SACRAMENTO — California’s canned peach growers this week are debuting new social media platforms specifically for school districts to help them comply with the Buy American provisions of the national school lunch program.
The new social media platforms include Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest under the handle BuyAmerican.EveryoneWins. Peach growers are encouraging school foodservice directors to check out the new channels which will offer tips, recipes and guidance focusing on improving compliance with the Buy American laws.
“Now, more than ever, it’s important for schools to follow laws that require them to purchase American grown products over imports,” said Chris Zanobini, executive director of the California Cling Peach Board, an organization that represents all canning peach farmers in the state. “Re-emphasis of this law has been added to the new Farm Bill which was signed into law late last year.
“Efforts to enforce the law are being stepped up, particularly in California where some schools have received negative publicity for serving students canned peaches imported from China over those grown in the state by local family farmers,” said Zanobini.
“We realize the tremendous amount of work faced by school foodservice programs as they attempt to serve nutritious food that kids will eat on a very limited budget,” he continued. “We want to thank school districts who are supporting local farmers by purchasing products grown here in the U.S. It’s greatly appreciated by our growers and we hope to assist schools in their efforts to obey the law and to increase fruit consumption among school children at the same time.”
This past year, the California Cling Peach Board launched a new toolkit designed to help schools comply with Buy American laws. The toolkit titled Buy American. Everyone Wins. contains background information about the law; its official language; a user-friendly guide to definitions within the law; and a checklist for compliance. The kit contains sample language for soliciting bids from suppliers, formulating school district policies and a letter that can be sent to the other stakeholders in the school community including school boards, business officials and parent groups to explain why the provision is so important and gain their support.
The new BuyAmerican.EveryoneWins. social media channels will offer additional information and provide a forum for schools to share their own tips, recipes and serving ideas for buying and using U.S. grown canned fruit. Contests and promotions will also be offered as the Board works to build followers.
The California Cling Peach Board encourages schools to follow them on their new Facebook and Twitter and to share these properties with other school foodservice friends, colleagues and parents. They are also asking schools to share successful canned fruit recipes and serving suggestions on their Pinterest board.
A copy of the Buy American. Everyone Wins. Toolkit can be downloaded from their website here.
–California Cling Peaches
For more articles out of California, click here.