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Tuesday Morning - September 22, 2009

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September 22, 2009

Table of Contents

USDA Launches Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Campaign

Federal Legislation Watch: Fighting Hunger in Schools

USDA Issues New Policy on Direct Certification

National School Lunch Week is a Slam Dunk!

Mark Your Calendars for Educate Your Community Week

Get Prepared for Flu Season

Winston Equipment Grant Award Now Open

SNA Legislative Action Center

Legislative Toolkit

PR Toolkit

From the Kitchen to the Congress Reauthorization Blog

State and Federal Legislation

USDA Launches Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Campaign

Deputy Secretary for Agriculture Kathleen Merrigan, announced last Tuesday an opportunity she hopes will foster connections between children and their food source. USDA’s new Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative will provide greater opportunities for local farmers to distribute their produce throughout their communities, including in schools. The announcement was made at the Homegrown School Lunch Week Kickoff which took place in Hanover, Md. last week.

USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) and Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will form “Farm to School Tactical Teams” that will assist school administrators to transition to purchasing more locally grown foods. USDA will also provide updated purchasing guidance to assist schools. The USDA will be making $50 million available to enable schools to buy local produce.

Federal Legislation Watch: Fighting Hunger in Schools

Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN) will likely introduce legislation in the House of Representatives next week to increase eligibility for free lunches. Senator Al Franken (D-MN) will support a companion bill in the Senate. These pieces of legislation are timely as many families are finding it difficult to provide lunch money for their children. Ellison’s bill would enable children of families earning up to 185 percent of the poverty line ($40,793 for a family of four) the ability to access free school lunches. Currently, some families who qualify for the reduced price lunch are unable to afford it.

According to a US Census report, 2008 marked the year the nation was burdened by the largest one-year decline in median income since 1967. Additionally, 2008 saw the largest one-year increase in poverty since 1991. With the rise in unemployment figures, these reports highlight the economy’s effect on families’ ability to provide nourishment. Some states have seen a marked increase in the number of families using food shelves just to get by.

Legislation Watch: Fighting Hunger in Schools - The Nation

U.S. Poverty at 11-year High as Household Income Tumbles - Chicago Sun-Times

USDA Issues New Policy on Direct Certification

USDA issued an updated policy enabling all children in households receiving food stamps/SNAP, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cash assistance, or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) benefits to access free school meals. The new policy benefits all children who reside in a household where previously not all children were able to qualify. Please visit the link below for a copy of this new policy. The full benefits of this policy will not be realized until next year, as the announcement fell after the start of the new school year in many districts.

USDA Memo - Extending Categorial Eligibility to Additional Children in a Household

National School Lunch Week is a Slam Dunk!

SNA and the Milk Processors Education Program (MilkPEP) invites students nationwide to participate in “All-Star School Lunch,” a NBA-inspired campaign to help students learn the importance of eating healthy school lunches and staying active. The campaign culminates during National School Lunch Week, October 12-16, 2009.

Students who visit www.allstarschoollunch.org will find a full court press of activities and information on the nutrition campaign. The site features the All-Star School Lunch Team choices of participating NBA/WNBA players – well-balanced, nutritious lunch menus including fruits and vegetables, like kiwi and Mexicali corn, whole grain pastas and breads, as well as vegetarian fare.

Participants can download trading cards for each team, complete with photos of the famous honorary coach. As a nutrition bonus, the flip side of the card features nutrition “stats” and information about why the lunch is healthy

Mark Your Calendars for Educate Your Community Week

November 16-20 is Educate Your Community Week. SNA encourages you to help educate community officials, teachers, students, and parents on the importance of the School Lunch Program. Recently, the program that makes economic and nutritional sense has had some less than favorable media attention. It’s particularly important with the upcoming Child Nutrition Reauthorization to set the record straight. Please start early in developing a plan for Educate Your Community Week. SNA invites you to share success stories and creative ideas for education about the School Lunch Program. Please learn the facts from http://www.schoolnutrition.org and help others learn as well.

Get Prepared for Flu Season

SNA is working with both the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Education on this issue. SNA is working with USDA to educate school nutrition professionals on updated preparedness recommendations to continue meal service in the event of H1N1 flu related school closures. For more information on the SNF webinar held on August 25 visit www.schoolnutrition.org/h1n1webinar. Listed below are resources and tools from the USDA that are designed to guide school nutrition programs facing an H1N1 flu outbreak. This website will be updated as new information becomes available.

SNA H1N1 (Swine) Influenza Resources

Winston Equipment Grant Award Now Open

SNF and Winston Industries are pleased to announce applications are now being accepted for the third annual Winston Industries Equipment Award Grant program. Equipment received from this award will consist of 10 pieces of equipment from Winston Industries which may include items such as holding cabinets, holding drawers, steamers, cook and holds, therm and holds. The pieces are representative of the equipment available for the program. Winston Industries will work closely with the Equipment Award Grant winner to determine its needs to select equipment and arrange delivery of the equipment to the district.

Winston Equipment Grant Award Now Open

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, District of Columbia, Federal, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Wisconsin

   



 
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