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[Good Food Force] #SmartSnacks for #Backtoschool!

Greetings Good Food Force! This week we're all about SMART SNACKS! Check out a summary of exciting updates to snacks in schools, as well as some tips on great options you can make at home. Please read and share! 

1. THE HOT LINE: Let's get excited about #SmartSnacks!

We've been talking a lot about healthy changes to school meals, and now the new Smart Snack Standards have also gone into effect! 

The changes will help ensure that snacks and beverages sold in 
schools meet basic healthy standards, while still giving schools flexibility to choose from a wide variety of options. Check out some great facts from our friends at the Center for Science in the Public Interest explaining why the new standards such a big deal! 

Quick Action→ Minimum wage workers need your voice TODAY!

Right now as we speak your members of Congress are home on August recess, enjoying their vacations and reconnecting with their districts.  One surefire way to get their attention while they are back in their districts is to submit a letter to the editor to your local newspaper.  

Will you join me in writing a Letter to the Editor that calls on Congress to raise the minimum wage when they return to Capitol Hill in September?

It’s easy! When you click on the link above, we’ll lead you through a quick process to write a Letter to the Editor of your local newspaper. This tool is pretty magical—you can easily edit our pre-drafted letter, if you wish, and send it to your paper with just a few clicks. 

The pre-drafted letter (which you can edit when you click through to the link!) is logical, concise, and simply says:

Can you hear us Congress? #WEmatter!

Take Action!

Last week I was driving my kids home from pre-school when I just had to turn up the radio. I was like, “Yes! They are singing my song!” But it wasn't Beyoncé's latest hit. It was a news story about how ridiculously long overdue paid family (maternity/paternity) leave is in the United States.

Then I got mad. And I am still mad because while I am thrilled that our “Mad Men” era workplace polices (unequal pay, lack of paid maternity/paternity/family leave, childcare that costs more than college, lack of paid sick days, the need to raise the minimum wage, and more) are getting much-needed attention lately, the fact is that not a whole lot is being done about it in Congress beyond talking.

But we can fix this. There is an election right around the corner and that makes now the perfect time to make sure that our elected officials in Congress and beyond know that we matter and we will be holding them accountable.

5 Reasons to Talk to Congress This August

It’s August, which means beach time, summer camp, cookouts, vacation, and… talking to your Congressperson?!

It may not be the first thing you think of when you imagine how you’d like to spend the remaining lazy days of summer, but talking to your elected representatives should be at the top of your August “to-do” list.

Seriously. With members of Congress in their home districts for August recess, now is the prime opportunity to bend their ears about the women's, family, and children's issues you think are important going into the fall legislative season.

Here are the top 5 reasons why you should email, call, or visit your representatives this month:

1. More war is brewing in Iraq

Don’t lose your ACA health coverage!

If you received a warning notice in the mail or know you have a data inconsistency with your original marketplace health insurance application, read the below blog post from and get your paperwork in to the marketplace  ASAP by September 5th!

If you're having trouble submitting the paperwork on your own, call 1-800-318-2596 and let them know you have a “data matching warning notice” or find local face-to-face help in your area:

Failure to submit your paperwork by September 5th may result in a loss of your coverage by September 30th 2014. 

You can see the original blog post at the blog and copied with permission just below.

Still need to send documents to the Marketplace? If you get a letter this week, time is running out.

Women & Men Advancing Gender Equality Together

As we reflect on what’s needed to accelerate efforts in achieving equality, the time has come to build a stronger partnership between women and men; partnership that acknowledges and embraces our interdependence, and that builds on our mutual interests in achieving gender equality.

Without strengthening our partnership across the gender divide, true equality will remain beyond our grasp. With so much important work still to accomplish, including ending gender violence, creating pay equity, and having equal representation in the institutions that shape our world, we need each other as allies.

And beyond needing allies, the kind of equality we are seeking is not just about making sure women get an equal piece of the pie, it’s about creating a new, more complete pie—together. True gender equality would expand the possibilities for both women and men, because we all suffer from rigid gender roles. 

#FoodFri Tweetchat: Back to School with Smart Snacks

This year as kids go back to school, school food will be getting even healthier. Smart Snacks went into effect July 1st, updating the national nutrition standards for vending, school stores, fundraisers, and a la carte in school cafeterias.  Also, school lunches and breakfasts continue to get healthier, with stronger standards this fall for whole grains, sodium, and fruit. Talk about GREAT news!

Join @MomsRising and @CSPI for this week's #FoodFri tweetchat to learn more about the changes and how it will benefit all schoolchildren!



Feel free to spread the word about the #FoodFri chat scheduled for Friday, June 27, 2014, at 1 p.m., EST, on Twitter. And, remember, when joining make sure to add #FoodFri to your tweet. We wouldn't want to miss it!

See you Friday at 1pm!

Support Leslie McSpadden, the mother of Mike Brown, and all families seeking justice

Take Action!

Please add your voice to the growing movement of parents who say enough is enough! Let's stand together for Leslie McSpadden, mother of Mike Brown, and all families seeking justice: 

Remember the summer of your high school graduation? Remember all of the excitement, hopes, and dreams for the future? 

Eighteen-year-old Michael Brown had dreams too. Dreams that he will now never be able to realize. Instead, his mother, Leslie McSpadden is left only with memories because two days before the start of Michael's freshman year at college, he was gunned down by a Ferguson, Missouri police officer. Michael was unarmed

This has to stop. As mothers, Michael's story hits us hard. We should never have to fear that our children could come to harm at the hands of those charged with protecting them.

#FoodFri Tweetchat: It's Not A "Poor Kid" Issue

Growing up, my Mami stressed the importance of breakfast. She knew it fueled my day, giving me the energy I needed to pay attention in school. Today, research shows school breakfast participation has been linked to fewer occurrences of student hunger, decreased tardiness and absenteeism, as well as, improved focus and cognitive abilities. Children who eat breakfast perform better academically and experience fewer visits to the school nurse. So, Mami was right - breakfast is important! 

Wal-Mart, Don't Discount the Power of Teachers

At the end of July, I was inundated with Facebook posts telling me about Wal-Mart’s Teacher Appreciation Week. How were teachers like me appreciated exactly? We could get an e-card for 10 percent back on “qualifying” purchases of supplies, basically a glorified gift card for the store.


But let’s be clear: Teachers know that Wal-Mart is not giving us or our schools anything meaningful to genuinely make a difference in the education of our kids. To the contrary, Wal-Mart’s “appreciation” for teachers has been to spend an incredible amount of money to discredit and shut out the voice of teachers, who are the ones who are the closest to students and need to be involved in the decisions about their education.


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