Could it be time for the school lunch program to be overhauled? A recent New York Times article said the stars were aligning for such reform. Statewide, Lowcountry Local First has been working to pass the South Carolina Farm to School Program Act that would link schools with farms to provide fresh, minimally-processed foods. The bill stalled in the Senate education committee last March.

But on the national stage, school nutrition advocates have an advocate in the White House. President Obama has made child nutrition a priority, putting an additional $1 billion for it in his 2010 budget, and Congress will be taking up the Child Nutrition Act this fall. Ultimately, advocates for better child nutrition programs want schools to transition from feeding kids highly-processed USDA surplus to fresh, locally-grown fare.

To help raise awareness and urge Congress to get busy on this issue, Slow Food USA has launched Time for Lunch and will host eat-ins across the country on Labor Day.

Slow Food Charleston will host a public Eat-In at Alluette’s Jazz Café at 137 Calhoun St. on Mon., Sept. 7 from 12-3 p.m. Bring your own pot-luck lunch (no food will be served), and stop by to sign the Time for Lunch petition for change, which calls for the federal government to allocate $1 per day per child for lunch, protect kids from vending machines, and provide funding for teaching healthy eating habits.

Sustainable agriculture, local foods, and fighting childhood obesity are all issues that foodies have embraced locally. Now’s your chance to help enact some change on the national level.

For more information about Slow Food Charleston, (843) 225-4307.