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Tuesday Morning - September 13, 2011

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September 13, 2011

Table of Contents

USDA Rolls Out First Themed MyPlate Healthy Eating Message: Make Half Your Plate Fruits and Vegetables

HHS Announces Small Grant Program for Schools Promoting Healthy Eating and Physical Activity

Rachael Ray’s Yum-o! Organization Teams with Alliance for a Healthier Generation to Provide Healthy and Delicious Recipes for School Cafeterias across the Country

USDA Hosts National Media Conference Call on ‘Household Food Security in the U.S.’ Report

F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future

Webinar Wednesday: The At-Risk Afterschool Meals Component of USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program Webinar Series for Latino Serving Organizations

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USDA Rolls Out First Themed MyPlate Healthy Eating Message: Make Half Your Plate Fruits and Vegetables

US Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the first themed message in support of the new MyPlate icon and First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative through a new national private-sector partnership program. The theme is Make Half Your Plate Fruits and Vegetables.

“We know that consumers are inundated with multiple nutrition messages that make it difficult to focus on changes that are necessary to improve their diet,” said Secretary Vilsack. “USDA is committed to helping Americans make healthier food choices and our MyPlate symbol is a great reminder to think before we eat. By working with our national partners we can coordinate and amplify efforts to promote healthy eating tips like ‘Make Half Your Plate Fruits and Vegetables’ that serve as easy to understand reminders that we can all incorporate into our daily lives.”

HHS Announces Small Grant Program for Schools Promoting Healthy Eating and Physical Activity

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Minority Health is offering a small grant program to schools that actively promote healthy eating and physical activity. Eligibility is contingent on 80% or more of the student population qualifying for free or reduced price meals. Applicants must also be official USDA Team Nutrition Schools.

Grant funds must be used to help schools meet the requirements of the HealthierUS School Challenge. Five grants of $5,000 each will be awarded. Preference will be given to applicants that demonstrate youth engagement and leadership; have committed project partners that reflect the school community; include plans for sustaining the program after the conclusion of the award; and leverage additional project resources.

Applications are due by Thursday, October 13, 2011, 5:00 pm EST. Awardees will be announced on December 1, 2011.

For more information, visit: http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/Assets/pdf/Checked/1/HSEALC.pdf

Rachael Ray’s Yum-o! Organization Teams with Alliance for a Healthier Generation to Provide Healthy and Delicious Recipes for School Cafeterias across the Country

In celebration of September’s National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, television personality, author and founder of the Yum-o! organization, Rachael Ray, and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation have collaborated to create healthy school food recipes that will be available for free to every school in the U.S., potentially reaching more than 30 million students.

“Getting students excited about the food they eat in school and giving them access to flavorful choices made with more fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains is so important when it comes to teaching them about making healthy food choices,” says Ray. “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation and provide schools nationwide with nutritious recipes that kids will enjoy eating.”

In an effort to educate school food service professionals about the availability of these recipes and a multitude of other free tools and resources for healthier school meals, the Alliance is announcing a new collaboration with the School Nutrition Association (SNA). The Alliance and SNA will work throughout the coming year to inform, educate and activate school food service professionals across the country through promotional campaigns, webinars, speaking engagements, and educational materials – all with a goal of increasing the availability of healthier options to students in every school in the country.

“School nutrition professionals are constantly working to offer healthier choices to students, but we will always welcome a helping hand!” says Helen Phillips, SNS, president of the School Nutrition Association and Senior Director of School Nutrition for the Norfolk Public Schools (VA). “The programs and materials created by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, including these wonderful recipes from Rachael Ray, are great tools for SNA members working to improve school menus. We are excited to work with the Alliance on new national initiatives to support school food service professionals.”

