Tuesday Morning - June 7, 2011


June 7, 2011

Table of Contents

USDA Food Icon Released

SNA/USDA Webinar Next Week

Comments Requested on Formative Research for Pilot of a Garden-Related Nutrition Curriculum

An Act to Reduce Student Hunger

Nutritional Labeling in Public Schools

Green Cleaning Webinar

New MyPlate Products from Learning ZoneXpress

In Every Issue

SNA Legislative Action Center

Legislative Toolkit

USDA New Food Icon Released

First Lady Michelle Obama was joined by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Surgeon General Regina Benjamin during the unveiling of the new food icon at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). All three stressed the simplicity of the design and its ability to provide a clear message on how to eat healthier meals, based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The new MyPlate icon divides meals into portion sizes which makes half the plate fruits and vegetables with the other half whole grains and protein and a side of low-fat dairy.

First Lady Michelle Obama noted, “the new icon makes sense, not only in classrooms but at dinner tables and school cafeterias”. MyPlate is a kid-friendly tool which can be used by parents and teachers alike in educating children how to eat healthier meals.


The School Nutrition Association (SNA) welcomes USDA's new food icon and encourages all Americans to use it as a guide for planning their meals daily, weekly and throughout the year. School nutrition professionals are thrilled to have this new resource to help students understand the importance of healthy eating and well-balanced meals. MyPlate clearly shows young people just how important eating fruits and vegetables with their school meals are to their diet, health and development. We hope that parents, teachers and all role models for children will join us in promoting the new food icon to help children gravitate to a lifetime of healthier eating habits.

A new website,, was launched in conjunction with the MyPlate icon with helpful tips and advice on leading a healthier lifestyle.

SNA/USDA Webinar Next Week

SNA and USDA will host a webinar on Tuesday, June 14th from 2 – 3:15PM EDT to discuss the implementation of Sections 205 and 206 of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. Webinar participants will earn 1 continuing education unit (CEU).

During the webinar, Cindy Long from USDA will discuss Sections 205 and 206, including the soon to be released interim rule on implementing these sections. Section 205 is the Meal Price Equity provision, which requires school food authorities (SFA) to raise the price of paid meals if the price charged to students does not meet or exceed the federal reimbursement for free meals. Section 206 sets guidelines for how much revenue from a la carte lines and vending machines may be used in support of the district’s school nutrition program.

Additionally, USDA will provide a status report on the implementation of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act as well as a brief update on the proposed meal pattern regulation.

In addition to USDA representatives, the webinar will also include SNA’s Public Policy and Legislation Committee Chair Melanie Konarik, SNS.

To access the webinar, please visit: Also make note that this webinar will be held on a Tuesday, as part of a special webinar series from SNA.

Comments Requested on Formative Research for Pilot of Garden-Related Nutrition Curriculum

As part of the UDSA Team Nutrition initiative, the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is developing garden-related nutrition education lesson plans that promote eating fresh fruits and vegetables while meeting set academic standards for 3rd and 4th graders. The proposed lesson plans will fill a gap for standardized nutrition education courses that connect and reinforce farm-to-school, school garden, and school meal initiatives.

FNS is planning a pilot program of the potential curriculum to ensure it is easy to implement in schools and has a positive impact on the children’s nutritional preferences. The pilot will follow 3rd and 4th grade teachers who implement the program to assess its efficacy, lesson quality, feasibility and receptiveness of parents and students. The pilot will also measure changes in students' knowledge of nutrition and their preferences for and willingness to try new fruits and vegetables from the garden. Students will also be surveyed on lesson activities to further evaluate the program and to make curriculum revisions where needed.

Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions that were used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

Written comments must be received on or before August 1, 2011. Please send comments to Alicia White, Food and Nutrition Service, Department of Agriculture, 3101 Park Center Drive, Room 632, Alexandria, VA 22302. Comments may also be submitted via fax to the attention of Alicia White at 703-305-2549 or via e-mail to Comments will also be accepted through the Federal eRulemaking Portal by visiting

To read the full notice, please visit: Federal Register Volume 76 (doc)

An Act to Reduce Student Hunger

An Act to Reduce Student Hunger has been introduced in the Maine Senate. This bill requires a public school in which at least 40% of the students qualify for a free or reduced-price lunch to implement a federally subsidized summer food service program to provide meals to children during the summer months. The bill requires the Commissioner of Education to adopt rules to implement the program. The bill also requires each public school to develop a written plan to enroll students who are eligible in the summer food service program

Nutritional Labeling in Public Schools

An Act Relating to Food and Drugs – Nutritional Labeling in Public Schools has been introduced in the Rhode Island Senate. This act would require all public school food service establishments to provide nutritional/calorie labeling information for all standard menu items. If enacted, this legislation would take effect on January 1, 2013.

Green Cleaning Webinar

The Healthy Schools Campaign (HSC) has announced a new webinar series called Green Cleaning: “Learn from the Leaders” will be the first of the series on June 15, 2011 from 2:00 – 3:00 PM EDT featuring winners from the 2010 Green Clean Awards. They will discuss the highlights of their programs and share tips and strategies for starting and sustaining a green cleaning program. A Q&A session will follow the webinar to give participants a chance to interact with and learn from the Green Clean Award winners. Scheduled speakers are Michael Jones of the Columbia Public School District; Pat Pizzo of East Meadow Union Free School District; and Kimberly Thomas of the University of Georgia Physical Plant.

To register, please follow the link:

More information can also be found at:

New MyPlate Products from Learning ZoneXpress

After the USDA’s unveiling of the MyPlate food icon, Learning Zone Xpress has released some new products using the new design and following the 2010 Dietary Guidelines. These educational tools are great aids for determining proper portion sizes for all age groups.

Products and more information can be found at:


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