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Tuesday Morning - May 19, 2009

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May 19, 2009

Wanted: Equipment Grant Stories – How has your school nutrition program benefited from the $100 million in Equipment Assistance Grants included in the recent economic stimulus package? Share your stories with SNA by emailing asteines@schoolnutrition.org.

Table of Contents

House Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Federal Child Nutrition Programs

Senate Agriculture Committee Holds Field Hearing on Child Nutrition Programs

Ag. Secretary Vilsack Testifies Before House Appropriations Subcommittee

SNA Submits Letter Supporting White House Conference on Food and Nutrition

USDA FNS and AMS Administrators Named

April Posts Largest Food Price Increase Since January 2008

Braley Introduces School Meal Menu Labeling Legislation

New York City Health Commissioner Named CDC Director

Audit Finds LA Schools Violate District Wellness Policy

Dietary Guidelines Committee Considers Lowering Sodium Recommendation

“Solving the Food Allergy Puzzle” Workshop Scheduled at ANC!

Action for Healthy Kids Sponsors Student Video Conference

 

SNA Legislative Action Center

Legislative Toolkit

PR Toolkit

From the Kitchen to the Congress Reauthorization Blog

State and Federal Legislation

 

House Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Federal Child Nutrition Programs

On Thursday, May 14, the Healthy Families and Communities Subcommittee of the House of Representative’s Committee on Education and Labor held a hearing to examine how improvements to child nutrition programs can help fight the nation’s childhood obesity crisis. The Subcommittee is chaired by U.S. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) with Ranking Member Todd Platts (R-PA.)

Testifying at the hearing:

  • U.S. Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA)
  • U.S. Rep. Mike Castle (R-DE)
  • Michele Paterson First Lady of New York New York City & Albany, NY
  • Susan P. Byrnes, Susan P. Byrnes Health Education Center York, PA
  • Nancy Copperman, Public Health Initiatives Office of Community Health North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System Great Neck, NY
  • Reginald Felton, National School Boards Association Alexandria, VA
  • Dr. Virginia A. Stallings, MD Chair Institutes of Medicine (IOM) Committee on Nutrition Standards for National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs
  • Lorrene Davis Ritchie, PhD, RD Director of Research Atkins Center for Weight and Health Berkeley, CA

The School Nutrition Association commends Chairwoman McCarthy on holding the hearing to highlight the successes and potential of school based nutrition programs to promote healthy eating habits among children.

House Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Federal Child Nutrition Programs

Senate Agriculture Committee Holds Field Hearing on Child Nutrition Programs

The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry held a field hearing on the school nutrition programs in Atlanta, Ga. on Friday, May 15th. Testifying at the hearing were:

  • Dr. David Satcher, Director, Center of Excellence on Health Disparities, Poussaint-Satcher-Cosby Chair in Mental Health, Morehouse School of Medicine, and former U.S. Surgeon General, Atlanta, GA
  • Dr. William Dietz, Director, Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
  • Ms. Cindy Long, Director, Child Nutrition Programs Division, Food and Nutrition Service, USDA, Alexandria, VA
  • Mr. Gleyn Holmes, New North Florida Cooperative Association, Inc., Marianna, FL

The hearing focused on efforts to encourage healthy eating and physical activity. SNA has submitted testimony to be included in the record, which Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) acknowledged during his opening statement.

Senate Agriculture Committee Holds Hearing on Healthy Eating in Schools

 SNA Field Hearing Comments 

Ag. Secretary Vilsack Testifies Before House Appropriations Subcommittee

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies on Wednesday, May 13th. In his testimony, Vilsack discussed funding increases for the federal child nutrition programs and Reauthorization 2009. He also took several questions regarding the programs, covering issues such as commodity purchases and program complexity.

Sec. Vilsack Testifies to House Appropriations Sub-Committee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration

SNA Submits Letter Supporting White House Conference on Food and Nutrition

This week the School Nutrition Association (SNA) sent a letter to Representative Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) supporting his legislation (H.R. 1869/H.R. 2297) calling for a White House Conference on Food and Nutrition. The letter, from SNA president Dr. Katie Wilson SNS, states that SNA strongly believes it is a fundamental right that students have access to nutritious and healthy foods both inside and outside the cafeteria. The proposed Conference would be a long overdue follow-up to the 1969 White House Conference that brought public attention to the importance of nutrition in the life and well-being of the nation. See Related Links for a copy of the letter.

 SNA Letter in Support of White House Conference on Food and Nutrition  

USDA FNS and AMS Administrators Named

Secretary Tom Vilsack has named Julie Paradis as Administrator for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) and Rayne Pegg as Administrator for the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). Prior to her service as FNS Administrator, Paradis worked as Senior Washington Counsel for Feeding America (formerly America’s Second Harvest). From 1997-2001, she was Deputy Undersecretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services.

Pegg most recently served as the Deputy Secretary of Legislation for the California Department of Food and Agriculture. She also worked as an advocate for the California Farm Bureau Federation.

For a complete list of key USDA political appointees, please see the link below.

