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Tuesday Morning - December 15, 2009

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December 15, 2009

Table of Contents

School Nutrition Association Supports School Food Safety Efforts

Final Rule on HACCP Requirements Issued

SNA Signs Onto Letter Support Child Nutrition Reauthorization Goals

USDA Will Offer Lawmakers a Sampling of School Lunches

Multiple Bills Introduced Ahead of Child Nutrition Reauthorization

Michigan Legislature Introduces Legislation on Contract Management Companies

SNA Legislative Action Center

Legislative Toolkit

School Nutrition Association Supports School Food Safety Efforts

In USA Today’s most recent article on school food safety issues, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the Department would conduct an independent review of food safety testing requirements for ground beef provided to schools under the Commodity Programs. The School Nutrition Association strongly supports the Department’s efforts to further improve the safety of food supplied to the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs.

Through stringent food safety standards, professional training and federal advocacy, the School Nutrition Association and its members are focused on protecting the health of America’s school children.

For additional information on these efforts and talking points on the safety and quality of USDA commodities, please visit the link below.

School Nutrition Association Supports School Food Safety Efforts

Final Rule on HACCP Requirements Issued

The U.S. Department of Agriculture published a final rule on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point standards for the school nutrition programs in today’s issue of the Federal Register. The final rule implements the legislative provisions included in the 2004 Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act that require all school food authorities that participation in the National School Lunch Program or the School Breakfast Program to develop a food safety system that implements the HACCP system. Please see the link below for additional information.

 Federal Register Notice – Final HACCP Rule 

SNA Signs onto Letter Supporting Child Nutrition Reauthorization Goals

 
SNA has joined several other organizations in signing onto a letter supportingthe Child Nutrition Forum’s goals for the 2009 Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act. The letter calls for a “robustly funded reauthorization bill” that provides the critical funding needed to operate the federal child nutrition programs successfully. It also asks that the reauthorization bill includes provisions that:

  • Assure and strengthen program access and support participation by underserved children and communities;
  • Enhance nutrition quality and provide adequate meal reimbursements; and
  • Modernize technology and simplify program administration and operation.

The letter will be sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), House Education and Labor Chairman George Miller (D-CA), and Senate Agriculture Chair Blanche Lincoln (D-AR). In addition, the coalition will be share with Administration officials including the Office of Management and Budget and USDA.

To view the letter, please visit the link below.

Child Nutrition Forum National Organization Sign-On Letter

USDA Will Offer Lawmakers a Sampling of School Lunches

As reported by the Washington Post, this week, USDA will host a school lunch tasting for Congressional staff and media representatives at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The menu, which will include chicken fajita strips, sliced ham and green beans, will demonstrate improvements in the nutritional quality and taste of commodity foods supplied to schools under the National School Lunch Program.

Officially called USDA Foods, the commodity foods program provides 15-20 percent of the food served in school cafeterias. In preparation for the tasting this week, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack tasted more than a dozen products including apple slices and lean hamburger patties.

A full story can be found at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/10/AR2009121001956.html

Multiple Bills Introduced Ahead of Child Nutrition Reauthorization

To date, 22 bills have been introduced in the U.S. Congress ahead of Child Nutrition Reauthorization. The legislation covers a myriad of topics ranging from expanding participation in afterschool meals and school breakfast programs to improving the nutritional quality of school foods and increasing reimbursement rates. Below is a short synopsis of some of the major bills:

  • Hunger Free Schools Act (S. 1343 and H.R. 4148) – This legislation would allow high-poverty schools to serve universal free breakfast and lunch for five years and receive reimbursement based on local socioeconomic data, rather than applications. The bills would also add categorical eligibility for military families and would require school districts to utilize Medicaid and SCHIP data to directly certify children from families with incomes up to 133 percent of the federal poverty line.
  • The Child Nutrition Promotion and School Lunch Protection Act of 2009 (S. 934 and H.R. 1324) – These bills would require the Secretary of Agriculture to establish science-based nutrition standards for foods served on school campuses outside the school meals program.
  • Expand School Meals Act of 2009 (S. 1737 and H.R. 3705) – These bills would raise the eligibility threshold for free school meals to 185 percent of the poverty line, eliminating the reduced price category.
  • Healthy Food for Healthy Schools Act (S. 1650) – This bill would require the USDA to update commodity food procurement and processing procedures to ensure all commodities meet the most recent dietary guidelines.

For a complete list of all federal child nutrition legislation, please visit the SNA Legislative Action Center.

Michigan Legislature Introduces Bill on Contract Management Companies

In mid-November, Michigan legislators filed HB 5594, a bill requiring school districts to hire contract management companies to operate the district’s food service, custodial, and transportation services. If passed, the legislation would require school districts to enter into these contracts by June 30, 2011. School districts would no longer be allowed to directly employ personnel to provide these services. There has been no action on the bill at this time.



State and Federal Legislation (login required)
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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