The Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR) is a process that Congress goes through every five years to make changes the rules and programs that apply to all child nutrition programs, which include school breakfast and lunch, summer meals, meals served at child and adult care programs, and the WIC program. This coming CNR is exciting, because there are so many ways to support and improve the programs that feed our kids every day.

According to National Farm to School Network, a just and fair food system that helps the health of all school kids and benefits growers, workers, and teachers, will be important to talk about as a part of the CNR process.  To get us closer to a better and stronger food system, we encourage you to both think and talk about these six shared community values with your school community and elected officials.

  1. Fiscal justice

Farm to school is not just about how far food travels to get to our plates. It is also about the time spent by the people who grew, harvested, and processed the food.

  1. Green justice

Both teaching about food and the purchasing power of meal programs can move the food system in ways that promote good uses of soil and water and reduce pollution.

  1. Health impact

Farm to school can give school aged kids the tools they need for good, healthy choices for days and years to come.    The knowledge and skills needed to realize the impact their food choices can have on their community are so important.  We need to make sure our school food heroes have the tools, training, and support to improve whole-food, scratch cooking of healthier and tasty meals.

  1. Racial equity – at the top of the list.

To make changes that get a closer to a just food system, we need to start to address the historic and ongoing racism rooted in our food system.

  1. Respect for workers and teachers

School food experts play a vital role in serving fresh, healthy foods for our kids. The same goes for the farmers, producers, processors, and distributors that grow, process, deliver, prepare and service our food supply.  They deserve the same policies, practices, and protections as everyone else.

  1. Animal welfare

The treatment of animals and our food are linked and is a key part of our health.