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Tuesday Morning - March 31,2009

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March 31, 2009

Table of Contents

House and Senate Budget Committees Pass Budget Resolutions

Senate Agriculture Committee Hearing Today on Competitive Foods

USDA Announces 2009-2010 Income Eligibility Guidelines for School Meal Programs

USDA Announces Bonus Commodity Buy of Non-Fat Dry Milk

School Food Service Equipment Grant Update

House Agriculture Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Obesity in the U.S

Resolution Introduced Honoring National Nutrition Month

In Interview, USDA Secretary Vilsack Comments on Indirect Costs

State Legislative Update

IDFA, NMPF File Petition on Non-Nutritive Sweeteners in Milk

McGovern, Dole Call for White House Conference on Nutrition

White House Breaks Ground on Garden

In Every Issue

Legislative Action Center

Legislative Toolkit

PR Toolkit

State Policy Index

State and Federal Legislation

PPL Committee

House and Senate Budget Committees Pass Budget Resolutions

The Senate and House Budget Committees each passed their respective budget resolutions this week, providing blueprints for how the federal budget should be spent for the upcoming 2010 fiscal year. The budget resolution must be passed by the full House of Representatives and U.S. Senate before becoming adopted. Funding for the child nutrition reauthorization process is mentioned in both the House and Senate Budget resolutions. A budget resolution is an internal congressional blueprint for future action in the coming fiscal year. It does not go to the president for signature and is not "law" per se. While there is never any ‘real’ money in a resolution, it does help frame the priorities of the Congress.

You can act now to send a strong message that child nutrition funding be included in the budget during this child nutrition reauthorization year. Please take the following steps to make sure your elected officials in Congress know how you feel about funding for child nutrition:

1. Call your Representative and Senators immediately (toll free 866-544-7573.) Ask the operator to connect you to your Representative or Senators. If you need to look up who represents you in Congress go to this link and enter your zip code: http://capwiz.com/asfsa/dbq/officials/

2. When you are on the phone with the offices of your members of Congress, urge them to support significant added investments in child nutrition programs in the fiscal year 2010 budget they will be voting on this week. Simply state that you would like them "to support added investments in child nutrition programs in the fiscal year 2010 budget. Thank you for your support."

3. Make sure you talk to the offices of all three of your members of Congress (one Representative and two Senators.)

Thank you for taking action to support strong school nutrition programs. For further information, please visit Related Links.

House and Senate Budget Committees Pass Budget Resolutions
Action Alert on Funding and Reauthorization

Senate Agriculture Committee Hearing Today on Competitive Foods

Today, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry chaired by Senator Harkin (D-Iowa) will hold a hearing addressing this issue titled "Beyond Federal School Meal Programs: Reforming Nutrition for Kids in Schools." The hearing will begin at 9:30 AM in room 328A of the Russell Senate Office Building. For the complete list of witnesses, please see the link below.

The School Nutrition Association strongly supports consistent federal nutrition standards for foods and beverages sold outside of the federal school meal programs. The Association's 2009 Legislative Issue Paper calls on Congress to "grant the Secretary of Agriculture the statutory authority to regulate the sale of all foods and beverages on the school campus, consistent with the most recent edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans." Students receive mixed messages when certain foods are sold outside the cafeteria and others are sold within the cafeteria. One nutrition standard for the entire school campus reinforces nutrition education provided in the classroom and ensures that all choices available at school are healthful ones. See below to access the webcast of the hearing.

Senate Agriculture Committee Hearing Announced on Competitive Foods
Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Hearing webcast

USDA Announces 2009-2010 Income Eligibility Guidelines for School Meal Programs

The USDA Food and Nutrition Service has posted the annual adjustments to the Income Eligibility Guidelines, used in determining eligibility for free and reduced price meals or free milk. The guidelines are used by schools, institutions, and facilities participating in the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Special Milk Program for Children, Child and Adult Care Food Program and Summer Food Service Program. The numbers reflected in this notice for a family of four in the 48 contiguous states, the District of Columbia, Guam and the territories represent an increase of 4% over last year’s level for a family of the same size. Under the new guidelines a family of four qualifying for free meals must make $28,665 or less, while a family of four qualifying for reduced price meals must make less than $40,793.

USDA Announces 2009-2010 Income Eligibility Guidelines for School Meal Programs 

USDA Announces Bonus Commodity Buy of Non-Fat Dry Milk

Approximately 200 million pounds of nonfat dry milk will be transferred from the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) to USDA's Food and Nutrition Service for use in domestic feeding programs, according to an announcement from the Secretary of Agriculture. The goal is to help support both low-income families struggling to put nutritious food on their tables and dairy farmers who have been challenged by high feed costs and low dairy prices. USDA will make available about 200 million pounds of NDM for further processing or barter. The acquired products are expected to include items such as instantized NDM, ultra high temperature milk, cheese, and soups for domestic feeding programs.  For additional information, please see the link below.

