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Tuesday Morning - September 8, 2009

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September 8, 2009

Table of Contents

Ellison Introduces School Nutrition Legislation

Latest Woolsey Dear Colleague with 152 Cosponsors

USDA to Purchase Up to $30 Million in Additional Pork Products in FY 2009

USDA Announces Final Rule on Cafeteria Inspections

IOM Releases New Report on Childhood Obesity Prevention

Get the Buzz on Social Media! Sign Up for Webinar Today!

Application Now Available for Love Your Veggies Grants

Don’t Delay! Name Someone for FAME

SNA Legislative Action Center

Legislative Toolkit

PR Toolkit

From the Kitchen to the Congress Reauthorization Blog

State and Federal Legislation

Ellison Introduces School Nutrition Legislation

Next week, Congress will reconvene for the fall session and Congressman Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) will introduce two major pieces of child nutrition legislation. The National School Lunch Act and Child Nutrition Act are both up for reauthorization, making these two pieces of legislation timely.

The first bill aims to give thousands of low-income Minnesotan children access to the federal school lunch program. Currently, the economic downturn has caused a spike in the amount of low-income working families who frequently cannot afford to give their children money for reduced price lunches at school. This legislation aims to make school meals free for all children whose family incomes fall below 185%, as opposed to the previous bar set at 130%. The second bill will prohibit school districts from stigmatizing children or barring them from educational opportunities as punishment for the family’s unpaid school meal bills.

Latest Woolsey Dear Colleague with 152 Cosponsors

Representative Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) recently issued a Dear Colleague letter asking Members of Congress to support H.R. 1324, the Child Nutrition Promotion and School Lunch Protection Act. The bill recognizes that school environments do not provide healthful food choices beyond the reimbursable school meal. Woolsey's bill calls on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to update nutrition standards for a la carte and vending machine items. The legislation would also apply nutrition standards to the whole campus throughout the extended school day. Currently, 152 Members of Congress are co-sponsoring this legislation.

USDA to Purchase Up to $30 Million in Additional Pork Products in FY 2009

Last week, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced that USDA intends to purchase an additional $30 million in pork products for the federal nutrition assistance programs, including the school nutrition programs. This year, USDA has purchased over $151 million in pork products for the nutrition assistance programs.

USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) purchases a variety of high-quality food products each year to support the National School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program, the Summer Food Service Program, the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations, the Commodity Supplemental Food Program and the Emergency Food Assistance Program. USDA also makes emergency food purchases for distribution to victims of natural disasters.

Government food experts work to ensure that all food items purchased are nutritious and healthful. Items are required to be low in fat, sugar and sodium. Food items must also meet specified grade requirements for and be USDA-certified to ensure quality. Only products of 100% domestic origin are purchased.

USDA Announces Final Rule on Cafeteria Inspections

USDA Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) has adopted a final rule outlining food safety and inspection requirements for school districts participating in the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program. The final rule adopts, without change, the requirements outlined in a previous interim rule issued by FNS as a result of the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004. The rule requires that all school districts participating in the school lunch and breakfast programs must have two inspections per year, post the most recent inspection in a visible location and make copies of the report available to the public upon request. The final rule will be effective on Oct. 2, 2009.

Federal Register Notice—Final Rule on Cafeteria Inspections - http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/E9-21133.htm

IOM Releases New Report on Childhood Obesity Prevention

On Tuesday, Sept. 1, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies of Science issued a report entitled “Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity.” The report was prepared by the Committee on Childhood Obesity Prevention Actions for Local Governments, a division of the Institute’s Food and Nutrition Board.

The report reveals that the prevalence of obesity is so high that the life expectancy of today’s generation of children may be reduced, as obese children and adolescents are more likely to develop chronic conditions such as high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes. Despite the alarming statistics, there are a variety of ways that local governments can potentially decrease obesity statistics by promoting healthier lifestyles and increasing access to healthier foods and physical activities.

The suggested actions are directed toward those within the control of local governmental units. While they are not dependent upon federal programs or assistance, the report does urge local officials to coordinate with federal efforts. Local governments may find the report to be a useful tool of self-examination. Local governments will be able to analyze what has been done already with what can be done to provide a local environment conducive to a proactive response to the obesity problem.

Get the Buzz on Social Media! Sign Up for Webinar Today!

If you haven’t heard the buzz yet, you will. “Social media” websites like Facebook and Twitter are taking the Internet by storm. Facebook is already the fourth most popular website in the world! Learn what all the fuss is about by joining the School Nutrition Foundation’s expert panel as they discuss how you can use social media both personally and professionally. It’s not as difficult as you might think! We’ll walk you through how to sign up and get started. You’ll get tips from an educational policy expert on how to navigate your school district’s technology arena, and we’ll even share how the SNA, SNF and the Global Child Nutrition Foundation are using social media to improve our online offerings. Reserve your seat today and prepare to take your school nutrition program to the next level with social media. Remember—space is limited, so sign up today!

SNF has convened an expert panel for our next Wednesday Webinar, on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2009 at 2:30 EDT. This webinar is free of charge. Participants can earn one CEU toward SNA certification. For complete information, including registration and speakers, visit http://www.schoolnutrition.org/Content.aspx?id=12947.

Application Now Available for Love Your Veggies Grants

The makers of Hidden Valley® Salad Dressings have announced the fourth annual Love Your Veggies™ grant program, an initiative that will provide $10,000 grants to 10 public elementary schools in the United States to support increased access to and consumption of fresh produce during school meals. The Love Your Veggies™ grant program is sponsored by the makers of Hidden Valley® Salad Dressings in partnership with School Nutrition Foundation (SNF). Visit www.LoveYourVeggies.com  for complete information, including the 2009 application.

Now in its fourth consecutive year, the Hidden Valley® Love Your Veggies™ grant program has awarded $750,000 to elementary schools throughout the country for the implementation of fresh fruit and vegetable programs. Schools can apply for a grant through Nov. 6, 2009 by visiting LoveYourVeggies.com. Schools will be notified of their award status by Feb. 15, 2010. A public announcement of all 10 winners will be made in April 2010.

Don’t Delay! Name Someone for FAME

Time is running out to nominate school nutrition industry leaders for a national Foodservice Achievement Management Excellence (FAME) Award. For 21 years, the FAME Awards have recognized innovators in the profession who raise the school nutrition bar for others to follow. Nominations are due by Sept. 18, 2009.

Six categories will be awarded, including one Gold Award for School Foodservice Director of the Year and five Silver Awards: Leadership, Spirit, Rising Star, Special Achievement and Friend of Child Nutrition. Tuesday Morning readers may be especially interested in nominating candidates for the Silver Friend of Child Nutrition award. This award is given to an advocate of school nutrition, such as a principal, teacher, community leader, vendor partner, legislator or other supporter who goes above and beyond in supporting the efforts of America’s school nutrition professionals.

One former winner of this award is SNA’s Washington counsel, Marshall Matz. “I was honored to receive the FAME Silver Friend of Child Nutrition award in 1998. I have worked with SNA for 30 years trying to improve the reach, scope and effectiveness of the federal child nutrition programs. The FAME selection committee recognized this important partnership with the award, which greatly added to its meaning for me,” says Matz.

Nominations will be taken online or via a downloadable form at www.fameawards.net until Sept. 18, 2009.











 
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