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Tuesday Morning - June 29, 2010

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June 29, 2010

Table of Contents

Pass H.R. 5504 Now!

SNA Comments on Geographic Preference

Apply for a USDA Community Facilities Grant

Enrolling All Children in a Household for Free School Meals

New Ohio Law to Tackles Childhood Obesity

SNA Legislative Action Center

Legislative Toolkit

Pass H.R. 5504 Now!

Congress is debating legislation to reauthorize the Child Nutrition Act, but Congressional leaders are struggling to identify the necessary funding to support this legislation. Without a funding “offset,” we run the risk of Congress passing another extension of the current law.

In light of this challenge and the rapidly dwindling days left in this congressional session, school nutrition professionals need to call on Congress to immediately identify funding and quickly pass Child Nutrition Reauthorization legislation. SNA needs your help at the grassroots level. Please visit the SNA website and send an Action Alert to your member of Congress urging them to pass H.R. 5504.

Action Alert: http://www.schoolnutrition.org/LegislativeAction.aspx

In addition to the email blast, the House Education and Labor Committee will hold a hearing on July 1 to discuss H.R. 5504. The hearing will kick off with USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and will follow with witnesses including representatives from the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) and Mission Readiness, Top Chef Tom Colicchio and a few others to be named. To view the hearing remotely, please go to the following link:

Live webcast: http://edlabor.house.gov/blog/2010/06/upcoming-hearings-this-week-wo.shtml

SNA Comments on Geographic Preference

SNA offered comments regarding the proposed rule for the Geographic Preference Option for the Procurement of Unprocessed Agricultural Products in Child Nutrition Programs. The rule is slated to implement Section 4302 of Public Law 110-246, the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008.

Read  SNA’s Geographic Preference comments  (pdf).

Apply for a USDA Community Facilities Grant

Is your school district in need of new kitchen equipment, or are you looking to participate in a Farm to School program? If you work in a rural community of fewer than 20,000 people, you are eligible to apply for a USDA Community Facilities Grant. The USDA Rural Development's Community Facilities Program received $44 million in federal funding and an additional $31 million in American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (stimulus) funds that must be awarded by August 2010. Grants range from $20,000 to $60,000 and will be awarded to towns, tribes, counties, and non-governmental organizations.

Click here for more information: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/HAD-CF_Grants.html

Enrolling All Children in a Household for Free School Meals

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities recently released a paper with ideas on how states can reach more low-income children and streamline paperwork by utilizing a new USDA policy. The new policy from the Food and Nutrition Service extends categorical eligibility to all children in the household if one member is a recipient of SNAP benefits, TANF cash assistance, or FDPIR.

This change will allow school districts to automatically enroll certain low-income children for free school meals, reducing paperwork for school districts and families. The paper, available at the link below, offers suggestions on how to ensure that school districts fully utilize the new policy.

http://www.cbpp.org/files/6-16-10fa.pdf

New Ohio Law to Tackles Childhood Obesity

A new law in Ohio is aiming to tackle childhood obesity. In mid-June, The Healthy Choices for Healthy Children Act was signed into law and will affect students in Ohio from Kindergarten through grade 12. Ohio schools are now required to provide healthier options in cafeterias and vending machines, and are also required to offer a pilot program that includes 30 minutes of daily physical activity for all students.

The new bill also requires nutrition and fitness to be taught in health classes at all grade levels, and will allow schools to use the BMI (body mass index) to estimate a healthy body weight. Parents will have the choice whether or not to allow the school to measure their children’s BMI. The changes will go into effect for the 2011-12 school year.

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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