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Tuesday Morning - September 29, 2009

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September 29, 2009

Table of Contents

Professional Standards Comment Deadline Approaching!

Congress Extends Current Child Nutrition Reauthorization Bill

New School Legislation Introduced

USA Today Covers GAO Report on School Food Safety

USDA Partners with National Dairy Council and NFL on Fuel Up to Play 60

ANC 2010: Making the Most of Professional Opportunities

Mark Your Calendars for Educate Your Community Week

USDA’s Rural Development Community Facilities Program Offer Equipment Funding

Whole Grains Focus of November School Nutrition Workshop

SNA Legislative Action Center

Legislative Toolkit

PR Toolkit

From the Kitchen to the Congress Reauthorization Blog

Professional Standards Comment Deadline Approaching!

SNA believes that professional standards will elevate the quality and efficiency of School Nutrition Programs nationwide with respect to nutrition, food safety, operations and fiscal management by ensuring that all administrators are better qualified to manage these complex programs. Professionally qualified directors recognize the need and possess the skills to position the SNPs as an integral part of the educational program, maximize the use of federal, state, and local funds, and build state and community alliances that provide additional program and district support.

SNA members are encouraged to review and comment on the Task Force’s recommendations on this blog. The recommendations will be posted until Friday, October 2 and open to comments. All comments will be considered by the Professional Standards Task Force. During the Committee Days meeting in October, the SNA Board of Directors will review the recommendations and vote to approve them. Following approval, SNA will begin to solicit Congressional support for these standards, as a part of our efforts concerning Child Nutrition Reauthorization.

Please offer your suggestions here: http://schoolnutrition.org/Blog.aspx?&blogid=81289

Congress Debates Extension to the Current Child Nutrition Law

With the current Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act set to expire on September 30, 2009, Congress began discussions to extend the current law through October 31, 2009. While the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program are permanent programs, the continuing resolution would extend non-permanent programs such as the Summer Food Service Program and the After-School Snack Program. It is likely that this continuing resolution will expire before the Reauthorization Act is renewed. Should that occur, another continuing resolution will most likely be issued.

Congress is expected to begin work on the 2009 Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act later this fall. In both the Senate and the House of Representatives, a number of bills have been introduced focusing on certain aspects of the school nutrition programs.

New School Legislation Introduced

The Safe Food for Schools Act (S 1693) was introduced by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) on September 22, 2009. The legislation would amend the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act by require the Secretary of Agriculture to enhance coordination between States and schools operating school meal programs. The bill would help ensure the safety of school meals by strengthening coordination and allow for better communication in the case of a recall due to contaminated food.

In the House, Representative Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) introduced HR 3625. This legislation would require the Secretary of Education to study and report in regard to the marketing of food and beverages in elementary and secondary schools. The study would assess the nutritional quality of foods marketed, analyze how these items are marketed to children, and review current regulations. A report compiling the study results would be submitted to Congress on or before July 1, 2011.

USA Today Covers GAO Report on School Food Safety

September 22, 2009 - USA Today’s September 22, 2009 article, “GAO audit: Schools slow to get alerts about tainted food,” reports on a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) study entitled “Changes to Federal Agencies’ Procedures Could Reduce Risk of School Children Consuming Recalled Food.” The report looks at USDA’s response time to notify school districts regarding potential food contamination. The report does not criticize individual school districts’ handling of food safety issues and instead examines the notification system between the USDA, state agencies, and school nutrition programs. Four members of Congress requested the report.

The School Nutrition Association and its members nationwide have made food safety a priority, and have taken steps through food safety standards and practices in schools, as well as federal advocacy, to protect the wellness of America’s school children.

USDA Partners with National Dairy Council and NFL on Fuel Up to Play 60

September 23, 2009 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced USDA’s partnership with the National Dairy Council® and local Dairy Councils® and the National Football League on Fuel Up to Play 60, a new school-based program that empowers students to make smart choices about their nutrition and physical activity. SNA members who sign up for the program’s free wellness kits are playing a critical role in bringing this innovative campaign into school cafeterias.

Wellness kits, available at www.SchoolWellnessKit.org, include colorful displays as well as online access to easy- to-implement activities. These were designed to inspire students to “fuel up” with the food groups kids don’t get enough of – low-fat and fat-free dairy foods, fruits, vegetables and whole grains and to “get up and play” for 60 minutes a day. Fuel Up to Play 60 can be used to complement an existing school wellness program, or to help a school get started.

SNA members can earn CEUs (Continuing Education Units) when implementing Fuel Up to Play. Complete information on how to earn CEUS for Fuel Up to Play 60 will be available in October. Enrollment for the 2009-2010 school year is underway and supplies are limited. To order a free kit (one per school), please sign up at: www.SchoolWellnessKit.org.

ANC 2010: Making the Most of Professional Opportunities

September 24, 2009 -- It’s that time again! September is the time for you to consider how you can use ANC 2010 to enhance your career or volunteer your time. ANC offers many opportunities for SNA members to share their professional expertise and gain national exposure. Here is one way that you can be involved in making ANC 2010 the premier school nutrition event of the year:
Speak at Educational Sessions

SNA is now accepting submissions for 1-hour concurrent breakout sessions through the ANC 2010 Call for Proposals through October 9, 2009. Access the form and instructions at:

ANC 2010 Call for Proposals

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/Content.aspx?id=10216&terms="Educate+Your+Community" and help others learn as well.

USDA's Rural Development Community Facilities Program Offers Equipment Funding

The USDA Rural Development Community Facilities Program was developed in an effort to focus on developing local and regional food systems. The program administers loans and grants to be used towards equipment benefitting community projects. This program can provide funding to school districts that are interested in maintaining farm-to-school activities. This program defines rural communities as those with a population that does not exceed 20,000. For additional information about the program, and to apply for funding, please visit the links below.

USDA Rural Development Community Facilities Program

 Rural Development Program USDA Memo - September 15, 2009 

Whole Grains Focus of November School Nutrition Workshop

The Grains for Health Foundation is sponsoring a workshop on Wednesday, November 11, 5-8:00 p.m. and Thursday, November 12, 2009 9:00am-4:30 p.m. The workshop will consist of school foodservice directors and personnel, food industry product developers and distributors, and experts from farm-to-school programs. They will collaborate on current topics including; how schools buy foods to improve efficiency, the use of whole-grain and nutrient-dense foods, new product development, and have the opportunity to offer input to influence Grains for Health Foundation’s work in improving child health. Additionally, there will be a hands-on session aimed at examining product and recipe development for school foodservice.

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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