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The $5 Challenge Reaches the White House!

Sep. 29, 2011

Just two weeks after 30,000 of you came together and took the $5 Challenge, the Partnership for a Healthier America -- the foundation created for Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign -- has announced they’re up to the challenge, too.

On November 29th, White House Chef Sam Kass will be hosting two cooking events designed to highlight that healthy food can be affordable and quick to prepare. In the first event, chefs will prepare a family meal on just $10 (typical SNAP budget for a family dinner); in the second, they will have chefs preparing healthy, three-course “gourmet” meals on a typical American dinner budget--$4.50 per person.

We are extremely excited that the White House is interested in pushing forward the dialogue on how cooking from scratch can be the most affordable and healthy option. And, lucky dogs, they’ve got a treasure trove of tips and tricks—compiled by you, the Slow Food community—available to them on our tumblr page.

We’d also like to see Kass, guest chefs Colicchio and others, as well as the Obamas, really dig deep into what’s really possible on that $4.50. What we heard from all of you was that:

...Whether you had a personal garden
Whether you are a farmer
Whether your friends and neighbors are farmers
Whether you belong to a CSA
Whether you live near a farmers market or good grocery

...all made a huge difference in terms of succeeding at the $5 Challenge. And not everyone has a CSA nearby or the space and time to start their own garden.

We hope the White House’s Great American Family Dinner Challenge acknowledges this “challenge” side of the issue, too. When federal policy is subsidizing the foods that are worst for us, and it’s easier in many communities to buy Froot Loops than it is to buy real fruit, it’s no wonder that cooking affordable meals is more challenging than it should be. Addressing those challenges is going to take all of us working together with the White House to fix the policies that stand in the way of making food truly good, clean, and fair for all.
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