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Tuesday Morning - January 26, 2010

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January 26, 2010

 

Table of Contents

SNA Releases 2010 Legislative Issue Paper

New York Representative Tonko, Key USDA Officials to Speak at LAC 2010

USDA Releases Equipment Assistance Grant Guidance

Michelle Obama to Launch Initiative Fighting Child Obesity

USDA Announces Fifth Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Meeting and Solicitation of Comments

Prepare Now for Summer Feeding

USDA Posts Three Child Nutrition Notices

USDA Seeks Applications for Farm to School Tactical Team Visits

Sign Up for USDA’s Commodity Alert System!

SNA Legislative Action Center

Legislative Toolkit

SNA Releases 2010 Legislative Issue Paper

Each year the members of the School Nutrition Association present Congress with the critical issues facing school nutrition professionals and the more than 30 million children that are provided safe, healthy meals through the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. As Congress prepares for debate on the 2010 Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act, emphasis on the school nutrition programs is greater than ever before. The 2010 Legislative Issue Paper focuses on several important areas SNA would like to see Congress address through the child nutrition reauthorization process.

  • Expand the “free” meal category from 130% of poverty to 185%, consistent with the WIC income eligibility guidelines. (Eliminating the reduced price meal category).
  • Increase the per meal reimbursement for all meals in order to keep pace with rising costs and implementation of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
  • Require the Secretary of Agriculture to establish a consistent national application of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, for all reimbursable meals, in accordance with recommendations of the Institute of Medicine (IOM), which benefited from SNA’s Recommendations for National Nutrition Standards.
  • Grant the Secretary the statutory authority to regulate the sale of all foods and beverages on the school campus, consistent with the most recent edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, in accordance with SNA’s Recommendations for National Nutrition Standards and the recommendations of IOM (ending the “time and place” rule).
  • Require the Secretary to determine which school expenses and indirect costs can be paid for with school food service funds.

To download a complete copy of the issue paper, please visit the link below.

2010 Legislative Issue Paper (pdf)

Legislative Issue Paper Talking Points (pdf)

New York Representative Tonko, Key USDA Officials to Speak at LAC 2010

LAC 2010 has a phenomenal line up of speakers and conference sessions that SNA encourages members to participate in. Attending LAC 2010 will gives SNA members the unique opportunity to listen to several key players in the Child Nutrition arena. SNA is proud to announce the following speakers:

  • Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack
  • Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Kevin Concannon
  • Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Janey Thornton 
  •  Representative Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.)

Under Secretary Concannon will address conference attendees during the 3rd General Session on Monday, March 1, while Deputy Under Secretary Thornton will take part in the 4th General Session that afternoon. Both provide oversight for the federal child nutrition programs, including the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program.

Secretary Vilsack and Congressman Tonko will close out the conference during the final general session on Wednesday, March 3rd. In numerous press conferences and Congressional hearings, Vilsack has voiced the Obama Administration’s support for a strong Child Nutrition Reauthorization bill. Tonko, a first term member of the House Education and Labor Committee, is establishing himself as a champion of child nutrition. He introduced H.R. 4325, The Universal Classroom Breakfast Expansion Act, legislation which would create grant opportunities for expanding classroom breakfast programs.

Register today for LAC 2010! SNA needs your help in the pursuit of congressional support for important legislative priorities, especially the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act. So bring your expertise, your passion and your stories to Washington and help us be heard! We look forward to seeing you!

LAC 2010

USDA Releases Equipment Assistance Grant Guidance

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service has released guidance for school nutrition programs regarding the latest round of school food service equipment grants. USDA received a one time appropriation of $25 million for equipment assistance through the FY2010 Agriculture Appropriations Act. School food authorities that participate in the National School Lunch Program and did not receive an ARRA (stimulus) grant for food service equipment are eligible to apply. Priority will be given to school districts that have greater than 50 percent participation in free and reduced meal programs.

For more information on the grants, please visit the link below.

USDA Memo on NSLP Equipment Assistance Grants

Michelle Obama to Launch Initiative Fighting Child Obesity

Michelle Obama stated last Wednesday at a meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, that obesity is an epidemic and is one of the greatest threats to America’s health and economy. She announced that she plans to launch a major initiative in February aimed at combating the problem in childhood. Obama’s idea is, “To put in place common-sense initiatives and solutions that empower families and communities to make health decisions for their kids.”

Obama’s initiative would be an integrated approach involving the federal government, local officials, and leaders in business and non-profit sectors working together. The overall goal of this integrated approach would be to provide more nutritious foods in schools and allow more opportunities to encourage kids to be physically active.

Please read the full USA Today Article here: http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/weightloss/2010-01-20-michelle-obama-obesity_N.htm

USDA Announces Fifth Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Meeting and Solicitation of Comments

The USDA Department of Health and Human Services announced January 22, 2010, the Fifth Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Meeting and Solicitation of Written Comments. The Committee will convene on February 9, 2010, from 8a.m.-5 p.m. E.S.T as well as on February 10, 2010, from 8 a.m.- 4p.m. E.S.T. The deadline for receiving written comments is 5p.m. E.S.T on February 3, 2010.

This meeting will be held online in a Webinar format. More information can be found on the Dietary Guidelines Web site at http://www.DietaryGuidelines.gov.
Written comments should be submitted electronically at http://www.DietaryGuidelines.gov.

Prepare Now for Summer Feeding

Even though the air outside is cold, school nutrition programs across the country are preparing for summer. The end of the 2009-10 school year is only a few short months away, making January the perfect time to plan on becoming a Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) sponsor.

There are resources for school nutrition programs looking to sponsor the SFSP. The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) has a toolkit that helps summer feeding sponsors expand program participation. The November 2008 issue of School Nutrition magazine has several great articles on operating a summer feeding program. Additionally, SNA will be releasing a summer feeding toolkit later this spring.

The summer 2010 reimbursement rates were published this week in the Federal Register. The maximum allowable operational reimbursement for lunch or suppers in the continental U.S. is $3.2475, up to $1.8475 for breakfast, and $0.7625 for snacks, depending on the type of service and location. Higher rates apply in Alaska and Hawaii.

For a additional information, please see the link below.

Prepare Now for Summer Feeding

USDA Posts Three Child Nutrition Notices
The following notices regarding food safety, the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), and 2010 reimbursement rates for the summer school food service program were posted to USDA’s website last week.

Please view the full documents here:

USDA Seeks Applications for Farm to School Tactical Team Visits

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) new “Know Your Farmer, Know Your School” program is currently accepting applications for visits by the USDA Farm to School Tactical Team. The Tactical Team is comprised of Food and Nutrition Service and Agricultural Marketing Service staff members.

The team works with local and state authorities, school districts, farmers and community partners to provide guidance and develop mechanisms for assisting schools in accessing local markets, enabling food producers to work with local school and facilitating communication between interested stakeholders. In 2010, the Tactical Team will visit nine schools that represent diverse demographics and characteristics.

During these site visits, the team will seek to learn about a school district's Farm to School efforts including, but not limited to, how the activities first began; the relationship between growers and the school district; what obstacles exist or were present along the way; and the effects the activities have had on the school and the community.

Districts have until January 31, 2010, to send in a request for consideration at www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/F2S/email.htm, so register today!

For additional information, including how to register, please visit the link below.

USDA Seeks Applications for Farm to School Tactical Team Visits

Sign Up for USDA’s Commodity Alert System!

Quickly learn about USDA commodity food safety alerts by signing up for the USDA Commodity Alert System. Click on the following link to sign up for the system.

http://www.fns.usda.gov/fdd/fd_foodsafety.htm

 

 

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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