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Tuesday Morning - November 18, 2008

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November 18, 2008

Table of Contents

Under Secretary Visits Onalaska, Wis. Schools

Educate Your Community Week Is This Week!

Action Alert Update: Over 3,200 Action Alerts Sent!

SNA Signs On to Letter Supporting Increase In SNAP Funding

Fall Issue of the Journal of Child Nutrition and Management Now Online

Wilson to Speak on Wellness Policies for Action for Healthy Kids Webinar

New America Foundation Releases Data on SN Program Revenues

USDA to Purchase Boilers and Broiler Products

Reduced Availability of Sweetened Beverages Has Little Impact on Consumption

Obese Children and Teens Have Middle Age Arteries

Study Finds Corn Prevalent in Fast Food

In Every Issue

Legislative Action Center

Legislative Toolkit

PR Toolkit

State Policy Index

State and Federal Legislation

PPL Committee

Under Secretary Visits Onalaska, Wis. Schools

Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Nancy Montanez Johner paid a visit to SNA President Katie Wilson’s school district on Monday, November 10, 2008.  During her visit to the Onalaska, Wis. school district, Under Secretary Montanez Johner was able to join students in sampling new items for school nutrition program.  The Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services typically visits several schools a year, including the district of the current SNA President.  To view media coverage of the visit, please see the links below.

Onalaska tries new foods on school lunch crowd – LaCrosse Tribune

Is your student getting a healthy lunch? – WXOW News 19, LaCrosse, Wis.

Educate Your Community Week Is This Week!

School districts across the country are making presentations to boards of education, PTAs, civic groups, and other organizations this week, as SNA hosts the first annual Educate Your Community Week.  Since September, SNA has heard from numerous members who have made successful presentations on the benefits of school meals to the local school board and other community groups.  This week, SNA members will make presentations at PTA meetings in Connecticut, Maine, and Pennsylvania, as well as school board meetings in Louisiana and Ohio. An Educate Your Community event in Beavercreek, Ohio has attracted the attention of the local media, resulting in potential TV and print coverage.

The purpose of this Week is to correct the misconceptions the general public holds regarding the school nutrition programs.  Everyday, the school nutrition programs provide students nationwide with healthy, balanced meals.  Educate Your Community Week is a great opportunity for school nutrition professionals to demonstrate how these programs are an integral part of the community. It’s not too late to let SNA know about events being held in your community.  Fill out the form available on the Educate Your Community website.

Action Alert Update: Over 3,200 Action Alerts Sent!

action alertSNA members have sent over 3,200 action alerts to members of Congress since September 29, 2008. As of Friday, November 14th, 3,214 action alerts had been sent.  Georgia leads the pack with 327. Pennsylvania and Indiana follow with 255 and 225 respectively.  Breaking 100 action alerts are Ohio with 143, followed by Massachusetts (184), Arkansas (129), North Carolina (123), Virginia (120), Minnesota (111), Kentucky (109), California (108), and Connecticut (105). Other states near 100 action alerts are Florida (96), Iowa (96), Texas (93), 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. Please contact your Senators and ask them to co-sponsor this important legislation.  To send an Action Alert, please visit theLegislative Action Center.

SNA Signs On to Letter Supporting Increase in SNAP Funding

SNA joined many other organizations last week in signing onto a letter requesting Congress boost funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in a second Economic Stimulus Package.  The letter urges Congress to include $12 billion in temporary emergency funding for SNAP, the program formerly named Food Stamps. To view a copy of the letter, please visit the link below.

National Organization Sign On Letter to Hill Leaders for SNAP

Fall Issue of the Journal of Child Nutrition and Management Now Online

Gradually adding whole-wheat flour to bread products increases elementary student consumption of whole grains. That’s the exciting conclusion of a research study published in the Fall 2008 issue of The Journal of Child Nutrition and Management, now available online (see Related Links below). The study tested the feasibility of gradually increasing the whole-wheat content of bread products in school lunches to earn student acceptability and allow operators to include such products in school menus.

This latest issue of The Journal of Child Nutrition & Management, published by the School Nutrition Association, offers articles on a number of other topics critical to the successful operation of school meal programs. To view the Journal, please click on the link below.

