Communities around the world celebrate World Food Day during the month of October, as they have for decades. This year, on October 24th, we here in the U.S. will mark U.S. food day. At the same time (and continuing into next year) the U.S. government is gearing up to write the 2012 Food and Farm Bill — an omnibus package of federal farm and food legislation that directs billions of taxpayer dollars. PAN is organizing with partners to leverage some of this energy to get California lawmakers aligned behind a better Food and Farm Bill.
If you’re in California, join us in telling our elected officials — by October 24 — how you want your tax dollars spent. If you’re elsewhere in the U.S., go to the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition website to find how you can link to similar efforts in your state.
What happens in Washington DC over the next days and months will determine if our tax dollars are used to support the production and distribution of healthy food throughout the country, or not. The alternative is severe cuts in the vital programs we collectively won in the 2008 Food and Farm Bill and continued support of large-scale industrial agriculture that depletes soil and water resources upon which we all depend; destroys vital populations of pollinators and other wildlife; contaminates air, water and food; poisons workers and residents in rural communities; and feeds our school children corn-based food-like products instead of healthy fresh foods produced by family farmers.
Together with the citizen petition, PAN joins food justice, food safety, sustainable farming and environmental health organizations in sending a clear, strong, collective message to our elected officials. We need a better food and farm policy, one that:
If we unite our efforts now, and at critical moments in the months ahead, we can win the protections of our food and farming systems that our country so urgently needs.