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In case you haven’t already heard the news, Food Day 2011 was a huge success! With over 2300 events in all 50 states, we were thrilled that so many organizers joined the movement for "real food" across the country on October 24.  Mark your calendars for Food Day 2012, which will again take place on October 24.

Celebrities and luminaries—including Morgan Spurlock, Marion Nestle, Mario Batali, and New York City's health commissioner—plus several dozen local food activists—celebrated with a delicious Eat In in NYC’s Times Square. Our guests paused to admire the giant video screens bearing Food Day logos, messages, and pictures for half an hour. The event was a real thrill to those of us who worked over the past year to make Food Day happen.

Los Angeles schools used the occasion to promote healthier school breakfasts. Savannah, GA, had a massive festival with cooking demonstrations and other activities for children and families. And an Eat Local Now dinner in Seattle attracted hundreds to share local food and learn about creating community through cooking. Michael Pollan got into the Food Day spirit at an event for local libraries in Cleveland, OH.

Governors Deval Patrick and Lincoln Chafee kicked off the statewide initiatives in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, respectively. Mayor Bloomberg handed out apples to commuters in Queens and talked about Food Day on ABC’s "The Chew." Mayor Byron Brown kicked off a celebration of fresh and local food at the brand new Horsefeathers Market in the emerging West Side neighborhood of Buffalo. And Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s Food Policy Council coordinated healthy cooking demonstrations, film screenings, and other events throughout the city.

Countless smaller events got kids involved in Food Day. In a blind taste test in Anchorage, Alaska, schoolchildren preferred the taste of locally-grown carrots over ones shipped in from out of state by a two-to-one margin. And in Bentonville, AR, home of Walmart, schools provided a week's worth of lessons about food, with students in art classes preparing Junk Food Hall of Shame collages.

Food Day formed great partnerships with dozens of local and national organizations and with the many prominent members of our advisory committee. Food Day, like CSPI, is entirely people-powered and accepts no funding from corporate or government grants, but many businesses chose to participate. A special thanks to the Cooking Channel and Veria for helping to publicize and promote Food Day and to Epicurious and Whole Foods for creating a contest that will raise money for food-related charities. Thanks also to Dole Food Company, Bolthouse Farms and Disney for their excellent promotions of Food Day.

Did you participate in or hear about a Food Day event? If so, please send programs, pictures, or videos to foodday@cspinet.org or upload them directly to our YouTube or Flickr sites. On Flickr, tag your pictures with "Food Day" and post them to our Flickr group at http://www.flickr.com/groups/foodday/. Or upload videos to YouTube and tag them with "Food Day,” and then follow the Food Day Channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/FoodDayVideo. We will try to “favorite” all videos from Food Day events so that they are linked to our channel.

Thanks for your continued support, and stay tuned for an even bigger and better Food Day 2012!


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