30 Thousand Come Together to Take Back the 'Value Meal'

Sep 23, 2011, 11:57 ET from Slow Food USA

-On Sept. 17, over 30,000 took Slow Food USA's $5 Challenge, sharing fresh and local meals for less than $5 per person-

BROOKLYN, N.Y., Sept. 23, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Aug. 17, Slow Food USA – a non-profit working on behalf of good, clean and fair food for all – challenged people to cook slow food for the cost of fast food. Just four weeks later, over 30,000 people nationwide rose to the challenge to take back the 'value meal'. The $5 Challenge is part of the organization's vision of a world where it is easier and more affordable for everyone to eat fresh and local food everyday.

"We never imagined so many people would step up. We expected 500 meals and a few thousand people. Last Saturday, over 30,000 people came together at more than 5,572 meals," said Josh Viertel, president of Slow Food USA. "But we can't stop here. If we're going to meet Michelle Obama's challenge to end the childhood obesity epidemic in a generation, it's going to take each and every one of us rolling up our sleeves, cooking with friends and family and pushing for change in our communities and our public policies."

Coast to coast on Sept. 17, parents and farmers, farm workers and restaurant workers, Slow Food chapters and businesses, and many others shared great food and conversation. In a food desert in Portland, 100 community members prepared everything from tacos to Persian soup and made plans for better food in their neighborhood. In Louisville, food trucks gathered in a parking lot and sold sustainable food. At Chicago's largest farmer's market, vendors sold five dollar meals and home cooks shopped for ingredients to take the challenge. Farm labor organizers in Immokalee, Fla. shared a meal. And in NYC, 'Wichcraft created a signature five dollar sandwich, the restaurant COLORS served a special dinner and people gathered for a picnic on Governors Island.

The $5 Challenge sets the stage for Slow Food USA to launch a broader campaign to change the policies that make it a challenge for Americans to do the right thing when it comes to food. The organization's next push will be around the 2012 Food & Farm Bill.

Slow Food USA wants everyone to be able to be a part of this work. In the spirit of making things more affordable for all, membership is "give what you can" during Sept.  Through Sept. 30, a donation of any amount makes one a member.

For more information about Slow Food USA, please visit www.SlowFoodUSA.org.

About Slow Food USA
Slow Food USA is part of a global, grassroots organization with supporters in 150 countries around the world who believe that food and farming should be sources of health and well being for everyone. Through national advocacy, local projects and bringing people together through the common language of food, Slow Food members and supporters are making it easier to access real food that is good for us, good for those who produce it and good for the planet. Slow Food USA's network includes more than 250,000 supporters, 25,000 members and 225 chapters. To learn more, or sign up for our mailing list, visit our website, www.SlowFoodUSA.org.

Contact: Emily Walsh / Slow Food USA / 718-260-8000 x154 / emilyw@slowfoodusa.org