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SNA Leaders Meet with USDA Officials on Meal Pattern Challenges

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September 26, 2012 – Yesterday, SNA leaders met with representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to discuss the implementation of the new nutrition standards and to share input from SNA members, including successes, suggestions and creative ideas for overcoming challenges of the new meal pattern regulation. Background information was gathered from an SNA news article created to gather more information about the challenges facing SNA members as the implementation phase began this school year.


SNA CEO Frank DiPasquale, SNA President Sandra Ford, Montgomery County (Md.) Food Director Marla Caplon and SNA Industry Representative Gary Vonck

In just one week, more than 85 comments were received. Highlights of those comments included: Challenges meeting calorie minimums and maximums; grain and protein restrictions and their impact on calorie totals; fruit and vegetable acceptance and plate waste; highly athletic students being hungry; students from food insecure households being hungry; challenges with procurement and existing excess inventory; increased costs; and drastic drops in participation.

Those attending the meeting from SNA included (pictured below): SNA President Sandra Ford, SNA CEO Frank DiPasquale, SNA Industry Representative Gary Vonck, Montgomery County Maryland Food Director Marla Caplon, and SNA Vice President of Child Nutrition & Policy Cathy Schuchart (not pictured). Those participating on behalf of USDA included: Under Secretary Kevin Concannon, Chief of Staff Dan Christensen, Associate Administrator Tim O’Connor, Child Nutrition Division Director Cindy Long, and Brenda Lisi and Laura Griffin, who are two Special Assistants to the Deputy Under Secretary and Administrator, respectively.

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