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Tuesday Morning - May 3, 2011

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May 3, 2011

Table of Contents

School Nutrition Association Announces New CEO

Implementing the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act

The School Food Revolution: School Nutrition Professionals – The Miracle Workers Running School Cafeterias

SNA Signs Letter Opposing Structural Changes and Budget Cuts to SNAP

USDA, AmeriCorps Partner to End Childhood Hunger

CDC Report Looks at Children’s Access to Healthy Food Environments

USDA Announces Grants to Support Childhood Obesity Prevention

Judging in the Recipes for Healthy Kids Contest Begins

In Every Issue

SNA Legislative Action Center

Legislative Toolkit

School Nutrition Association Announces New CEO

On June 20, 2011, the School Nutrition Association (SNA) will welcome Frank DiPasquale as he transitions to SNA’s Chief Executive Officer. He will take over for Barbara Belmont, who is retiring on July 31 after 18 years of service.

DiPasquale, most recently the Executive Vice President of the National Grocers Association (NGA), has extensive experience in association management and specializes in food and nutrition advocacy. Among his many accomplishments during his more than 14 years with NGA, DiPasquale developed the Farmer Goes to Market Program, a model for the US Department of Agriculture’s local and sustainable food initiative, “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food.” He also was co-developer of the PBS series Food Sense. Prior to his position with NGA, DiPasquale served as Corporate Director, Human Resources Management and Operational Services for Kmart International Headquarters.

“SNA’s Board of Directors is very excited to welcome Frank DiPasquale to SNA as the organization’s new Chief Executive Officer,” said School Nutrition Association President Nancy Rice, M.Ed., RD, LD, SNS. “After a long and thorough search process, we believe Frank is exactly the right person to take the reins at SNA and guide the Association as we embrace change and move forward with the important work ahead of us.”SNA represents over 53,000 school nutrition professionals nationwide. The Association was founded in 1946 as the American School Food Service Association, the same year President Truman signed the National School Lunch Act. Located in Denver until 1989, the Association was moved to the Washington, DC area by the Board of Directors to enhance advocacy efforts on behalf of good nutrition and education for all school children. The name of the Association was changed to School Nutrition Association in 2004.

Implementing the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act

Once President Barack Obama signed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act into law, the difficult work of implementing the legislation began. Over the next several months, USDA will be releasing guidance to state agencies and school food authorities (SFAs) explaining how various provisions in P.L. 111-296, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, will be implemented. USDA recently released two memos on implementing the fluid milk and water provisions of the law.

Please click on this link for a chart detailing USDA’s projected implementation timeline. As USDA releases more information, please keep checking www.schoolnutrition.org for updates.

The School Food Revolution: School Nutrition Professionals – The Miracle Workers Running School Cafeterias

Balancing tight budgets, complex nutrition regulations and strict food safety requirements, school nutrition professionals have their plates full, yet every school day they provide healthy meals to more than 32 million children across the country. This week (May 2-6), during School Nutrition Employee Week, the non-profit School Nutrition Association is celebrating the hard work and commitment of these men and women.

School nutrition professionals must balance many roles and follow numerous federal, state and local regulations to ensure safe and healthy meals are available in schools. They must guarantee their programs meet all the requirements of the federal Eligibility Manual for School Meals; effectively implement complex regulations such as Final Rule: School Food Safety Program Based on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point Principles and at all times ensure the lunches they serve provide one-third of the Recommended Dietary Allowances of protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, iron and calcium, among other standards. All of this must be achieved within the framework of a budget that leaves little more than $1 to purchase food for each meal.

In many cafeterias, school nutrition employees move hundreds of students through the lunch line with only a few seconds to ensure each tray contains the required components of a reimbursable meal, assist students with food allergies, ring up each meal and provide change.

In the face of these challenges, school nutrition professionals use their creativity to make the cafeteria a fun and welcoming place all year long and perform their jobs each day because they care passionately about the children they serve.

SNA Signs Letter Opposing Structural Changes and Budget Cuts to SNAPSNA joined several hundred other organizations in signing a letter opposing structural changes and budget cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The letter calls on Congress to oppose turning SNAP into a block grant program and a $127 billion funding cut in the 2012-2021 period. The letter also asks Congress to oppose efforts that would create fundamental changes in the program, including limiting spending, creating waiting lists, capping eligibility or sharply reducing benefits.

To view the complete letter, please visit the link below.

Sign On Letter Opposing SNAP Cuts and Structural Changes

USDA, AmeriCorps Partner to End Childhood Hunger

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, along with the Corporation for National and Community Service CEO Patrick Corvington announced a new partnership between the two organizations to end hunger across the country. Working with the Corporation for National and Community Service, the agency that oversees AmeriCorps, USDA will launch a series of new online tools and volunteer initiatives to increase the number of individuals, organizations, and governments actively working on anti-hunger programs. Among the tools USDA released are a Stakeholder Guide to Ending Childhood Hunger, an online commitment drive, and a website where individuals can search for volunteer opportunities. In addition, 325 AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Associates will be placed in anti-hunger organizations across the country to feed more children by increasing participation in the Summer Food Service Program, educating parents and children about healthy food choices, developing farmers markets and community gardens, and increasing the long-term capacity of food pantries, soup kitchens, food banks, and other organizations.

For additional information on this program, please visit www.fns.usda.gov/ech.

CDC Report Looks at Children’s Access to Healthy Food Environments

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report last week that looked at children’s access to healthy food environments. The 2011 Children’s Food Environment State Indicator Report noted that many communities lack healthy food environments for children. The report measured the proportion of stores that sell healthy foods to the number of stores that sell less healthy items, such as fast food restaurants and convenience stores. The report found that 32 states and the District of Columbia scored at or below the national average for this measure.

The report also looked at the advertising of less healthy foods in schools. Forty-nine percent of middle and high schools allowed less healthy foods like candy, soft drinks and fast food restaurants to be advertised on school grounds. The CDC notes that communities, child care facilities and schools must play a stronger role in providing children with access to healthy food.

To view a complete copy of the report, please visit the link below.

2011 Children’s Food Environment State Indicator Report

USDA Announces Grants to Support Childhood Obesity Prevention

USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture announced that it is awarding 24 institutions research, education and extension grants to reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity across the nation. The grants focus on prevention efforts for children ages 2-8. The funded projects are located in Arkansas, California, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia.

For the complete list of projects, please visit the link below.

USDA Announces Support of Research to Confront Childhood Obesity

Judging in the Recipes for Healthy Kids Contest Begins

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced the beginning of judging for the Recipes for Healthy Kids Contest last week. The judging team, lead by USDA Food and Nutrition Services Administrator Audrey Rowe, will visit each of the 15 semifinalist schools. The Recipes for Healthy Kids Contest is a part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign. The 15 semi-finalists were selected from over 340 recipes submitted by schools across the country. The recipes were submitted in one of three categories: whole grains, dark green and orange vegetables, and dry beans and peas. The recipes will be judged on student involvement, nutrition, creativity and originality, ease of use in schools, and recipe presentation. In each category, the top five recipes were chosen as semi-finalists. Each of the semi-finalists will be visited by a team consisting of a USDA official, an American Culinary Federation chef, and a school nutrition professional to determine the three finalists to participate in a national cook-off this summer.

You can still vote for your favorite recipe for the Popular Choice award. The recipe that wins the Popular Choice award receives $1500 towards their school nutrition program. Please visit the following link for the list of winning recipes.

Recipes for Kids Challenge


 
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