The US has traditionally had a significant role to play in children’s nutrition via their school lunch programs. While the worst of the system has been illustrated by people like Jamie Oliver, there are also some positive signs that food literacy gains are being taken seriously in the US. When travelling around New York recently the subways and trains were plastered with a multitude of materials about the new School Food Program’s summer campaign. With a slogan ‘Feed Your Mind’,  the campaign promoted free summer meals for everyone under 18 years, sourced locally when possible, accessible all over the city, it was impressive in its scope. During the summer school break free breakfasts and lunches are available at hundreds of public schools, community pool centres, libraries, parks, public housing estates, and other locations around the city. Food trucks also complement this food access initiative, targeting areas of identified need. Plus they have just introduced compostable plates that will save 128 million styrofoam plates going to landfill.
Partnerships with programs such as the state’s school garden program Grow To Learn are identifying schools to participate in the school to cafe program during the year and the amount of local produce procured overall for the School Food Program is progressively increasing due to the institutional procurement policies that encourage purchase of locally grown food .  A great initiative – if only we could have something on this scale in Australia.