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Tuesday Morning - July 26, 2011

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July 26, 2011

Table of Contents

Contest Launched to Celebrate Success in the Summer Food Service Program

USDA Releases School Year 2011-12 Reimbursement Rates

First Lady Michelle Obama Announces Partnerships to Promote Access to Healthy, Affordable Food in Underserved Communities

Agriculture Secretary Joins the National Council of La Raza to Highlight Improvements to the Nutritional Health of Hispanics in Communities across the Country

USDA Announces Improvements in School Nutrition and Physical Activity Wellness Promotion

Winner Announced in First Lady’s Recipes for Healthy Kids Contest

In Every Issue

SNA Legislative Action Center

Legislative Toolkit

Contest Launched to Celebrate Success in the Summer Food Service Program

On July 20, 2011 USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service launched a photo contest to look for and promote best practices in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). The competition, Food, Fun and Sun! The Summer Food Service Program Story and Photo Contest, is open to sponsors and sites participating in the SFSP. Kevin Concannon, USDA Undersecretary for Food Nutrition and Consumer Services says: "This contest helps highlight the critical role of summer meals and summer feeding programs in ending childhood hunger and providing our children the nutrition needed to be healthy, active and ready to win the future."

For more details about the Food, Fun and Sun! The Summer Food Service Program Story and Photo Contest including submission guidelines and contest rules, please visit the competition webpage at http://challenge.gov/USDA/195-food-fun-and-sun-story-and-photo-challenge.

USDA Releases School Year 2011-12 Reimbursement Rates

Going into effect on July 1, 2011, the US Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) division has published the reimbursement rates for the 2011-12 school year.

The reimbursement rate for paid lunch in the 48 contiguous states is $0.26. Free lunches will be reimbursed at $2.77 per meal, an increase of five cents from last school year. Reduced price lunch reimbursement is now $2.37, up from $2.28. Additionally, for USDA (commodity) Foods, when computed on the basis of unrounded data and rounded to the nearest one-quarter cent, the resulting national average for the coming school year will be 22.25 cents per meal. This is an increase of two cents from the previous school year rate.

Paid breakfast reimbursement rates increased by one cent to $0.27. In non-severe need school districts, the free breakfast reimbursement rate is now $1.51 and reduced-price breakfast is now $1.21. In severe need districts, free breakfast is now $1.80 and reduced-price breakfast is $1.50.

These increases for schools over the period July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012 reflect a 2.18% increase in the Consumer Price Index over the last 12 months, up from 225.573 in May 2010 to 230.501 in May 2011.

For more info see: http://www.schoolnutrition.org/Blog.aspx?id=15765&blogid=622 and http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-07-20/pdf/2011-18253.pdf

First Lady Michelle Obama Announces Partnerships to Promote Access to Healthy, Affordable Food in Underserved Communities

On July 20, 2011 First Lady Michelle Obama along with leaders from major retailers, foundations and small businesses announced commitments that will provide access to healthy, affordable food for millions of people in underserved communities. The commitments from SUPERVALU, Walgreens, Walmart and regional retailers will include opening or expanding over 1,500 stores to serve communities throughout the country that currently do not have access to fresh produce and other healthy foods. Currently, 23.5 million Americans – including 6.5 million children – live in low-income areas that lack stores likely to sell affordable and healthy foods.

First Lady Michelle Obama says, “We can give people all the information and advice in the world about healthy eating and exercise, but if parents can’t buy the food they need to prepare those meals because their only options for groceries are the gas station or the local minimart, then all that is just talk. Let’s Move is about giving parents real choices about the food their kids are eating, and today’s announcement means that more parents will have a fresh food retailer right in their community – a place that sells healthy food, at reasonable prices, so they can feed their families the way they want.”

Mrs. Obama noted that studies have connected lower obesity rates to the availability of grocery stores in communities. The commitments of these companies will aid the 23.5 million Americans who struggle to obtain fresh food will have improved access.to healthful food in targeted areas that need them the most.

For specifics on retailer commitments see:
http://www.letsmove.gov/sites/letsmove.gov/files/Food_access_factsheet.pdf

Agriculture Secretary Addresses National Council of La Raza; Highlights Improvements to the Nutritional Health of Hispanics in Communities across the Country

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today joined local, state, and national partners at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Annual Conference to discuss efforts to combat hunger and improve the nutritional health of Hispanics, especially children.

“USDA is committed to ensuring that all Latino families in the United States have access to nutritious foods, which will help them stay healthy, active and able to win their future,” said Vilsack. “Our valued partners at La Raza and its affiliates are uniquely positioned to create and implement sustainable solutions to ending hunger and help us reach the most vulnerable members of our communities. We need to work together in setting a table for everyone to have access to healthy, affordable food.”

Secretary Vilsack outlined a comprehensive approach to combating hunger and obesity in the Latino community. Recent studies show 17.4 million American households were at risk for hunger in 2009, including one in four Latino families. Among them, Hispanic households with children were more likely than average to face high rates of food insecurity. Obesity also remains the fastest growing public health issue in the United States. Roughly one-third of American children are overweight or obese, putting that same proportion of children at risk for diabetes, with the rate in Latino communities reaching nearly one-half.

For more, visit: www.fns.usda.gov

USDA Announces Improvements in School Nutrition and Physical Activity Wellness Promotion

USDA announced improvements included in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 that will enhance local wellness policies in schools to promote healthier lifestyles for children. Local wellness policies are an important tool for parents, local educational agencies and school districts to promote student wellness, prevent and reduce childhood obesity, and provide assurance that school meal nutrition guidelines meet the minimum federal school meal standards. Schools participating in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program have been required to have local wellness policies since the 2006-07 school year.

"Parents understand that our commitment to teaching children healthy lifestyles requires local communities working together to make wellness a priority." said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "The updated local school wellness policies will help bring more people into this process in order to ensure kids are surrounded by a healthy school environment."

Provisions in the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 supersede previous requirements and expand the scope of wellness policies. The law now requires that additional stakeholders be included in the development, implementation and review of the wellness policies. Schools are now required to inform and update the public about the content and implementation of the local wellness policies. These provisions will be effective in the coming 2011-12 school year.

More information can be found at:
http://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/healthy/wellnesspolicy.html.

Winner Announced in First Lady’s Recipes for Healthy Kids Contest

US Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) Administrator Audrey Rowe announced the winner of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Recipes for Healthy Kids competition. The contest began last year to challenge students, parents and other interested community members to create tasty and healthy new recipes for school cafeteria menus.

Intermediate District 287, South Education Center Alternative in Richfield, MN won the Grand Prize with its Porcupine Sliders , in a national cook-off held during the American Culinary Federation National Convention, from among 340 recipes submitted by schools across the country.

“Intermediate District 287, South Education Center Alternative and all of the schools that participated in the competition have demonstrated once again that school meals can be healthy – and taste great too,” said Rowe. “This is an outstanding achievement for our kids and for our efforts to bring healthier meals and healthier lifestyles to schools across the nation.”

Other recipe cook-off finalists included Central Valley Harvest Bake  and Tuscan Smoked Turkey & Bean Soup . Competing teams submitted recipes in three categories: Dry Beans, Dark Green-Orange Vegetables, and Whole Grains. The top 10 recipes in each category will be published in a Recipes for Healthy Kids cookbook to share with schools, students and families.

Fore more information, please visit: http://www.fns.usda.gov/fns/.


 
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