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Tuesday Morning - February 3, 2009

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February 3, 2009

 

Table of Contents

LAC 2009 is 4 Weeks Away!

Wilson Presents at IOM School Meals Meeting

SNA Presents at 2010 Dietary Guidelines Meeting

House Passes Economic Stimulus Package

Senate Agriculture Committee Announces Members

Sign On to the Child Nutrition Forum Statement of Principles

USDA Schedules State Agency Director Meeting after LAC 

SNA Launches Online Supply Chain Toolkit

USDA Releases Statement on Peanut Butter Recall

Check Out SNA’s Reauthorization Blog!

SNDA-III Report Discussed in ADA Journal

Media Challenges and Response

GAO Releases Report on Meal Counting and Claiming in SN Programs

SHPPS 2006 Releases Series of District Report Cards

Differing Findings on Mercury in High Fructose Corn Syrup

Culinary Demonstration Applications due February 15!

In Every Issue

Legislative Action Center

Legislative Toolkit

PR Toolkit

State Policy Index

State and Federal Legislation

PPL Committee

LAC 2009 is 4 Weeks Away!

Register now for the 2009 Legislative Action Conference!  Be sure to be in Washington, DC March 1-4, 2009 for one of the most important conferences in school nutrition this year. With the Reauthorization of the school nutrition programs planned for this year, this is sure to be one of the most important conferences you will attend.

Be sure to register for one of two dynamic pre-conference sessions:

  • Cents and Sensibility – School nutrition directors and industry professionals will review the impact of the current economic crisis on the school nutrition industry.  Learn how to develop comprehensive financial management strategies to maintain fiscal integrity during difficult economic times.
  • How to Successfully Lobby State Legislatures – Are you trying to gain greater influence with your state legislature?  To gain favorable legislative action, you must be able to answer a fundamental lobbying question: “Why would that lawmaker give me his or her vote?” Learn successful tricks of the trade from a noted lobbying professional during this seminar.

There are many more reasons to attend LAC 2009.  For additional information and to register, please visit the link below.

LAC 2009

Wilson Presents at IOM School Meals Meeting

Today, President Katie Wilson, PhD, presented SNA’s perspective on the IOM’s Phase 1 report on Nutrition Standards and Meal Requirements for school lunch and breakfast programs.  Wilson’s presentation also outlined SNA’s recommendations for development of the final Phase II report during this open meeting of the Committee on National Standards for the School Lunch and Breakfast Programs.

During her presentation, Wilson offered the following comments on the proposed approach and development of the Phase II final report:

Dr. Wilson reinforced the critical economic situation in school nutrition programs today.  Demand for school nutrition programs continues to increase with no additional resources to support expansion.  Wilson urged the committee to consider cost effectiveness in any final recommendations.  Dr. Wilson also discussed the current issues surrounding availability of products such as whole grains and fresh produce.

  1. Participation and Student Acceptability: Dr. Wilson emphasized the need for a gradual phased-in approach to meal standards which would foster improved acceptance for students, especially for nutrients such as sodium and whole grains.  She discussed the many challenges school nutrition professionals face implementing menu changes.
  2. Simplification of Menu Planning and Monitoring: Wilson discussed a need for realistic nutrient targets and a simplified approach to menu planning which will meet the needs of all school foodservice authorities.

Wilson reinforced SNA’s original recommendations that the recommended meal pattern requirements be simple, practical and offer significant amount of flexibility necessary to meet the needs of all students.

For more information, please see the link below.

Wilson Presents at IOM School Meals Meeting

SNA Presents at 2010 Dietary Guidelines Meeting

Nutrition Committee member Dr. Becky Domokos-Bays presented at the second meeting of the 2010 Dietary Advisory Committee on Thursday, January 29, 2009.  Dr. Bays highlighted SNA’s commitment to serving meals consistent with the Dietary Guidelines.  “Since 2007, in response to a request by the USDA, our members have begun proactively implementing the recommendations of the 2005 DGAs within the current meal pattern requirements and nutrition standards,” stated Bays.

Much of Bays’ statement focused on the need for nutrition standards consistent with the Dietary Guidelines which govern the sale of all foods and beverages sold throughout the day and throughout the school campus.  Bays advocated for a practical and achievable guidelines which would facilitate a “consistent and understandable meal pattern for school meals …. applicable to “competitive foods” sold outside of the meal program, whether in the cafeteria or sold down the hall in vending machines.”

Bays completed her comments with some discussion of the financial limitations currently in the school nutrition environment.  She also offered SNA’s continued assistance to the committee.

Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Meetings

House Passes Economic Stimulus Package

The U.S. House of Representatives passed an $819 billion economic stimulus bill on Wednesday, January 28, 2009.  The legislation, H.R. 1, contains funding for a variety of causes, including several federal nutrition assistance programs.  Included in the legislation are:

  • $726 million for afterschool meal programs
  • $20 billion for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • $200 million for Senior Nutrition Programs
  • $150 million for The Emergency Food Assistance Program
  • $100 million for the Supplemental Nutrition Information Program (WIC management)

The Senate is now considering the stimulus legislation, with a voted expected sometime this week. The Senate version of the stimulus bill includes a $198 million grant program for school food equipment assistance.

Senate Agriculture Committee Announces Members

The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry has announced its members for the 111th Congress.  To view a complete list of the committee, please visit the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry website.

One of the major bills the Senate Agriculture Committee will consider this year will be the reauthorization of the child nutrition programs.

Sign On to the Child Nutrition Forum Statement of Principles

It’s not too late to sign on to the Child Nutrition Forum Statement of Principles.  To date, 10 states have signed onto the principles, which call on Congress to enact legislation 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 have your state association consider joining Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, and Washington State.

The Forum is co-chaired by the School Nutrition Association and the Food Research and Action Center.  It is a coalition of organizations working together to guide efforts for Reauthorization 2009. These groups represent anti-hunger, religious, education, medical, nutrition, direct service, school food, pre-school and child care, unions, children, after school, industry, and agriculture.

SNA has also signed on to the National Alliance for Nutrition and Activity (NANA) principles.  This is another coalition SNA is actively involved with.  The NANA coalition priorities include:

  • Updating national nutrition standards for the school meal programs
  • Increasing reimbursement rates
  • Provide funding for non-food assistance grants
  • Strengthen local school wellness policies
  • Strengthen nutrition education programs

For additional information regarding the Child Nutrition Forum and the NANA coalition, please visit the below links.

Child Nutrition Forum Statement of Principles

National Alliance for Nutrition and Activity

USDA Schedules State Agency Director Meeting after LAC 

The Food and Nutrition Service, USDA, and Abt Associates Inc. are holding a meeting in Washington DC, immediately following the last session of the School Nutrition Association's Legislative Action Conference (LAC), on Wednesday, March 4, 2009, to discuss Direct Verification with Medicaid (DV-M.) At this meeting state agency child nutrition directors will learn how school districts can use direct verification with Medicaid to eliminate household contacts for one-fifth of the verification sample or more; hear a first-hand view of direct verification from one of your peers; get the findings of the Direct Verification Pilot Study on the effectiveness of direct verification and the lessons learned in six States; and explore the issues that States face in making direct verification work and identify possible action steps for States and FNS. Please read the iinformation below and reserve your place by e-mailing to DirectVerification@abtassoc.com or calling 617-349-2821. Space is limited, please reply by Friday, February 13.

Meeting Agenda 

SNA Launches Online Supply Chain Toolkit

Last week, SNA unveiled a valuable  new resource to help school nutrition operations improve efficiencies in the procurement process. SNA’s Supply Chain Toolkit: A Guide to Effective Supply Chain Management was developed by a taskforce appointed by the Association’s Board of Directors.

The online Toolkit shows operators how to establish annual purchasing goals and objectives; develop menus; determine pre-bid questions; and evaluate efficiencies. It also includes a number of customizable templates and tools.

If you are a school nutrition director who strives to take your operation to a new level—or who just wants to keep pace with increasing competition and fiscal pressures—then you have seen the supply chain landscape change dramatically in recent years. The “we’ve-always-done-it-this-way” approach simply doesn’t work in the 21st century, because supply chain dynamics have evolved—and multiplied. The Supply Chain Toolkit offers practical solutions to help you develop and maintain a supply chain strategy.

Supply Chain Toolkit: A Guide to Effective Supply Chain Management

USDA Releases Statement on Peanut Butter Recall

On January 28, 2009, the Peanut Corporation of America expanded its recall on peanut products to include items produced two years ago.  The USDA FNS has released a statement saying that a limited number of items were purchased by the USDA for the federal nutrition assistance programs, including the school nutrition programs.  USDA is working with the small number of programs affected by the recall to remove and destroy any product.  All school nutrition programs are asked to check for any product that might have been purchased commercially.   For additional information, including an updated list of products, please see the link below. SNA has been updating a webpage with the latest recall announcements as well. That page is linked below.

USDA FNS Statement

List of Recalled Items

SNA Peanut Butter Website 

Check Out SNA’s Reauthorization Blog!

Last week, SNA launched a new blog dedicated to discussing Child Nutrition Reauthorization 2009.  Authored primarily by SNA's Child Nutrition and Policy Team, the new child nutrition reauthorization blog will also feature entries from guest bloggers – members of the SNA leadership who will explain the Association’s position on legislation and offer opinions.  From the Kitchen to the Congress is also a place to ask questions and leave comments about the reauthorization process, pending legislation and SNA’s positions.  We encourage you to engage in discussion with other SNA members and school nutrition professionals throughout the entire reauthorization process.

