Tuesday Morning - March 23, 2010



March 23, 2010

Table of Contents

Jamie Oliver Misses a Few Ingredients

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Lincoln Introduces Child Nutrition Reauthorization Legislation

First Lady Michelle Obama Speaks at Newsweek Forum on Childhood Obesity

First Lady Addresses Food Manufacturers, Asks Them to Provide Healthier Options in Schools

House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee Holds Hearing with Food and Nutrition Services

Urge Congress to Support a Strong Child Nutrition Reauthorization Bill

SNF Announces Four New Districts of Excellence

FRAC Releases New Publication: “Smart Choices in Hard Times”

SNA Legislative Action Center

Legislative Toolkit

Jamie Oliver Misses a Few Ingredients

Just like any good meal, the whole story is also incomplete if you leave out a few critical ingredients. In the case of ABC Network’s Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, the missing ingredients are the significant improvements school nutrition programs nationwide have made to the quality and nutrition of school meals.

Oliver launched his initiative to “change the way America eats, in our home kitchens, schools and workplaces” during a preview show on Sunday, March 21. The new television series will premiere with a two-hour episode on Friday, March 26. SNA members should check local listings for show times and visit the links below for resources regarding the show.

The program features Oliver’s efforts to transform the dietary habits of the Huntington, West Virginia community. The six-part series may prompt media and community inquiries about local school meal programs as the preview episode included clips of Oliver’s visit to a local school cafeteria and focused heavily on school meals (clips can be found at According to ABC, the effort mirrors Jamie Oliver's U.K. series, Jamie's Ministry of Food and Jamie's School Dinners, which supported efforts to improve school meals in the U.K.

SNA and its members share a common passion with Jamie Oliver and are constantly working to further improve the nutrition, taste and variety of school meals. School nutrition professionals are challenged every school day to prepare healthy school meals that meet federal nutrition guidelines within the limited budgets available. SNA is calling for increased funding for school meal programs and we welcome efforts to emphasize the importance of school meals for the more than 31 million children who rely on them every school day.

"School nutrition professionals must satisfy taste preferences and regional/cultural food influences to provide meals within nutrition guidelines that will be consumed by the students. Working within those guidelines and limited budgets, districts strive to provide a balance of fresh and homemade foods with healthier, nutritionally-formulated foods traditionally considered kid favorites - whole grain chicken nuggets that are baked at schools are not the same product served at most homes and restaurants," said School Nutrition Association president Dora Rivas, MS, RD, SNS and Executive Director of Child Nutrition Services for Dallas ISD (Tex.), "Children are increasingly recognizing and enjoying scratch-made and natural foods at schools nationwide, much like those suggested by Jamie Oliver, but communities, schools and parents must work together to shift food influences, encourage a greater role for exercise and help students improve their health."

SNA members may find the related links below helpful in responding to questions regarding Jamie Oliver’s series.

New ABC Series to Feature School Meal Programs
Jamie Oliver Misses a Few Ingredients

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Lincoln Introduces Child Nutrition Reauthorization Legislation

US Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) has officially launched Congressional efforts to reauthorize the Child Nutrition Act, which reaches over 31 million American children participating in the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs each day. On Wednesday, March 17, Chairman Lincoln introduced the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, a draft reauthorization bill which offers a strong first step toward strengthening these programs and acknowledges the need to increase funding for school meals.

“School Nutrition Association greatly appreciates the efforts of Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Lincoln to promote good nutrition for America’s school children and looks forward to working with members of the Committee throughout the Reauthorization process to ensure the critical needs of school meals programs are met," stated SNA President Dora Rivas, MS, RD, SNS and Executive Director of Child Nutrition Services for Dallas ISD (Tex.). “Despite extremely limited budgets, school nutrition programs provide students well-balanced meals and are seeking crucial funding increases to further improve meal programs and include more fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products and whole grains.”

While the legislation would boost funding for the federal child nutrition programs by $450 million per year, including a performance-based 6 cent increase in the federal reimbursement rate for school lunches, additional efforts are needed to reach the $1 billion per year increase requested by President Barack Obama.

For additional information about the legislation, please visit the link below.
Chairman Lincoln Introduces Child Nutrition Reauthorization Legislation

First Lady Michelle Obama Speaks at Newsweek Forum on Childhood Obesity

Newsweek co-hosted two child obesity initiative-focused events this past week. An Executive Forum focused on actionable solutions to child obesity, like Fuel Up to Play 60, was held on Tuesday, March 16th and a Q&A with Michelle Obama on the Let’s Move initiative was held at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, March 17th.

