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Tuesday Morning - December 23, 2008

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December 23, 2008

Happy Holidays from All of Us at SNA!  Tuesday Morning will not publish next week.

 

Table of Contents

Democrats Call for $1 Billion in School Nutrition Funding in Stimulus Package

IOM Releases Phase I Report on School Lunch and Breakfast Programs

Sign On to the Child Nutrition Forum Statement of Principles

Obama Nominates Vilsack for Agriculture Secretary

Talk to Your School Board and Administrators about LAC 2009

Interim Rule Posted on Verification of Eligibility for Free and Reduced Price Meals

Food Bank Participation Increases As More Families Go Hungry

Research Shows Snack Restrictions Increase Student Fruit and Vegetable Consumption

Report Finds Kids Want More Fresh Fruits, Vegetables in School Cafeteria

ERS Study Looks At Eating Habits of College Students

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Democrats Call for $1 Billion in School Nutrition Funding in Stimulus Package

Capitol

 

House Democrats are calling for $1billion in funding for the school nutrition programs in a new stimulus package bill.  In a letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), House Democrats are calling on Congress to include approximately $26 billion in the Economic Recovery Package.  If included, the $1 billion increase for school nutrition programs would amount to approximately $0.15 per meal for lunch and breakfast, regardless of the participation category. In addition to the school nutrition funding, the letter calls for funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly Food Stamps,) food banks, the WIC program and other nutrition assistance programs.

SNA sent out an action alert last Tuesday afternoon, calling on its members to ask their Democratic members of Congress to sign on to this letter. As of the morning of Dec. 19th, approximately 522 email action alerts had been sent. SNA estimates about 250 calls were also made by SNA members to the Capitol switchboard to reach Democrat House members on the same issue.  There has been a strong showing of support in particular from North Carolina.

When the letter was sent on December 19, 2008, one hundred six Democrats had signed on to the letter. Additionally, ten Senate Democrats sent a letter with economic stimulus proposals to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) requesting federal funding for nutrition assistance programs including an increase in school meal reimbursement. For a copy of both sign on letters, please visit the link below.

Democrats Call for $1 Billion in School Nutrition Funding in Stimulus Package

IOM Releases Phase I Report on School Lunch and Breakfast Programs

The Institute of Medicine Committee on Nutrition Standards and Meal Requirements for the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs released their Phase I report today.  The report provides an overview of the school meal programs, current meal requirements and the reasons behind updating program standards. 

The report outlines the committee's proposed working principles and criteria which it will use to direct all review, analysis and deliberations during Phase II of this project.  Final recommendations will be developed with consideration of the working principles and will be designed to best meet all four criteria. For additional information, please see the link below.

IOM Releases Phase I Report on School Lunch and Breakfast Programs

Nutrition Standards and Meal Requirements for National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs:
Phase I. Proposed Approach for Recommending Revisions

Sign On to the Child Nutrition Forum Statement of Principles

In preparation for the reauthorization of the child nutrition and WIC programs, a diverse group of national organizations representing anti-hunger, religious, education, medical, nutrition, direct service, school food, pre-school and child care, unions, children, after school, industry, agriculture and a host of others have joined together in support of a "Statement of Principles" to guide reauthorization efforts.

The Child Nutrition Forum Statement of Principles outlines key issues that must be addressed in the 2009 Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization legislation.  The Forum calls on the Administration and Congress to enact a bill that:

  1. Assures and strengthens program access and supports participation by underserved children and communities;
  2. Enhances nutrition quality and provides adequate meal reimbursements; and
  3. Modernizes technology and simplifies program administration and operation.

Please consider adding your state or local chapter to the list of groups already supporting the Child Nutrition Forum. 

To view and sign on to the statement of principles, please visit the link below.

Child Nutrition Forum Statement of Principles

Obama Nominates Vilsack for Agriculture Secretary

President-elect Barack Obama nominated former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack (D) for the position of Secretary of Agriculture this week. Governor Vilsack has a strong record supporting nutrition issues.  In 2004, Governor Vilsack wrote a letter to President Bush asking for the expansion of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program to get more fruits and vegetables into schools. 