Click on From the Kitchen to the Congress to view the blog.

SNDA-III Report Discussed in ADA Journal

While the USDA Food and Nutrition Service released the national School Nutrition Dietary Assessment III (SNDA-III) findings in November 2007, a supplement to the February 2009 Journal of the American Dietetic Association republished the study findings this week. The SNDA-III report found that in about 90 percent of all schools nationwide, students had opportunities to select low-fat lunch options. Additionally more than 70 percent of schools studied served meals that provided nutrients students need for healthy lifestyles, including protein, iron, calcium, and vitamins A and C. In fact, National School Lunch Program participants consumed more of six key nutrients at lunch than non-participants. Read more below.

SNA Statement on SNDA III 

Media Challenges and Response

Last week several media organizations included content and segments that exhibited a lack of knowledge about the current state of school nutrition. On January 27, 2009, The Oprah Winfrey Show featured Dr. Mehmet Oz discussing childhood obesity among teenagers. Much of the information provided about school lunches offered through the National School Lunch Program misrepresents the reality of the school meals served today. SNA had discussions with Show producers during the past six weeks and pitched including a school nutrition expert as part of the segment. Show producers chose not to use accurate information about the current emphasis on whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low fat dairy in school nutrition programs that was presented to them.

SNA issued a public response to the Show last week and also sent a letter to the Show and guest Dr. Mehmet Oz offering factual information about school meal programs and the challenges being confronted by school nutrition professionals. SNA is continuing to conduct national media outreach to a wide variety of print and broadcast organizations to ensure that school nutrition professionals are able to share the facts about school meals.

SNA staff and member spokespersons worked with an Associated Press reporter on an article discussing the many healthful options available daily for school lunch. The article can be seen below.

SNA Responds to Oprah Show 

Nutrition Standards Revolutionize School Lunches 

GAO Releases Report on Meal Counting and Claiming in SN Programs

A recently report by the Government Accountability Office examined how school meals are claimed and counted by the food service management companies (FSMC). According to a letter attached to the report, “when school food authorities (SFA) contract with FSMCs to manage their meal services, SFAs remain responsible for the accuracy of meal claims, and a robust system of internal controls can help mitigate the risk of financial losses from FSMC errors in meal counting and claiming. Although this study focused on circumstances where SFAs contracted with FSMCs, the similar error rates found between SFA-managed and FSMC-managed programs, along with the 8.6 percent error rate in the program overall, suggest that the nature of the problem requires a program wide approach rather than a focus on FSMC- managed meal services. Additional analyses are needed to identify potential remedies. In a separate study, we are currently conducting a program wide review of these errors.”

To view a complete copy of the report, please visit the link below.

Meal Counting and Claiming by Food Service Management Companies in the School Meals Programs 

SHPPS 2006 Releases Series of District Report Cards

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a series of district report cards based on information collected for the 2006 School Health Policies and Programs Study.  The report cards are for each DASH-funded school district, including many of the 100 largest school districts, nationally.  Nutrition services is one of the many areas covered by the report card.

SHPPS District Report Cards

Differing Findings on Mercury in High Fructose Corn Syrup

A report released last month by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), "Not So Sweet: Missing Mercury and High Fructose Corn Syrup" found that mercury was present in nearly one third of 55 popular brand name food and beverage products that contained high fructose corn syrup as a main ingredient. An analysis of the report by a scientific consulting firm found that more than two-thirds of the samples analyzed by IATP had no detectable level of mercury at all. In the remaining sample, most of these were at or near the limit of detection. The average concentration for the 17 samples with detectable levels was only 128 parts per trillion (ppt). EPA sets limits for mercury in drinking water at two parts per billion. Both reports can be accessed below.

Not So Sweet: Missing Mercury and High Fructose Corn Syrup Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

Expert Assessment Finds HFCS Mercury Study Flawed and Misleading ChemRisk and Corn Refiners Association

Culinary Demonstration Applications due February 15!

ANC 2009 exhibitors can now apply for “Culinary Demonstrations”, a great opportunity to showcase products and recipes in a 45-minute hands-on demonstration! Results from ANC 2008 show the return on investment: 58% of Culinary Demonstration attendees indicated that they would definitely try a new product or recipe as a result while an additional 31% would consider it; 87% planned to share the information with others in their district. Participating companies were featured in the Philadelphia Inquirer and taped for a future episode on Food Network’s Unwrapped! Culinary demonstrations provide a face-to-face opportunity with over 150 customers at one time, drive traffic to your ANC booth, enhance visibility on ANC signage and program materials, and provide opportunities for free media exposure. Companies are selected through a competitive application process. The applications are available at http://docs.schoolnutrition.org/meetingsandevents/anc2009/exhibits.asp and must be submitted by February 13, 2009.

From the Kitchen to the Congress Blog   NEW!

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:  Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Federal, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming

 


 
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