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Tuesday Morning - November 4, 2008

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November 4, 2008

 

Table of Contents

Today Is Election Day – Don’t Forget to Vote!

Action Alert Update

Reminder: Educate Your Community Week is in Two Weeks!

Child Nutrition Forum Holds Meeting on Reauthorization Plans

Dietary Guidelines Committee Announced, Meets

USDA to Change Philadelphia School Meals Application Process

South Carolina, Rhode Island Propose School Nutrition Regulations

Webinar Wednesdays: The Truth about Whole Grains

Schools Celebrate National School Lunch Week

University of North Carolina Studying Effect of Universal Free Breakfast

Register Today for CNIC!

 

In Every Issue

Legislative Action Center

Legislative Toolkit

PR Toolkit

State Policy Index

State and Federal Legislation

PPL Committee

Today Is Election Day – Don’t Forget to Vote!

Today is Election Day.  Please don’t forget to exercise your right to vote.  This year, Americans will go to the polls to elect a President, a third of the U.S. Senate, and every Member of Congress, not to mention those running in local and state elections.  With the reauthorization of the child nutrition programs being a major priority for the next Congress, this year’s election is more important than ever.

 

Action Alert Update

SNA members have sent in almost 3,000 action alerts to Congress since September 29, 2008.  As of Friday, October 31st, 2,851 action alerts had been sent.  Georgia leads the pack with 309.  Pennsylvania and Indiana follow with 216 and 213 respectively.  Breaking 100 action alerts are Ohio with 143, followed by Massachusetts (118), Minnesota (108), Kentucky (106), Arkansas (105) and Virginia (105).  Other states near 100 action alerts are California (99), North Carolina (99), Florida (90) and Wisconsin (90).

In late September, Senator Bob Casey (D-Penn.) introduced legislation that would require the reimbursement rate for the school nutrition programs to be adjusted twice a year.  Currently, the reimbursement rate is adjusted once a year, in July.  By adjusting the rate in both January and July, reimbursements for the school nutrition programs would keep up with increases in the cost of food. If you live in Iowa, North Dakota, New Hampshire, Vermont, Oregon, Michigan, or Nebraska, your help is especially needed. Please contact your Senators and ask them to co-sponsor this important legislation.  To send an Action Alert, please visit the Legislative Action Center.

 

Reminder: Educate Your Community Week is in Two Weeks!

Don’t forget, November 17-21 is the first annual Educate Your Community Week.  SNA encourages school nutrition professionals across the nation to present the benefits of school meals at various meetings within their community.

The week provides a great opportunity to demonstrate to your community the integral role the school nutrition programs play. Everyday, they provide healthy, nutritionally balanced meals that give students the energy to succeed in class.  While the school nutrition programs fill an important role in a student’s day, the average person does not know how the nutrition programs operate. 

For more information about the week, please visit the Educate Your Community web page.  Also, don’t forget to let SNA know about your event.  Visit this link to register your event.

 

Child Nutrition Forum Holds Meeting on Reauthorization Plans

The Child Nutrition Forum is well underway with plans for the upcoming child nutrition reauthorization.  The Child Nutrition Forum is a coalition of several hundred child nutrition, education, and health organizations co-chaired by the SNA and the Food Action and Research Center (FRAC) with the purpose of influencing the reauthorization of the child nutrition programs.  On Friday, October 24th, members of the Forum broke into working groups discussing important issues for reauthorization, including school meals and funding.  The Forum also issued its statement of principles this week. 

 

Dietary Guidelines Committee Announced, Meets

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services announced on Friday, October 24, 2008 members of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Committee.  The committee is comprised of 13 prominent medical and scientific researchers from universities and scientific institutions across the country.  The committee is tasked with developing guidelines that will shape the nutrition standards for various governmental programs for the next decade.

The first public meeting of the committee was held October 30-31, 2008 to discuss the current and future role of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.  The committee reviewed the current state of public health and discussed the impact of the 2005 Dietary Guidelines on the American diet.  The committee then reviewed new research and emerging science in each of the 2005 chapter topic areas.  Prevention of chronic illness, reductions in sodium and sweetened beverages and overall improvement of children's diets emerged as some of the topics the committee will focus on in the development of the 2010 guidelines.  The next public meeting has not yet been scheduled, but is expected in late January of 2009.

As reported last week, SNA submitted comments to the committee reviewing the guidelines.  SNA recommends that the 2010 Dietary Guidelines be practical and easy to adapt to standards such as meal patterns for the National School Lunch Program.  SNA’s letter, along with letters from over 30 other organizations, can be viewed on the Dietary Guidelines Committee website.