 Key USDA Political Appointees 

April Posts Largest Food Price Increase Since January 2008

Economic indicators released on Thursday, May 14, are just the latest sign that school meal reimbursements need to be increased through the child nutrition reauthorization process in Congress this year. According to the New York Times, "much of the increase in producer prices in April was the result of a 1.5% jump in food prices."

The food price increase was driven in part by several foods that are common school lunch and breakfast menu items. Eggs broke a record, rising 43.7% last month. Vegetables climbed 5.2% while fresh fruit also saw a marked increase. Beef was up by 4.5% while pork rose 2.5%

School nutrition programs continue to feel the rising cost of food and energy prices. As the current school year draws to a close, many districts are raising meal prices for next year.

The following links are from posts published in From the Kitchen to the Congress, SNA’s exclusive Child Nutrition Reauthorization blog.

Dept. of Labor: April Food Price Increase was Largest Since January 2008

School Lunch Prices Rising Nationally

Braley Introduces School Meal Menu Labeling Legislation

Late last week Representative Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) introduced the Healthy Food Choices for Kids Act (HR 2322), a bill designed to improve nutrition in schools by posting nutrition information, developing nutrition information awareness programs, and consulting with school nutrition experts to provide guidance on schools' nutrition programs. The proposal takes a multi-layered approach to improving children's nutrition by both teaching children to make healthy food choices and improving the nutrition of food available at school cafeterias. Braley's bill would create a voluntary pilot program at 100 American schools-ten schools in ten different states. Under the Healthy Food Choices for Families Act, the US Department of Agriculture would award grants to schools participating in the pilot program.  The bill also requires the Agriculture Secretary to report to Congress every two years on the progress of the pilot program. The bill is co-sponsored by Rep. Courtney (D-Conn.,) Rep. Hare (D-Ill.) and Rep. Loebsack (D-Iowa.)

New York City Health Commissioner Named CDC Director

President Obama has named Dr. Thomas Frieden, New York City Health Commissioner, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Frieden will assume the role in the beginning of July. As Health Commissioner, Frieden led efforts to ban smoking in New York City bars and restaurants, as well as ban trans fat in foods. He has also pushed restaurants to post calorie information on their menus.

Obama Taps NYC Health Commissioner to Head CDC

Audit Finds LA Schools Violate District Wellness Policy

An audit by the Los Angeles Unified School District’s inspector general’s office found that most schools violated the district’s food and beverage sale policies. According to the report, in some schools, vending machines and school stores sold items that did not fit the district’s nutrition guidelines. In some cases, street vendors were located too close to a school in violation of municipal laws. Student food fundraisers were also cited as in violation of district policies. School officials cite a lack of communication regarding district policies as a main reason for the violations.

L.A. Unified Schools violate junk food ban

Dietary Guidelines Committee Considers Lowering Sodium Recommendation

The expert committee charged with updating the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) is considering lowering the recommended daily levels of sodium. Currently, the DGAs recommend that individuals consume 2300 mg of sodium per day. However, new research suggests that 69 percent of all Americans can be classified in specific groups at risk for high blood pressure. Therefore, the committee is considering lowering the recommended level.

Also last week, the Center for Science in the Public Interest released a report detailing the sodium levels found in several different chain restaurant entrees. The report found that some popular entrees have more than two days worth of sodium in them. For additional information, please see the links below.

Dietary Guidelines for Americans Committee

Heart Attack Entrees with Side Orders of Stroke – CSPI Press Release

“Solving the Food Allergy Puzzle” Workshop Scheduled at ANC!

SNF and USDA are partnering to offer an 8-hour work shop on managing food allergies in schools on Sunday, June 28, 2009 in Las Vegas, NV. This workshop will be part of the pre-conference offerings for the School Nutrition Association’s Annual National Conference 2009. This interactive workshop will feature national, state, and local guidance and best practices. Attendees will leave with a greater understanding of the legal and regulatory responsibilities surrounding food allergy management in schools and action steps to address their school district’s efforts. The workshop is intended for school nutrition operators and others in the school nutrition field.

For information regarding the workshop and to register for the conference, please visit the links below.

Solving the Food Allergy Puzzle Workshop

ANC 2009 Conference Registration

Action for Healthy Kids Sponsors Student Video Conference

Action for Healthy Kids® invites students in grades 9-12 to participate in a national video contest to show how their school makes it easy to be healthy.  The video contest is part of Students Taking Charge, a student advocacy program that empowers high school students to improve nutrition and opportunities for physical activity in their school.

The first place winner will receive $500, and $1,000 will be awarded to the winner’s school to support a healthy initiative. Two second prize winners will each receive $350, and $750 will go to their schools. Videos must be submitted by June 1, 2009.  Winners will be announced by July 1, 2009.

Contest details are available on Facebook at http://apps.facebook.com/causes/279972 (invite your friends to join!) and www.StudentsTakingCharge.org.  Videos must be submitted through YouTube.  All entries will be posted on Facebook, where viewers can vote for their favorite.  Winners will be chosen through the Facebook vote.

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, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Federal, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin

 

 


 
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