For more, please visit:

USDA Hosts National Media Conference Call on ‘Household Food Security in the U.S.’ Report

Last week, US Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, Kevin Concannon and Alesha Coleman-Jensen, an expert from USDA’s Economic Research Service hosted a national media conference call to discuss the Household Food Security in the United States in 2010 report. The annual report provides the most recent statistics on food security among US households.

During the call, Under Secretary Concannon stressed the fact that one in six Americans struggle daily to put food on the table. “We can and must do more,” Concannon stated, “… hunger is unacceptable.” Concannon also noted the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs play a vital role in getting needed nutrition food to children.

Alesha Coleman-Jensen gave detailed statistics from the report and explained how the survey was conducted. The study found that 14.5% or 17.2 million Americans have some level of food insecurity while 5.4% or 6.4 million struggle with “very low food security”.

For more on the report, visit: http://www.ers.usda.gov/Features/HouseholdFoodSecurity2010/

F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future

On September 8, 2011 the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation held a congressional briefing to discuss the findings of their report. SNA attended the briefing.

Panelists included:
Jeffrey Levi,
Ph.D., Executive Director, Trust for America’s Health
James Marks, M.D., M.P.H., Senior Vice President and Director,
Health Group, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Norman R. Seip, Lieutenant General, United States Air Force
(Retired), and member of the Mission Readiness Executive AdvisoryCouncil
Chip Johnson, Mayor, Hernando, Mississippi

During the briefing, childhood obesity was discussed in the context of military preparedness in addition to an overview of the report discussing the disparities of obesity among ethnic minorities, low income, and those with lower education levels.

This year, for the first time, the report examined how the obesity epidemic has grown over the past two decades. Twenty years ago, no state had an obesity rate above 15 percent. Today, more than two out of three states, 38 total, have obesity rates over 25 percent, and just one has a rate lower than 20 percent. Since 1995, when data was available for every state, obesity rates have doubled in seven states and increased by at least 90 percent in 10 others. Obesity rates have grown fastest in Oklahoma, Alabama, and Tennessee, and slowest in Washington, D.C., Colorado, and Connecticut. Twelve states now have obesity rates above 30 percent. Four years ago, only one state was above 30 percent.

Regarding schools the report mentions that:

  • Twenty states and Washington, D.C. have stricter standards than the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Seven years ago, only four states had school meal standards that were stricter than USDA requirements.
  • Twenty-six states and Washington, D.C. currently have established farm-to-school programs. Five years ago only New York had a law that established a farm-to-school program.
  • There is discussion of increasing physical activity in schools. Right now, only a quarter of teenagers in public school are required to take any PE at all.

 

Links and the full report can be found here: http://healthyamericans.org/report/88/

Webinar Wednesday: The At-Risk Afterschool Meals Component of USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program Webinar Series for Latino Serving Organizations

On Wednesday, September 14 from 2:00-3:00 pm EDT, join the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) experts to learn about the At-Risk Afterschool Meals component of the CACFP. The At-Risk Afterschool Meals Program is now available nationwide. During the webinar, you will learn more about this program and how your organization can serve free meals to kids during afterschool programs. Please make note, this session will be conducted in Spanish.

To register, follow this link: http://vovici.com/wsb.dll/s/17fb9g4c15b

Webinar Connection: This session will be available via Microsoft Office LiveMeeting (Webinar) and is free for all participants. You will need access to a phone line and a computer with internet access for this webinar.

Recording: These sessions will all be recorded and posted on the Food and Nutrition Service website shortly following the sessions. The recordings will be available online and on-demand.

Additional Information: Should you wish to learn more about the USDA Food and Nutrition Service, the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), or At-Risk Afterschool Meals, please click on the below to visit the following sites.
USDA Food and Nutrition Service
Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)
At-Risk Afterschool Meals Handbook
At-Risk Afterschool Meals Brochure

If you have any questions, please contact: Emily Buckham Buday, USDA FNS, Emily.buckham@fns.usda.gov or Sara Gold, USDA FNS, Sara.Gold@fns.usda.gov.


 
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