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Tuesday Morning - February 12, 2013

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February 12, 2013

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

USDA Releases Proposed Rule on Competitive Foods
USDA Releases Q and A Regarding Competitive Foods Proposed Rule
OFW Memo on Competitive Foods
SNA Competitive Foods Task Force to Meet at SNA Headquarters on February 21-22, 2013
USDA Releases Federal Register Notice on 2013 Reimbursements Rates for Summer Food Service
USDA Launches New Survey on Foods Program
USDA Revises Q and A on Certification for the NSLP
LAC Program Packed with Excitement from Pre-Conference Session to Reception
SNA Public Policy and Legislation Committee Releases 2013 Issue Paper

State Policy

California Senate Committee Releases Study Showing Misuse of Food Nutrition Program Funds
New Hampshire Schools Ahead of “Smart Snack” Curve
Utah Hosts Students in Food Tasting Fair
North Dakota Bill to Cover Milk Costs Stalls

Reports, Webinars, and Events

The Institute of Medicine Hosts Workshop on National Nutrition Education Curriculum
School Meals Resource Available at Special Pre-Release Price
USDA Has Released the School Nutrition Dietary Assessment Study IV

SNA Executive Team Events and Regional Meetings


Federal Policy

USDA Releases Proposed Rule on Competitive Foods

USDA recently released a proposed rule to develop a national policy on the sale of competitive foods in schools. Click here to read the USDA press release, or you can read SNA’s press release here. To view the full text of the proposed rule, click here.

Last fall, in preparation for the rule, SNA assembled a Competitive Foods Task Force comprised of operators from each region, as well as industry members. Now that the proposed rule has been released, the task force has been activated and will begin the process of reviewing the proposal, gathering information and collecting comments to respond to USDA. This diverse task force is charged with developing a response that reflects the comments and concerns of the entire SNA membership.

The Competitive Foods proposal will be a key topic of conversation at the Association’s upcoming Legislative Action Conference (LAC). The task force will be represented and will gather comments from LAC attendees.  Please note that this will be just one of the ways to submit comments to SNA. 

USDA Releases Q and A Regarding Competitive Foods Proposed Rule

To address what the proposed standards intend to do, USDA released several Questions & Answers. Click here to view the Q&A.

OFW Memo on Competitive Foods

On February 8, 2013, the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a proposed rule entitled “Nutrition Standards for All Foods Sold in School as Required by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010” (the proposed rule). The proposed rule can be found here. OFW has drafted a memo intended to provide background for the proposed rule, a detailed review of the proposed rule, and a discussion of how this rule compares with existing state and local standards, including the HealthierUS School Challenge Program1 offered by FNS. The proposed rule also proposes to codify a provision of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 that requires schools participating in the National School Lunch Program to make free potable water available to children in the place lunches are served during meal service. Public comments are invited for 60 days from the date of publication, with comments due April 9, 2013. SNA members can log on to www.schoolnutrition.org/mealpattern to access the OFW memo.

SNA Competitive Foods Task Force to Meet at SNA Headquarters on February 21-22, 2013

Last fall, in preparation for the rule, SNA assembled a Competitive Foods Task Force comprised of operators from each region, and industry members. Now that the proposed rule has been released, the task force has been activated and will begin the process of reviewing the proposal and gathering information and comments to respond to USDA. This diverse task force is charged with developing a response that reflects the comments and concerns of the entire SNA membership. This task force is chaired by SNA President Sandra Ford, SNS.

USDA Releases Federal Register Notice on 2013 Reimbursements Rates for Summer Food Service

USDA has released a notice that informs the public of the annual adjustments to the reimbursement rates for meals served in the Summer Food Service Program for Children. These adjustments address changes in the Consumer Price Index, as required under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act. The 2013 reimbursement rates are presented as a combined set of rates to highlight simplified cost accounting procedures. The 2013 rates are also presented individually, as separate operating and administrative rates of reimbursement, to show the effect of the Consumer Price Index adjustment on each rate. Click here for further details.

USDA Launches New Survey on Foods Program

USDA and the American Commodity Distribution Association have launched a new survey aimed at those who utilize the USDA Foods program. The goal is to assess how the program works and how best to improve it over the coming years. It takes roughly 10-15 minutes to complete and can be found here. If you are a food service director, supervisor, coordinator or manager, please take some time to fill out this important survey to help shape any potential changes.

USDA Revises Q and A on Certification for the NSLP

USDA has revised the Child Nutrition Reauthorization 2010: Questions and Answers Related to the Certification of Compliance with Meal Requirements for the National School Lunch Program. This revised Q and A reflect updates based on questions USDA has received and provide additional information on the requirements for the additional reimbursement of 6 cents per lunch. To review the memo in its entirety, click here. It is also available on www.schoolnutrition.org/mealpattern.

LAC Program Packed with Excitement from Pre-Conference Session to Reception

Less than 1 month away, LAC this year is jam packed with great education sessions, a pre-conference session, and a first-of-its-kind reception on Capitol Hill. On Saturday, March 2, before the conference gets underway, SNA will be offering a pre-conference session entitled, "Tools for Training on Creating Healthy Meals That Kids Will Eat.” This USDA/NFSMI pre-conference session will demonstrate tools and resources developed to help schools not only meet the new meal pattern, but also encourage students to try unfamiliar foods. Interactive activities will enable you to take these resources and ideas back to your school to improve your meal service.

