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January 24, 2009

What President Obama Needs to Know

President Obama needs to know the racial frame on food justice, especially as it relates to children.


By Arnell J. Hinkle

Obama needs to know why community gardens can’t solve everyone’s food needs, and that it is the middle and upper class that benefit the most from most garden and food justice programs.  He needs to know what the Department of Agriculture is doing and not doing to get healthy food to school children, he needs to know that the Department of Defense runs the fresh fruit and vegetable program and why they supply unripe fruit to schools.  The result is that many low-income kids end up not liking fruit because the only fruit they get in school is unripe.  Local fruit and veggies would be such a better idea. 

President Obama needs to know that he can do a lot to make it easier for local community-based organizations (cbos) to get resources…cbos that truly involve community stakeholders and youth in the process and decision making.  He needs to believe that youth in low-income communities can be part of the solution and that they deserve an outlet to make their voices known. He needs to know the numbers of farm workers and restaurant workers and their wages.  He needs to know the number of children eating federal food and snacks and their ethnic breakdown, and what’s served in school lunches, summer food, snack and child care food programs..  He needs to hear about Child Nutrition Reauthorization and what needs to be changed.  He needs to have a sense of what people are doing to make a truly just food system.  Stay tuned, because in the next few months, Community Food Coach will be providing this information.



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