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Tuesday Morning - February 28, 2012

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February 28, 2012

Table of Contents

LAC is Just Around the Corner!

USDA Team Nutrition 2012 Training Grants

USDA to Unveil the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass

Rep. Jan Schakowsky Resolution in Support of SNAP

Federal Register - Proposed Rule on the Fruit and Vegetable Program

Summer Meals Program for Disadvantaged Children

Nearly One in Five Americans Report Inability to Afford Enough Food

OECD Obesity Update 2012

Governors Stress Nutrition Efforts, School Meal Cost Concerns

SNA Executive Team and Regional Director State Visits for March

In Every Issue

SNA Legislative Action Center

Legislative Toolkit

LAC is Just Around the Corner!

There’s still time to register for SNA’s 40th annual Legislative Action Conference (LAC), taking place March 4-7, in the nation’s capital. This year’s conference will be the largest LAC to date, with more than 900 attendees already registered. If you don’t want to miss being a part of this memorable event but haven’t yet registered, you can register onsite at the conference.

Highlights of this year’s conference will include:

  • The “Procurement 101” pre-conference session on Saturday, March 3, which will provide a comprehensive overview of the federal requirements, policies and regulations relating to procurement in school meals programs. You can still sign up to take part in this dynamic session but hurry—more than 70 people have already signed up!
  • Charlie Cook, editor and publisher of The Cook Political Report, will give the keynote address during the Opening General Session on Sunday, March 4.
  • You also won’t want to miss the three and a half hours that are being dedicated to the final meal pattern regulation and the implementation of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.
  • And finally, the Closing General Session on Wednesday, March 7, will bring together viewpoints spanning three generations of agricultural leaders, with former Secretaries of Agriculture Dan Glickman and John Block and former Deputy Secretary Charles Conner all taking part.

For an LAC onsite registration form, visit http://www.schoolnutrition.org/Level2_LAC2012.aspx?id=16491

USDA Team Nutrition 2012 Training Grants

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) division has announced that Team Nutrition Training Grant applications for 2012 are now available. The purpose of the 2012 Training Grants are for state agencies to expand and enhance their training programs that incorporate and implement the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and USDA Foods in meals served under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) or the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). States must apply Team Nutrition’s three behavior-focused strategies in their proposals:

  • Provide training and technical assistance to school nutrition professionals to enable them to prepare and serve nutritious meals that appeal to students.
  • Provide fun and interactive nutrition education for children, teachers, parents and others caregivers.
  • Build school and community support for creating healthy school environments that are conducive to healthy eating and physical activity.

Applications of intent must be received by March 15 and applications are due to FNS by April 12, 2012. The grants will be awarded in September. For more information, visit http://teamnutrition.usda.gov/Grants/2012.html

USDA to Unveil the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan will unveil the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food (KYF) Compass via a live webinar on Wednesday, February 29, at 2:00 pm EST. KYF Compass is an interactive, web-based document and map. It highlights USDA support for local and regional food projects and successful producer, business and community case studies. Also, the Secretaries will discuss how local and regional food systems across the country offer economic opportunities for local farmers, ranchers and food entrepreneurs while growing the number of farmers, expanding healthy food access and building strong infrastructure systems.

USDA launched the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative in September 2009 to coordinate USDA resources and expertise on local and regional food systems. The initiative also encourages consumers to learn more about agriculture and connect with the farmers, ranchers and growers. The KYF Compass documents the ways in which USDA has coordinated across its 17 agencies and additional offices, enhanced transparency and met congressional mandates from the 2008 Farm Bill on local and regional food.

The webinar will be live-streamed at www.usda.gov/live. You can participate live by asking questions on Twitter to @usda and using the hash tag #KYF2.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky Resolution in Support of SNAP

Rep. Schakowsky (D-IL) has written a ‘Dear Colleague’ letter to encourage other Members of Congress to sign on to a Resolution, H. Res. 564, in support of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). She states that almost 50 million Americans today are food insecure. SNAP works to fill that gap, ensuring that children have enough food to grow, that underpaid and underemployed workers have the means to feed their families, and that seniors don’t have to choose between food and medicine.

