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Tuesday Morning - December 14, 2010

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December 14, 2010

Table of Contents

Obama Signs Healthy, Hunger-free Kids Act, Rice Present at Ceremony
Kline Named Chairman of House Education and Labor Committee
Report: Stricter Testing of Federal Meat Purchases May Not Lead to Safer Meat
House Passes Bill Creating Weekend Feeding Program
Let’s Get Cooking! Recipe Competition Deadline Only Three Weeks Away!

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Obama Signs Healthy, Hunger-free Kids Act, Rice Present at Ceremony

On Monday, December 13, 2010, School Nutrition Association President Nancy Rice, M.Ed., RD, LD, SNS, joined President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama in celebrating the passage of S 3307, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.  Rice looked on as President Obama signed the long-awaited child nutrition reauthorization bill into law at Harriet Tubman Elementary School in Washington, DC.

The legislation, which the House of Representatives passed on Thursday, December 2, 2010, was strongly supported by SNA members.  S. 3307 increases reimbursement rates for school lunches by 6 cents, allows the Secretary of Agriculture to set nutrition standards for all foods sold during the school day, and allows for the creation of standards and a certification process for school foodservice professionals.

USDA has issued a section by section summary of S. 3307.  Click on the link below for adStditional information.

 Section By Section Summary of S. 3307 

Kline Named Chairman of House Education and Labor Committee

Representative John Kline (R-Minn.) will be the Chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee when the 112th Congress meets next year.  Kline is currently the Ranking Member on the Committee.  In a press release, he stated that his priority as Chairman of the Committee will be to promote innovation in schools.

Report: Stricter Testing of Federal Meat Purchases May Not Lead to Safer Meat

A report from the National Research Council found that stricter testing of federally purchased ground beef, including meat for the National School Lunch Program, may not lead to safer meat.  The committee writing the report stated that properly cooking the meat provides “great assurance of ground beef’s safety” than additional testing.  According to the report authors, testing alone cannot guarantee the meat’s safety.  They also noted that preventing future outbreaks also depends on eliminating contamination during production.

Following the release of the National Research Council report, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack stated that he was pleased with the results of the report.  He further noted that USDA is “committed to improving the safety and quality of foods purchased by USDA.”  Vilsack requested the National Research Council evaluation as part of a new initiative to assure the safety and quality of the food purchased by USDA for the National School Lunch Program and other food assistance programs.

Stricter Testing for Federal Ground Beef Program May Not Lead to Safer Meat, Safety Standards Need to Incorporate More Sound Science, Analysts Say

House Passes Bill Creating Weekend Feeding Program

The House of Representatives passed a bill last week creating a program that would provide low-income children with food on weekends and during school holidays.  H.R. 5012, the Weekends Without Hunger Act, would require USDA to create a pilot program providing commodities to school nutrition programs and other sponsoring organization.  The schools and organizations that participate in the pilot would then distribute the food to eligible students.  Students would be eligible for the weekend food benefit if they participate in the National School Lunch Program or the School Breakfast Program in schools where at least 50 percent of the students receive free or reduced price meals.  The weekend feeding program would be similar to weekend back pack programs run in communities across the country.  Participating children are given backpacks of nutritious, non-perishable food items on weekends.

H.R. 5012 was introduced by Representative Dina Titus (D-Nev.) and passed by a voice vote.  The legislation will now move to the Senate for consideration. 

Let’s Get Cooking! Recipe Competition Deadline Only Three Weeks Away!

There are only 3 more weeks to submit a recipe for the Let’s Move! Recipes for Healthy Kids competition!  School nutrition professionals, chefs, students, parents and interested community members are challenged to create exciting new recipes for school lunch programs across the country.  Teams must create a healthy recipe in one of three categories: whole grains, dark green and orange vegetables, or dry beans and peas.  Winning teams will receive up to a $3,000 prize and will be invited to prepare their recipes alongside White House chefs.

The deadline for entries is December 30, 2010, so submit your recipes today!  To learn more about the contest, and the rules and regulations, check out this link: http://www.recipesforkidschallenge.com/


 
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