

Please share these 3 simple advocacy steps with your networks!

Questions? Contact Elyse Homel Vitale at 510.433.1122 ext. 206