To read the full Resolution, visit http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hres564ih/pdf/BILLS-112hres564ih.pdf

Federal Register - Proposed Rule on the Fruit and Vegetable Program

The proposed rule for the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) has been published in the February 24, 2012, edition of the Federal Register. The FFVP began as a pilot program funded by the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 to determine the best practices for increasing fruit and vegetable consumption in schools. The pilot program limited participation to a maximum of 25 schools per state. The success of the FFVP led to the program’s expansion.

The proposed rule would establish basic guidelines for FFVP, including operational and administrative requirements. Comments are welcome and must be submitted to FNS by April 24, 2012. Comments can be made online at www.regulations.gov or mailed to Julie Brewer, Chief, Policy and Program Development Branch, Child Nutrition Division, Food and Nutrition Service, USDA, 3101 Park Center Drive, Room 634, Alexandria, Virginia 22302.

To view the full notice, visit http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-02-24/pdf/2012-4181.pdf

Summer Meals Program for Disadvantaged Children

USDA Under Secretary, Kevin Concannon, recently co-hosted a media roundtable to promote Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) sponsorship opportunities. The goal of this roundtable was to persuade community and faith-based leaders to sponsor or host feeding sites for low-income children up to 18 years of age. Expanding access to the SFSP is a high priority for USDA and the Administration.

To hear the audio from this event, visit http://ocbmtcreal.usda.gov/player/player.html?base=http://ocbmtcreal.usda.gov/&uri=/USDA/secy&stream=022112

Nearly One in Five Americans Report Inability to Afford Enough Food

New data from the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) on food hardship show continuing struggles with hunger for millions across the United States, as nearly one in five said there were times they did not have enough money to buy food that they needed.

Nationally, 18.6 percent of those surveyed reported food hardship in 2011, an increase from the 2010 level of 18 percent and the highest annual rate in the four years that FRAC has been tracking these data. Food hardship reached every part of the country. Mississippi has the worst rate among states, with one in four households reporting food hardship. Regionally, the hardest hit areas are the Southeast and Southwest regions. Every region except for the Mountain Plains had higher food hardship rates in 2011 than in 2010.

To read the full report, visit http://frac.org/pdf/food_hardship_2011_report.pdf

OECD Obesity Update 2012

A report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has found that the United States has the highest rates of obesity in the world. OECD is an organization aiming to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world.

The 2012 Obesity Update has found that:

  • At least one in two people is now overweight or obese in over half of OECD countries. Rates are projected to increase further and in some countries two out of three people will be obese within ten years.
  • Data show a slowdown of the epidemic in several countries, with virtually stable rates in Korea, Switzerland, Italy, Hungary and England over the past ten years, and mild increases in France and Spain. However, larger increases were recorded in Ireland, Canada and United States.
  • An obese person incurs 25% higher health expenditures than a person of normal weight in any given year.

For more details and to read the report in full, visit http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/1/61/49716427.pdf

Governors Stress Nutrition Efforts, School Meal Cost Concerns

Several governors from across the nation told USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack how they are supporting improved nutrition in their states. Some also expressed concerns about the increased cost of school meals and USDA inspections of school meal facilities under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (P.L. 111-296).

Some highlights from this discussion are:

  • Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO), said that half of Denver’s elementary schools will have school gardens this year, and that once all the city’s elementary schools have them next year, he hopes to involve schools in other parts of the state.
  • Gov. Bill Haslam (R-TN), told Secretary Vilsack he is concerned about a requirement of the act that school lunch rooms be inspected every three years to make sure they are complying with USDA requirements, and asked whether USDA could reduce the inspections on schools that are performing well to every five years.
  • Secretary Vilsack noted President Obama asked, in his fiscal year 2013 budget, to buy new food preparation equipment, and that the Administration believes that 10,000 schools could receive help with new equipment through a competitive process.

SNA Executive Team and Regional Director State Visits for March

March 4-7Legislative Action Conference, Washington, DC
March 7-8Finance Committee Meeting, National Harbor, MD
March 8-10NASSP Convention & Exposition, Tampa, FL
March 9-10Oregon State Conference, Salem, OR
March 9-11Virginia State Conference, Virginia Beach, VA
March 15-16New Jersey State Conference, East Brunswick, NJ
March 22-24NAESP Annual Convention & Exposition, Seattle, WA
March 23-25West Virginia State Conference, Roanoke, WV
March 27-29NFSMI Major City Training Symposium, Oxford, MS
March 30-31     Alabama State Conference, Birmingham, AL

 
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