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Tuesday Morning - May 4, 2010

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May 4, 2010

Table of Contents

School Nutrition Association Recognizes Professionals who Serve Healthy Meals

USDA/FNS and SNA Discuss Research Initiatives

Generals Discuss Support for Child Nutrition in Op-Ed

Support the Healthy Start Act

Comments Requested for Innovations for Healthy Kids Challenge

USDA Officials to Visit Michigan and Connecticut School Nutrition Programs

Ellison Introduces “School Meals Stigma Reduction Act”

Dahlkemper Introduces Bill Aimed at Creating Healthier School Environments

USDA Expands Programs, Promotes Physical Activity

SNA President Talks about Healthy School Meals on Internet Radio Show

SNA Legislative Action Center

Legislative Toolkit

School Nutrition Association Recognizes Professionals who Serve Healthy Meals

Preparing healthy school meals, teaching good nutrition habits and offering a friendly greeting are all in a day’s work for more than 250,000 child nutrition employees in the nation’s 99,000 school cafeterias and kitchens. SNA celebrates this professional commitment with School Nutrition Employee Week, May 3 – 7, 2010. The week offers an opportunity for parents, students, school staff and communities to thank those who provide healthy school meals to more than 31 million children each school day.

Despite working with extremely limited funds to prepare and serve each meal, school nutrition professionals are committed to providing safe, healthy and well-balanced meals. The average cost to prepare a school lunch is $2.92, but the federal reimbursement rate provided for each lunch served is only $2.68. Balancing financially self-sufficient programs under these budget constraints is just one of the many day-to-day roles of school nutrition professionals.

Press release

USDA/FNS and SNA Discuss Research Initiatives

On Tuesday, April 27, representatives from USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) visited SNA headquarters office to provide an overview of research activities currently being conducted by the Office of Research and Analysis (ORA). Several SNA staff members participated in the briefing. The discussion with ORA is the first installment in a series of briefings that SNA is planning with USDA divisions as it seeks to learn more about the inner workings of these important USDA mission areas. SNA is interested in identifying areas of potential collaboration on research issues between the Association and USDA.

Those presenting at the meeting included: Cindy Long, Director, Child Nutrition Programs USDA/FNS; Jay Hirschman, Director, Special Nutrition Staff, USDA/FNS Office of Research and Analysis; John R. Endahl, Senior Analyst for Special Nutrition, USDA/FNS Office of Research and Analysis; and, Ted Macaluso, Chief, Special Nutrition Evaluation Branch, USDA/FNS Office of Research and Analysis.

USDA FNS and SNA Discuss Research Initiatives 

Generals Discuss Support for Child Nutrition in Op-Ed

Last Friday’s issue of the Washington Post featured an op-ed on Child Nutrition Reauthorization by retired U.S. Army Generals John M. Shalikashvili and Hugh Shelton. Both generals serve on the executive advisory council of Mission: Readiness, a non profit organization of retired senior military leaders calling for smart investments in America’s children. Recently released data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that obesity rates among young adults have increased nationwide. The retired military leaders view rising childhood obesity rates as a national security threat. The organization is calling on Congress to pass robust child nutrition legislation, including the Obama Administration’s recommendation of a $1 billion per year increase for child nutrition programs.

On Monday, retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant General Norman Seip and Mission: Readiness National Director Amy Dawson Taggart toured an elementary school cafeteria in Alexandria, VA and met with Food Service Director Becky Domokos-Bays and SNA staff.

The latest national security threat: obesity - Washington Post

SNA’s Commends Military Leaders for Supporting Increased Funds for School Meals

Military Leaders Issue Report Calling for Strong School Nutrition Programs

Support the Healthy Start Act

In March, Representative Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-S.D.) introduced the Healthy Start Act (H.R. 4638). This bipartisan bill would help to increase access to and participation in the School Breakfast Program by providing 5 cents in breakfast commodity assistance. Currently, the school nutrition programs do not receive commodity assistance for the school breakfasts they serve. The School Nutrition Association, along with the American Commodity Distribution Association, supports this bill.

Please take a moment to contact your Member of Congress and ask them to support H.R. 4638. Please click on the link below for a sample letter you can send to your Member of Congress.

Support the Healthy Start Act

Comments Requested On Innovations for Healthy Kids Challenge

The USDA, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion has been granted emergency approval to conduct information on the Innovations for Healthy Kids Challenge. The purpose of this information collection is to meet the requirements of the President’s Open Government Initiative. The President’s Open Government Initiative aims to increase access to socially relevant technologies that seek to improve eating and physical activity among children. Written comments on this notice must be submitted before June 28, 2010.

For more information: http://www.fns.usda.gov/cga/Federal-Register/2010/04-28-10_CNPP.pdf

USDA Officials to Visit Michigan and Connecticut School Nutrition Programs

In an effort to highlight the Obama Administration’s efforts to improve school meals, the USDA continues to hold a series of school nutrition events throughout the United States. During the week of May 10, Deputy Administrator for Special Nutrition Programs (SNP) Audrey Rowe will visit a school nutrition program in Detroit, Michigan. Following Detroit, Audrey Rowe will visit New Haven, Connecticut on May 17, 2010. For additional information on these visits, please click on the following link.

USDA FNS Newsroom

 

Ellison Introduces “School Meals Stigma Reduction Act”

Last week, Representative Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) introduced legislation aimed at reducing the stigma associated with students who have unpaid meals. The School Meals Stigma Reduction Act, H.R. 5167, would require school nutrition programs to ensure that no child is overtly identified as receiving free or reduced price meals. The legislation would also require school nutrition programs to receive state approval for substitute meal policies and ensure that these policies do not create a stigma for the child. School nutrition programs would be required to develop a plan indicating how the policy would be implemented.

Dahlkemper Introduces Bill Aimed at Creating Healthier School Environments

Pennsylvania Representative Kathy Dahlkemper (D) recently introduced legislation aimed at establishing healthier school environments. H.R. 5113 would establish the Healthy Habits School Challenge, a program that would encourage schools to meet certain requirements regarding nutrition, nutrition education, and physical activity for students. The legislation would also require school districts to adopt a local school wellness policy. Districts that meet these requirements would be awarded with different levels of distinction.

USDA Expands Programs, Promotes Physical Activity

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack encouraged kids to Get Outdoors and Get Active as part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Campaign. On April 27, 2010, Vilsack announced that USDA’s Forest Service will contribute $500,000 in 2010 to the “More Kids in the Woods” program to support projects that promote active lifestyles while connecting kids to nature. Vilsack noted that part a goal of the project is to encourage kids to make the connection between healthy forests, healthy communities and healthy lifestyles.

USDA Promotes Physical Activity Among Nation's Youth Through Expanded Programs

SNA President Talks about Healthy School Meals on Internet Radio Show

SNA President Dora Rivas made a guest appearance on To Your Good Health, an internet radio show hosted by Dr. David Friedman. In her interview, Dora discussed the importance of healthy eating and how schools nationwide are serving well balanced and healthy meals. She also discussed Child Nutrition Reauthorization and how SNA members support increased funding for the school nutrition programs.

To listen to the segment, please click on the link below:
Nutrition in Our Schools – Health Radio

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.


 
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