Journal of Child Nutrition & Management Fall 2008 Issue

Wilson to Speak on Wellness Policies for Action for Healthy Kids Webinar

Dr. Katie WilsonAction for Healthy Kids (AFHK) is hosting a webinar, Call to Leadership: Elevating Local Wellness Policies to a Higher Priority, on Monday, December 8, 2008 at 3:00 PM EST.  SNA President Katie Wilson, Ph.D., SNS will be one of the speakers presenting on how to make changes to the school nutrition programs.  Other presenters include former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher and former Missouri Governor Bob Holden (D).  Other topics to be discussed include engaging key stakeholders and community leaders, building leadership at the school level, and using wellness policies to drive school excellence.  Free registration is available online at www.ActionForHealthyKids.org.

New America Foundation Releases Data on SN Program Revenues

The New America Foundation recently released state and school district information on school nutrition program revenues.  While the information does not look at school district expenditures or program participation, it does look at how much money the school districts receive to run their programs.

No Such Thing As a Free Lunch – But Now We Know How Much It Costs

USDA to Purchase Boilers and Broiler Products

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced its intent to purchase broilers and broiler products for USDA's federal food assistance programs.

USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) purchases a variety of high-quality food products each year for distribution by USDA's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) for the national school lunch program, the school breakfast program, the summer food service program, the food distribution program on Indian reservations, the nutrition program for the elderly, the commodity supplemental food program and the emergency food assistance program. USDA also makes emergency purchases of commodities for distribution to victims of natural disasters. A broiler is a type of chicken or turkey raised specifically for meat production.

Based upon USDA's intent to buy these broilers and broiler products, FNS will survey potential recipients to determine how much product will be accepted for shipping. AMS will seek the lowest overall cost by publicly inviting bids to supply the desired quantity and by awarding contracts to responsible bidders.

Government food experts work to ensure that all purchased food is healthful and nutritious. Food items are normally required to be low in fat, sugar and sodium. The commodities must meet specified grade requirements and be USDA-inspected or graded to ensure quality. AMS purchases only products of 100 percent domestic origin.

USDA to Purchase Broilers and Broiler Products

Reduced Availability of Sweetened Beverages Has Little Impact on Consumption

The reduced availability of sweetened beverages and diet soda has little impact on students’ consumption patterns, according to a new study published by researchers at the University of Southern Maine.  The researchers looked at student beverage consumption patterns among 500 students at seven Maine schools over two years.  Of the schools included in the study, four cut back on soft drink availability while three schools made no changes.  By the end of the study, all students were drinking fewer soft drinks.  The researchers noted, however, that consumption patterns among students did not change much, except among girls.  Girls in schools that no longer offered diet soda cut their consumption of the beverage compared to girls in schools that did not cut diet soda.

The New York Times covered this report in the context of a larger blog article in which the author questions the wisdom of blaming schools for the problems of childhood overweight. The blog sites previous research showing children are more likely to gain weight during the summer months as another reason to look at parent influence and home life, as opposed to just schools.

Are Schools Really to Blame for Poor Eating?

Obese Children and Teens Have Middle Age Arteries

Obese teens have arteries resembling middle age adults, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association’s annual scientific sessions last week.  Researchers measured the thickness of the inner walls of carotid arteries in 70 children ages 6 to 19.  They found that plaque buildup in arteries of obese children resembled that of adults three decades older.  The researchers do not say that the findings are conclusive and argue that more research needs to be done to determine if exercise and weight loss can correct the problem.

Obese Kids Have Old Arteries

Study Finds Corn Prevalent in Fast Food

Scientists at the University of Hawaii recently released a report tracing the diet and living conditions of animals raised for food. The researchers tested food from a variety of fast food restaurants and found that the food contained high levels of carbon and nitrogen. This lead the researchers to argue that the cattle and chicken raised for food were predominately fed corn. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, also argues that these animals are also raised in extreme confinement.  The researchers also noted that most companies used corn-based oils in preparing French fries. Scientists are currently debating the conclusiveness of the study’s findings, arguing that the high nitrogen levels could be linked to other sources, such as fertilizer.

What you still don’t know about fast food – Seattle Post Intelligencer

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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