Also, be sure and attend the reception on Tuesday, March 5, on Capitol Hill in the stunning Cannon Caucus Room. This will be a great opportunity for Congressional staff to further network with SNA members, beyond the Hill visits. We look forward to seeing you there! To learn more about LAC 2013 or to register, visit www.schoolnutrition.org/lac.

SNA Public Policy and Legislation Committee Releases 2013 Issue Paper

On December 13, 2012, SNA’s Committee on Public Policy and Legislation convened in National Harbor, Md., to draft the 2013 Legislative Issue Paper. This important document will drive SNA’s legislative agenda for the coming year and the 113th Congress. The Issue Paper, reviewed and approved by the Board, is available on the SNA website.


State Policy

California Senate Committee Releases Study Showing Misuse of Food Nutrition Program Funds

Last week, the California Senate Oversight Committee released a detailed report showing how many California schools misused millions of funds meant for food nutrition programs. According to the study, the Department of Education has ordered almost $170 million be repaid to school nutrition programs that were spent by school districts in other areas, primarily in the Los Angeles area. It also found that due to limited staff, the problem could be a great deal larger. The most egregious cases documented included nutrition funds used to buy lawn equipment and pay salaries for school TV studio staff. The report discusses the impact of a limited lunch time on participation rates as kids are unable to be served. The full report can be found here.

New Hampshire Schools Ahead of “Smart Snack” Curve

On the heels of the proposed new USDA rules on “Smart Snacks,” New Hampshire schools say they have been implementing healthier options over the course of the past few years. Since the state passed legislation in 2011 that aligns with the proposed USDA rules, school vending machines have stopped selling soda and only provide baked chips and other healthier options. The New Hampshire Department of Education’s Bureau of Nutrition Programs and Services officials state that any further changes should be easier to implement as students have been gradually introduced to newer products. To learn more, click here.

Utah Hosts Students in Food Tasting Fair

Students from across the state of Utah gathered at a joint food fair for a tasting of possible offerings under the new meal pattern guidelines. Almost 200 students ranging in ages were able to participate in the first annual food tasting gathering to help decide what their fellow classmates will be eating in the near future.

North Dakota Bill to Cover Milk Costs Stalls

A bill which would have provided free milk to some elementary students did not make it out of the North Dakota House Education Committee. The purpose of the legislation would have been to provide all kindergartners through third graders who qualify for free or reduced lunch access to free milk during the designated snack break. Opponents of the legislation said that as the snack break is in addition to school breakfast and lunch, it is not necessary to ensure students are not hungry. Sponsors of the legislation will take it up on the House floor in the coming weeks for passage, but if it fails, the bill will be considered dead. More information can be found here.


Reports, Webinars, and Events

The Institute of Medicine Hosts Workshop on National Nutrition Education Curriculum

The Institute of Medicine will host a public workshop on National Nutrition Education Curriculum Standards for K-12th Grade on March 11-12, 2013, at the Keck Center of the National Academies in Washington, D.C. The workshop is being convened at the request of the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service to discuss the merits, potential uses and attributes of a set of national nutrition education curriculum standards, and learning objectives for elementary and secondary school children. For more information or to register for the workshop, visit their website. The speaker presentations and an audio recording of the proceedings will be available on the same website following the workshop.

School Meals Resource Available at Special Pre-Release Price

School nutrition is a highly complex foodservice segment, and it’s more than a little challenging for anyone new to this profession or industry to get up to speed quickly. SNA’s Little Big Fact Book: The Essential Guide to School Nutrition can help. This comprehensive overview features facts and figures about the federal programs, USDA Foods, the school market and a variety of hot topics. From the implications of new nutrition standards to the variations in school district administration, this 40-page resource, updated for 2013, is a must-have for foodservice brokers, manufacturer marketing/sales teams, new foodservice directors/managers, school administrators, state/national legislators and media representatives. The latest edition will be released in a few short weeks, but if you order online today, you can purchase your copy at a special pre-release discount price of just $15. This limited-time offer is good only until March 4. Visit www.schoolnutrition.org/bookstore to place your web order today.

USDA Has Released the School Nutrition Dietary Assessment Study IV

USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service released the latest School Nutrition Dietary Assessment Study. The report provides a comparison of the nutritional quality of school meals between SY 2009-10, SY 2004-05, and SY 1998-99. As in prior studies, the nutrient content of the average meals offered and served in the nation’s schools was compared with regulatory standards in effect at the time—the School Meal Initiative (SMI) nutrition standards—as well as selected recommendations included in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Click here for the full report, as well as the report summary.


SNA Executive Team Events and Regional Meetings

February 4-5, 2013, Education Summit, SNA Headquarters, National Harbor, MD
February 7-9, 2013, NAFEM 2013, Orlando, FL
February 10-12, 2013, NFSMI Branding Focus Group, Oxford, MS
February 16, 2013, Kansas Strategic Planning Meeting
February 28-March 2, 2013, NASSP Convention & Expo, National Harbor, MD


 
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