USDA Announces Bonus Commodity Buy of Nonfat Dry Milk 

School Food Service Equipment Grant Update

On March 20, 2009, USDA released a memo discussing several common questions from state agency and school nutrition program officials regarding the school food service equipment grants included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.  Several states have also announced information regarding the grant application process.  Please see the links below for a copy of this memo, as well as resources on school food service equipment, including publications on equipment purchasing and facility designs, the USDA equipment guide, and grant writing tips.

On April 15th, at 2:30 PM EDT, the School Nutrition Foundation will hold an webinar on equipment purchasing.  Part of SNF’s Webinar Wednesdays series, “Equipment Solutions: Plug into Profitability,” will feature discussion and success stories on how to increase participation and profitability with the right choice of equipment for your operation. 1 SNA CEU credit will be awarded to participants. Registration and other information is available at the link below.

2009 Equipment Assistance Grants Questions and Answers – USDA Memo

Stimulus School Food Equipment Grants

Webinar Wednesdays: Equipment Webinar 

House Agriculture Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Obesity in the U.S

On March 26, the House Agriculture Committee, Subcommittee on Department Operations, Oversight, Nutrition, and Forestry held a hearing entitled, “To Review the State of Obesity in the United States.” Chairman Baca (D-CA) and Ranking Member Fortenberry (R-NE) resided over the hearing, and were joined by Representatives Cuellar (D-TX), Dahlkemper (D-PA), Kagan (D-WI), Lummis (R-WY), Schrader (D-OR), and Schmidt (R-OH). Witnesses included Dr. William Dietz of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Martin Yadrick, president of the American Dietetic Association and Donna Mazyck of the National Association of School Nurses. Testimony and discussion focused broadly on obesity in America; however, several witnesses did mention the importance of school-based child programs in preventing overweight and obesity in children.

House Agriculture Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Obesity in the U.S.

 

Resolution Introduced Honoring National Nutrition Month

Representative Kathy Castor (D-Fla.), along with Representative Dave Reichert (R-Wash.) introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives honoring National Nutrition Month on Monday, March 23rd.  The resolution, H.Res. 274, recognized the impact of good nutrition and the role of dieticians in the health community. It also expressed support for programs that help encourage healthy eating and obesity prevention.  Seventy-eight members of the House co-sponsored the resolution. 

In Interview, Secretary Vilsack Comments on Indirect Costs

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack is worried about the indirect costs charged to many school nutrition programs. In a recent interview with the Capitol Hill publication, CongressDaily, Vilsack expressed concern, noting that it is appropriate for Congress to do something to prevent districts from charging school nutrition programs for items or employees that are not related to the nutrition programs.  He argued that the money provided for school nutrition programs should be used for nutrition, not other areas. 

State Legislative Update

The School Nutrition Association of North Carolina held a press conference this week, encouraging the state legislature to provide a reimbursement for school meals.  North Carolina does not provide a reimbursement, but it does have state mandated nutrition standards in elementary schools.  The North Carolina legislature is considering legislation that would appropriate $20 million for school nutrition programs to implement these standards.

In Louisiana, state legislators are considering introducing a bill that would require school nutrition programs to collect a 4 percent tax on all school meals served in a school, Pre-K through college, if passed.  The Louisiana legislative session begins on April 27th.

Students in Florida schools may soon have fresh, locally grown produce on their lunch trays.  The state Senate Education Pre-K through 12 Committee unanimously passed a bill that would create the Florida Farm Fresh Schools Program.  The program would ease the process for schools to purchase produce from local farmers.  The legislation now moves onto the Senate Agriculture Committee for a hearing.

Leaders discuss school nutrition costs

Bill passes encouraging fresh produce at schools

IDFA, NMPF File Petition on Non-Nutritive Sweeteners in Milk

The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) have filed a petition with the Food and Drug Administration to allow the use of non-nutritive sweeteners in milk and other dairy products.  Current standards require milk producers to label their products as “no sugar added” or “reduced calorie”, labels that cause a drop in student appeal.  The IDFA and NMPF argue that by allowing the use of non-nutritive sweeteners, student milk consumption will increase.

IDFA, NMPF File Petition on Non-Nutritive Sweeteners 

McGovern, Dole Call for White House Conference on Nutrition

Former Senators George McGovern (D-S.D.) and Bob Dole (R-Kan.) called on the Obama administration to convene a second White House Conference on Nutrition.  In an opinion piece published in the Washington Times, the senators call for a summit to discuss the obesity crisis and solutions for the problem.  Included in their recommendations are integrating nutrition education into the federal nutrition programs and creating national, consistent standards for foods sold outside of school meals.

Obesity conference call – The Washington Times

White House Breaks Ground on Garden

In an effort to promote healthy eating and local grown foods, First Lady Michelle Obama, with the assistance of several Washington, DC students, broke ground on a vegetable garden on the White House lawn.  The garden will grow a variety of vegetables that will be used in meals prepared for the first family.  The garden will also be used to educate children and the public about healthy eating.

Obamas to Plant Vegetable Garden at the White House 

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

 


 
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