The National Dairy Council and Newsweek co-hosted the Executive Forum of approximately 125 leaders from the public and private sectors to discuss childhood obesity. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Dr. David Satcher, 16th U.S. Surgeon General, both highlighted the need for more physical activity and foods such as fruits, vegetables, more whole grains and low-fat dairy. The Secretary also noted the importance of public and private sectors coming together, while Dr. Satcher emphasized the responsibility of health professionals to work to influence children’s habits. Maurice Jones-Drew, running back for the Jacksonville Jaguars, detailed the Fuel Up to Play 60 initiative and the 60,000 schools that have adopted the largely student-run program. Former President Bill Clinton discussed the importance of federal policy, non-governmental efforts and cooperation of people in the food industry.

On Wednesday, March 17th, Newsweek held a Q&A with Michelle Obama at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. The interview showcased the parallel priorities between Fuel Up to Play 60 and the First Lady’s platform to ensure significant and lasting impact on children’s health. The First Lady focused on the importance of families, communities and schools all working to educate children about healthy behaviors. She emphasized the need to provide opportunities for daily physical activity and access to healthier foods. Mrs. Obama also underscored the role public and private sectors (including government, policy makers, grocery manufacturers, etc.) must play by coming together to determine and implement childhood obesity solutions.

For more on the events check out, Newsweek or or see the live tweets from the Newsweek ( Video from the forum can be found in the News and Events section as well as the Media Resource Center at

First Lady Addresses Food Manufacturers, Asks Them to Provide Healthier Options in Schools

First Lady Michelle Obama spoke to a crowd of representatives from several major food manufacturers last Tuesday, asking them to produce and market healthier foods to children and schools. In a speech before the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the First Lady asked food companies to rethink the products they manufacture and develop with healthier food options in mind. In the last month, the First Lady has appeared before many different organizations, including SNA, asking them to support her Let’s Move campaign.

First Lady asks foodmakers to be on front line tackling childhood obesity – Washington Post

House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee Holds Hearing with Food and Nutrition Service

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies held a hearing with the USDA Food and Nutrition Service on Thursday, March 18. Testifying before the committee were Undersecretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services Kevin Concannon, Food and Nutrition Services Administrator Julie Paradis, and Robert Post, Deputy Director, Center for Nutrition and Policy Promotion.

Among the topics discussed in the hearing were funding for Child Nutrition Reauthorization, indirect costs charged to school nutrition programs, simplification of the school nutrition application process, and adequate school meal reimbursement rates.

During the questioning period, committee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) commented on the Senate reauthorization bill. She asked the panel if funding were left at $4.5 billion over 10 years, what would its effects be. The panel responded that the Senate bill was a good start, but that USDA believes that $10 billion over 10 years is necessary.

For additional information, including testimony and opening statements, please visit the link below.

House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture

Urge Congress to Support a Strong Child Nutrition Reauthorization Bill

President Obama has included $1 billion in his FY2010 budget for Child Nutrition Reauthorization. Urge your member of Congress to support a strong Child Nutrition Reauthorization bill. Send an action alert to your elected leaders, asking them to support SNA’s priorities for Reauthorization 2010, including:

  • provide adequate funding for school meals
  • implement consistent, national guidelines based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans
  • define what expenses can be paid for with the funds appropriated.

To submit an action alert, please visit the link below:

Support Child Nutrition 2010

SNF Announces Four New Districts of Excellence

The School Nutrition Association and the School Nutrition Foundation announced that Dallas Independent School District in Dallas, Texas, Polk County Public Schools in Bartow, Florida, Willamina School District in Willamina, Oregon, and El Paso Independent School District in El Paso, Texas have received the District of Excellence in School Nutrition distinction.

District of Excellence is based on the Keys to Excellence, which provides an opportunity for school districts to assess their program against the industry’s standards and has been a core component of SNA’s professional development and training programs since 1992.

District of Excellence recipients may also be invited to apply for the prestigious District of the Year Award which includes a grant of up to $25,000. The District of Excellence and District of the Year programs are made possible through the School Nutrition Foundation with the support of the National Dairy Council.

To learn more about the District of Excellence program or to download an application, please visit

FRAC Releases New Publication: “Smart Choices in Hard Times”

The Food Research and Action Center recently released a new publication designed to help state and local communities use the federal child nutrition programs and help states leverage federal nutrition funds. “Smart Choices” offers a number of strategies to help program operators make decisions that maximize federal benefits. Among the programs covered in this resource guide are the National School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program, the Summer Food Service Program, and afterschool snacks.

To download the guide, please visit the follow link.

Smart Choices in Hard Times (pdf)


State and Federal Legislation (login required)
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