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Tuesday Morning - April 3, 2012

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April 3, 2012

Table of Contents

Proposed Rule on Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program

USDA Food Distribution National Policy Memo

Team Nutrition Grants

Leaders of the Senate Committee on Agriculture Propose New Foundation

Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food

Food Distribution Programs Management Evaluation Administrative Module

SNA Executive Team and Regional Director State Visits for April

In Every Issue

SNA Legislative Action Center

Legislative Toolkit

Proposed Rule on Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program

The Proposed Rule on the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) was recently published in the Federal Register and is available on the School Meals website. This proposed rule would establish the basic requirements for the operation of the FFVP for the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act. It would set forth administrative and operational requirements for FFVP operators at the state and local levels. The intent of these provisions is to ensure that the FFVP encourages the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables by school children to help improve their dietary habits and long-term health.

Comments on this proposed rule must be received by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service on or before April 24, 2012. All comments can be submitted via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov or sent to Julie Brewer, Chief, Policy and Program Development Branch, Child Nutrition Division, Food and Nutrition Service, USDA, 3101 Park Center Drive, Room 634, Alexandria, VA 22302.

To read the full rule, visit http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-02-24/pdf/2012-4181.pdfTo read SNA’s submission on the Proposed Rule, please see this link.

USDA Food Distribution National Policy Memo

On March 30, USDA released a memo in regards to the school lunch program and donated foods that contain lean finely textured beef (LFTB). The USDA regards LFTB to be a safe and nutritious product. Specifications for school year 2012 beef purchases allows schools the option of using LTFB with the exception of in canned beef, boneless beef combos and special trim products. Current inventory and pending deliveries may or may not contain LFTB.

USDA is strongly encouraging schools to use the inventory and products that may or may not contain LFTB as originally intended. If schools decide not to use these products, they will not be reimbursed or provided credit.

For more information, read the full memo here. For additional information and announcements from USDA, please visit the Resource Center on the SNA website.

Team Nutrition Grants

The USDA Food and Nutrition Service division is accepting applications for the 2012 Team Nutrition Training Grants. Applications are due April 27, 2012. The purpose of this grant is for state agencies to expand and enhance their training programs which 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). In the past few years several States have used these grants to expand farm to school efforts. Up to $5.5 million is anticipated in Fiscal Year 2012 for Team Nutrition Training Grants.

For more information, please visit http://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/Grants/2012.html.

Leaders of the Senate Committee on Agriculture Propose New Foundation

Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Chairwoman of the Committee, with co-sponsor Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND) introduced the bill to establish a Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) in order to support and complement USDA’s Research, Education and Economics (REE) mission area. The Foundation would solicit private donations to enhance agricultural research for meeting increased global demand. Producers in the states estimate having to double production in order to feed a global population, which is expected to reach 9 billion in 2050.

The Foundation provides authority for the establishment of a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. The following is an outline of some bill provisions:

  • Includes definitions for the following terms: Board, Department, Foundation and Secretary.
  • Outlines the purpose of the Foundation, which is to advance and support USDA agricultural research activities focusing on plant health, production and products; animal health, production and products; food safety, nutrition and health; renewable energy, natural resources and environment; agricultural and food security; and agriculture systems and technology.
  • Fosters new public/private partnerships within the agricultural research community - federal agencies, non-profit organizations, academia, corporations, individual donors, etc.
  • Includes provisions to outline basic duties of the Foundation, including the organization and structure of the entity, the establishment and composition of the Board of Directors, the Ex-Officio Board Members, the role of the Executive Director, as well as governing procedures and policies.
  • Requires the Foundation to provide annual audits of the financial condition, scope of activities, and accomplishments. Also includes accountability requirements for recipients of Foundation grants and additional good governance provisions.
  • Invests matching mandatory funding to elevate and prioritize agricultural research. Mandatory funds may not be expended until an equal amount of non-federal funds are secured by the Foundation.

Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food

USDA’s Farm to School initiative works to provide resources, technical assistance and grant opportunities to schools and producers, and is a key component of the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food (KYF) initiative. USDA recently published the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass, which details the progress of the local and regional food movement and chronicles the support USDA continues to provide to aid producers and connect buyers and growers.

This new online resource, chronicles USDA’s support for local and regional food systems. It includes an interactive map of USDA-supported food activities in all 50 states. For more, visit http://www.usda.gov/KNOWYOURFARMER

Food Distribution Programs Management Evaluation Administrative Module

The USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) division has updated the Food Distribution Program Management Evaluation Administrative Module. The Management Evaluation Review Modules are used by FNS Regional Offices to review state and local Food Distribution Programs. The modules are proposed guides only. FNS Regional Offices have full authority to modify these guides as desired when conducting reviews.

These documents can be found on their website at http://www.fns.usda.gov/fdd/forms/FDD_ME_Review_Modules.htm

SNA Executive Team and Regional Director State Visits for April

TBD, ANC 2013 Site Visit, Kansas City, MO
April 19-21, Georgia State Conference, The Classic Center, Athens, GA
April 19-21, AJLI Annual Conference, San Francisco, CA
April 21-23, NSBA 72nd Annual Conference, Boston, MA
April 26-28, NLC, Galt House, Louisville, KY
April 26-28, Florida State Conference, Ocean Center, Daytona Beach, FL


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