FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Erik Peterson
703-739-3900 ext 124
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (March 28, 2008) –- Early next month, more than 700 school nutrition professionals will discuss the crisis in funding for school meal programs and urge the Congress to require science-based, yet practical, uniform national school nutrition standards to govern the sale of all foods and beverages available during the school day. The School Nutrition Association’s (SNA) 36th annual Legislative Action Conference in Washington, DC, March 2-5, 2008, will bring together school nutrition directors and supervisors, nutritionists, state child nutrition directors and foodservice industry representatives.
The emphasis on nutrition standards will build from efforts related to the drafting of the Farm Bill last year. This year however, as the national economic picture becomes more uncertain, school nutrition professionals will also provide lawmakers with the facts on school meal costs. The child nutrition programs are both under pressure to serve nutritious meals to more low-income children while being pinched by increased food, labor and milk costs.
“The federal government currently reimburses schools $2.47 for each balanced, healthy meal provided to children from families making 130% of poverty or less. A latte costs more. This is not adequate to cover the cost of producing a school meal,” said Mary Hill SNS, president of SNA. The costs of food, transportation, labor and benefits, training, equipment and indirect expenses, are all increasing rapidly and meal charges as well as federal, state and local financial support for the child nutrition programs have not kept pace.
The key legislative issues the School Nutrition Association (SNA) is advocating for this year are:
Activities of the 36th Annual Legislative Action Conference at the J.W. Marriot Hotel in Washington, DC will also include:
The School Nutrition Association is a national, non-profit professional organization representing more than 55,000 members who provide high-quality, low-cost meals to students across the country. The Association and its members are dedicated to feeding children safe and nutritious meals. SNA is the only association devoted exclusively to protecting and enhancing children’s health and well being through school meals and sound nutrition education.
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