 

USDA to Change Philadelphia School Meals Application Process

The USDA announced last week that it will no longer allow the Philadelphia, Penn. school district to use poverty statistics to determine student’s participating in the school nutrition programs.  Currently, Philadelphia is the only school district in the country participating in the Universal Free Breakfast pilot program.  The USDA is terminating the program and instead requiring the school district to collect applications from all students.  On Monday, October 27, 2008, Pennsylvania Senators Bob Casey (D) and Arlen Specter (R), along with Representatives Chaka Fattah (D), Allyson Schwartz (D), Robert Brady (D), Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, state agency director Vonda Fekete, and Philadelphia schools Superintendent Dr. Arlene Ackerman held a press conference protesting the USDA’s action.

Threat to school lunch leaves a bad taste

 

South Carolina, Rhode Island Propose School Nutrition Regulations

The South Carolina Department of Education Office of School Food Services and Nutrition is proposing a regulation that would set standards for school meals and competitive foods.  The regulation would ensure that school meals meet set standards for saturated fat, vitamins, minerals, protein, calories, and portion sizes. The state is soliciting comments on the proposed regulation through November 24, 2008.

Rhode Island issued a proposed regulation this week that would set curriculums for health education and physical education.  The health education curriculum would include a nutrition education component.  The proposed regulation also includes a requirement for school personnel to be training in handling food allergies and anaphylaxis. To view these two regulation, please visit the State and Federal Legislation link.

 

Webinar Wednesdays: The Truth about Whole Grains

The School Nutrition Foundation (SNF) in partnership with ConAgra Foods will be offering a FREE webinar on Wednesday, November 12, 2008, entitled “The Whole (Grain) Truth and Nothing but the Truth.” The webinar will be moderated by Cynthia Harriman of the Whole Grains Council. Speakers include Elizabeth Arndt of ConAgra Foods; Len Marquart, PhD, RD of the University of Minnesota; and Jean Ronnei of the St. Paul School District.

This webinar is the second in SNF’s new “Wednesday Webinars” series and will be offered at no charge. Stay tuned to www.schoolnutrition.org/webinars for information on upcoming Wednesday Webinars throughout the 2008-2009 school year.

For questions regarding this webinar please contact SNA’s Service Center at servicecenter@schoolnutrition.org

 

Schools Celebrate National School Lunch Week

Schools across the country celebrated National School Lunch Week (NSLW) last week in patriotic style as students voted for their favorite school lunch.  This year, NSLW received record media coverage, with articles appearing in newspapers and television news shows from Tampa Bay, Fla. to Las Vegas, Nev., with all points in between.  Over 13.9 million viewers were reached during the week long campaign.  Approximately 335 articles, stories, and interviews covered the celebration as Pete Pizza, Gloria Grilled Cheese, Biff Burger, Petunia Pita Pocket, and Larry Lasagna campaigned in schools across the country.

The “Vote” campaign received national exposure this year with a feature in the October 10th issue of Time for Kids.  Time for Kids is a publication that is distributed in classrooms nationwide.  While much of the issue covered the rising cost of school meals, part of it was dedicated to National School Lunch Week. Please visit the below link for samples of articles.

Schools Celebrate National School Lunch Week

 

University of North Carolina Studying Effect of Universal Free Breakfast

Two professors at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro have received a grant to study the affects that universal free breakfast programs have on the academic performance and health of students.  USDA granted the professors $250,000 to study the school nutrition program in Guilford County, North Carolina.  The Guilford County School District has offered free breakfasts to all students for several years.  In the 2008-09 academic year, the school system cut the program in some schools due to budget concerns.  The project will look at how the reduction in universal breakfast programs affect the academic and health environment of the school system.

Professors Study the Effects of School Breakfast Cuts

 

Register Today for CNIC!

Registration is now open for the Child Nutrition Industry Conference 2009.  Come to New Orleans January 18-20, 2009 for several days filled with great educational sessions and terrific speakers that will help broaden your knowledge of the child nutrition industry.  CNIC is the perfect opportunity to strengthen your business connections.  Click here to register for the conference.

Be sure to attend the general session on creating an efficient school nutrition supply chain.  The SNA Board of Directors has identified supply chain efficiencies as a top priority issue.  In response, the Supply Chain Taskforce was created.  This group of directors, state agency personnel, and industry members developed tools and resources to help in planning and procurement along the school nutrition supply chain. For additional information about CNIC, please visit the below link.

Child Nutrition Industry Conference 2009

 

In Every Issue

SNA Legislative Action Center

Legislative Toolkit

PR Toolkit

State Policy Index

State and Federal Legislation

PPL Committee

State legislation can now be accessed on the Internet through Netscan. Use Username: schoolnutrition and Password: sna

Click State Legislation Instructions for steps to access state legislation through the service. Legislatures currently in session include: California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and District of Columbia

 


 
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