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From the Kitchen to the Congress: A Child Nutrition Reauthorization Blog

SNA Legislative Action Conference - Day One

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On February 28, 2009, the 37th annual School Nutrition Association Legislative Action Conference (LAC) unofficially kicked off with two pre-conference education sessions on lobbying state legislatures and the financial challenges of school nutrition today, along with several meetings. We will be blogging live from the conference over the next few days until the gathering closes on Wednesday, March 4, 2009. To get us started - here is a quick preview of the upcoming meeting:

  • Over 695 people have registered thus far, and counting. The vast majority are school nutrition directors from almost every state. They represent large, medium and small school districts, located in urban, suburban and rural parts of the country.
  • They are all gathering in Washington, DC, because of three central reasons: school nutrition programs are in dire need of adequate financial support and Congress can help provide that; consistent nutrition standards must be adopted for all foods and beverages available in schools; and finally because this year Congress will reauthorize the federal child nutrition programs.
  • Attendees are excited to hear from the many speakers scheduled including: U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Senator Bob Casey (D-Penn.) and Congressman Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) Political commentator Ronald Brownstein will also speak, as will nutrition experts Dr. Keith Ayoob, Dr. Brian Wansink, and Dr. Virginia Stallings.
  • On Tuesday, school nutrition professionals will take to Capitol Hill - advocating for school nutrition funding and nutrition standards.
  • Immediately following the conference on Wednesday morning at the new time of 9:30 AM, SNA president Dr. Katie Wilson will be testifying before the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee at a hearing entitled "Improving Nutrition for America's Children in Difficult Economic Times."

It will be a jam packed four days and we will try to cover it all right here.  Stay tuned and join in by posting your thoughts below!