Today, Sandra Ford, President of SNA, testified before the House Education Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education on the impact that the new school meal pattern regulations have had on school meal operators. Ms. Ford’s testimony included discussion on the financial impact and the unintended consequences of elements on the new requirements. During the question and answer period, Members of Congress inquired into best practices of schools, the impact on industry and how schools have and will adjust in the future.
The witnesses included: Sandra Ford, SNA President, SNA Member Megan Schaper of State College, PA, Margo Wootan, PhD of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, and Ms. Kay Brown of the GAO.
Please click here for the testimonies of all the witnesses and the archived video of the hearing.
USDA FNS has published an interim final rule for Competitive Foods titled, National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program: Nutrition Standards for All Foods Sold in School as Required by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. SNA is in the process of reviewing and analyzing the rule, as well as determining next steps in response to the rule. This interim final rule amends the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program regulations to establish nutrition standards for all foods sold in schools.
Look to schoolnutrition.org for any updates. Click here to read the interim final rule. Click here for USDA's summary page.
On Thursday, June 27, Sandy Ford, President of SNA, and Megan Schaper, Director of Food and Nutrition Services in State College, PA, will represent the SNA membership before the House Education Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education during a hearing entitled, “School Meal Regulations: Discussing the Costs and Consequences for Schools and Students.” They will provide testimony focused on the impact of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 on school nutrition programs. According to the Committee’s Media Advisory , the hearing will allow Members of Congress an opportunity to discuss the effect of federal school meal regulations on schools’ ability to provide healthy and affordable meals to students. The other witnesses include Ms. Kay E. Brown, Director for Education, Workforce, and Income Security Issues at the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and Dr. Margo Wootan, Director of Nutrition Policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
The hearing will begin at 10 AM and a live webcast can be viewed by clicking here.
The proposed rule has been sent to the Office of Management and Budget, indicating the next step in rulemaking. This proposed rule would codify the two provisions of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (Pub. L. 111-296; the Act) under 7 CFR parts 210 and 220. Section 203 requires schools participating in the National School Lunch Program to make available to children free of charge, as nutritionally appropriate, potable water for consumption in the place where meals are served during meal service. Section 208 requires the Secretary to promulgate proposed regulations to establish science-based nutrition standards for all foods sold in schools not later than December 13, 2011. The nutrition standards would apply to all food sold outside the school meal programs, on the school campus, and at any time during the school day. The Congressional Budget Office determined these provisions would incur no Federal cost and that the provisions in this proposed rulemaking would result in better nutrition for all school children. To read more, click here.
SNA is pleased to announce the randomly selected winners of the Competitive Foods Sweepstakes! For submitting comments to USDA on the proposed Competitive Foods Rule and then entering the SNA sweepstakes, Barbara Griffiths of St. Paul, MN and Janet Sklar of Bay Shore, NY have won a trip for two to LAC 2014. The trip includes airfare, hotel, and registration to LAC 2014 for two people as well as a VIP table for the winner and attendees from their state. By submitting comments to USDA, Ms. Griffiths and Ms. Sklar added to their voices to the over 240,000 comments received on the proposed competitive foods rule. Congratulations again to our winners!
The US Department of Agriculture recently released paid lunch price data for School Year 2011 – 2012. School Food Authorities reported their most frequently charged prices for elementary, middle/junior high and high school levels. The data is available in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet at this link.
SNA members are encouraged to use this data to demonstrate the significant number of school districts impacted by Section 205, the paid meal equity provision of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. SNA is calling on Congress to support H.R. 1303, the School Nutrition Flexibility Act, which would amend Section 205 to apply only to those School Food Authorities that have a negative fund balance at the end of the previous school year. H.R. 1303 would also permanently eliminate the new meal pattern’s grain/protein maximums.
The Association continues to urge all members to contact their Senators and Members of Congress to ask them to cosponsor H.R. 1303 and the Senate companion bill, S. 427. If you have not already done so, please click here for SNA’s action alert.
USDA’s memo regarding the paid lunch price data release can be found at this link.
USDA, in partnership with The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has announced the first public meeting of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee to be held on June 13, 2013 (Thursday) from 8:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m. EDT and June 14, 2013 (Friday) from 8:30 a.m.–3:45 p.m. The meeting will take place at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center in Bethesda, MD. The 15 members of the 2015 DGAC, appointed by HHS and USDA, have been identified and the full press release can be found here. The meeting will be accessible by webcast on the Internet or by attendance in-person. For more information, including how to access the webcast or attend in person, please visit www.dietaryguidelines.gov.
Congressman John Kline (R-MN), the Chairman of the House Education and Workforce Committee, along with Congress Joe Heck (R-NV) sent a letter last week to Secretary Vilsack on the propose Competitive Foods Rule. In the letter, the Congressmen expressing concern on the additional requirements to be imposed by any new rule on Competitive Foods. One of their foremost concerns is the additional cost burden and loss of revenues to schools stemming from any changes as well the new requirements for lunch and breakfast. They urge USDA to fully consider any additional financial and program impacts before moving forward with an interim rule.
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