Vilsack Joins Obama Team as Secretary of Agriculture

Talk to Your School Board and Administrators about LAC 2009

Are you thinking of attending LAC, but aren’t sure if you’ll get the support both professionally and financially from your employer?  Many school districts are facing similar issues with budget cuts and travel restrictions.  Build a strong case for attending LAC by sharing these top reasons, accessible through the below link.

Registration is now open for the 2009 Legislative Action Conference. 2009 will be a pivotal year for the school nutrition programs.  This year, Congress considers the 2009 Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act while the school nutrition programs grow more popular in the face of a difficult economy.  Come to LAC to help make your mark on important child nutrition legislation this year.  For more information about the conference and to register, visit the LAC 2009 page.

Talk to Your School Board and Administrators about LAC 2009

Customizable LAC Letter

LAC 2009

Interim Rule Posted on Verification of Eligibility for Free and Reduced Price Meals

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service has posted an interim rule on verification of eligibility for free and reduced price meals.  This rule puts into place several provisions from the 2004 Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act related to income eligibility and verification.  What the interim rule does is:

  • Changes the sample size school nutrition programs must use to verify applications
  • Revised deadlines for the verification process
  • Direct verification provisions that allow local education agencies to contact means-tested programs to verify the information on applications without contacting the applicant household for information
  • Require program applicants to provide a telephone number where they can be reached with questions
  • Require school nutrition programs to follow up with applicants prior to their benefits being denied
  • Implement safeguards to avoid early termination of a child’s benefits due to misunderstandings or other difficulties that might prevent a household from effectively complying with the request.

To view the rule, please see the link below.

Verification of Eligibility for Free and Reduced Price Meals in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program 

Food Bank Participation Increases As More Families Go Hungry

Food banks across America are reporting a 30 percent increase in requests for emergency food assistance, according to a new survey conducted by Feeding America, the nation’s association of food banks. At the same time, a new public opinion poll released by the organization finds that many Americans are unable to provide adequate amounts of nutritious food to their families, due to the current economic crisis.

Feeding America received responses from 160 of their 205 food bank members for the “local impact survey.” It gauged increases in requests for emergency food assistance and how the nation’s food banks are coping with the dramatic spike in current demands. The national poll was commissioned by Feeding America to assess the impact of the economic downturn on low-income households. The Feeding America survey results complement a report released by the School Nutrition Association last week that showed almost 80% of school districts have seen an increase in free and reduced price meal participation this school year.

For additional information, please see the link below.

Food Bank Participation Increases as Food Pantries Struggle to Meet the Needs of Hungry Americans

Research Shows Snack Restrictions Increase Student Fruit and Vegetable Consumption

The January 2009 issue of The Journal of Nutrition includes a research article showing an increase in elementary student consumption of fruits and vegetables in schools where high fat and high sugar snacks are restricted. A majority of school nutrition programs already have policies in place that limit high fat or high sugar snacks.

Research Shows Student Consumption of Fruits and Vegetables Increases When Certain Snacks are Limited

Article Abstract

Report Finds Kids Want More Fresh Fruits, Vegetables in School Cafeteria

In a recent report from Y-Pulse, LLC, a consulting and market research firm for the foodservice industry, has found that children want more fresh fruits and vegetables sold in their school cafeterias.  In a poll of students in middle school found that more students are demanding fresh ingredients and preparation methods.  In their “dream” school kitchen, the students said they would like to see more fresh berries, fresh-squeezed juice, salad, cut raw vegetables, and “fresh cooked” vegetables.

Think You Know What Kids Want? – Nation’s Restaurant News

ERS Study Looks At Eating Habits of College Students

A new study released the Economic Research Service of the USDA finds that college students will make healthier food selections if they first viewed the items first.  For the most part, students chose healthier food items if they first looked at the foods offered. To see additional information on the study results, please see the link below.

Behavioral Economic Concepts To Encourage Healthy Eating in School Cafeterias: Experiments and Lessons From College Students

 

SNA Legislative Action Center

Legislative Toolkit

PR Toolkit

State Policy Index

State and Federal Legislation

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, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and District of Columbia.


 
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