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Tuesday Morning - May 14, 2013

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May 14, 2013

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

Secretary Vilsack Testified before Senate on May 9th
FDA Seeking Input on Milk Labeling
SNA and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation Creating Breakfast Materials
Action Alert for Proposed Legislation in Senate and House
Senate Markup on the Farm Bill Scheduled for Tuesday
H.R.1783 Introduced: School Food Modernization Act
Congressional Calendars: How About a Cafeteria Visit?

State Policy

West Virginia Dept. of Education Praises new Legislation
Texas House Passes Breakfast Expansion, Sends Bill to Governor Perry
Wisconsin Ends “Morning Milk” Program Due to Funding Pressures

Reports, Webinars, and Events

May 12th Deadline for Let’s Move Healthy Recipe Challenge
Opportunity to Submit Nominations for Nutrients of Interest for Dietary Reference Intake Reviews
SNA Announces Participating as National PTA School of Excellence Resource Partner
Food Allergy Becomes a New Protected ADA Disability: Review the Changing Requirements

SNA Executive Team Events and Regional Meetings


Federal Policy

Secretary Vilsack Appears before Senate on May 9th

The Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies (the Subcommittee) of the Senate Appropriations Committee, held a hearing with Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack on May 9, 2013 to review the Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 budget request of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

  • Regarding grains, meat, and meat alternate flexibilities, Secretary Vilsack said that USDA has provided the requested flexibility, and that he expects the decision about making the elimination permanent to be made soon if it has not been made already.
  • Regarding the bill S. 427, the “Sensible School Lunch Act,” Senator Hoeven (R-ND) noted the bill’s endorsement by SNA. He asked for the Secretary’s support. The Secretary said that the bill is consistent with what USDA is doing, and that they are in agreement.
  • Regarding grants for equipment, Secretary Vilsack said that the FY 2014 budget request includes $35 million for these grants, as had the FY 2013 request. However, the 2013 funding had been reduced to $10 million in the final bill. Secretary Vilsack agreed that other school food authorities could make similar efforts to improve food quality through access to new food equipment.

Click here for the OFW memo.
Click here for the full witness statement.

FDA Seeking Input on Milk Labeling

The International Dairy Foods Association and the National Milk Producers Federation have filed a petition requesting that the Agency amend the standard of identity for milk and 17 other dairy products to provide for the use of any safe and suitable sweetener as an optional ingredient. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued this notice to request comments, data, and information about the issues presented in the petition. Either written or electronic comments are due by May 21, 2013. For details about the petition, to read the request in full and for directions on submitting comments, click here.

SNA and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation Creating Breakfast Materials

Much like the Meal Pattern Guide found at www.schoolnutrition.org/mealpattern, SNA is working to create materials to support members in breakfast meal pattern changes. Working with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, SNA’s Nutrition Committee is looking to create materials with examples of breakfast menus for members to gear up for the changes this fall with school breakfast as dictated by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. These menus would be geared to meet the USDA requirements for the 2013-14 school year. SNA and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation will be releasing this guide at SNA’s 2013 Annual National Conference (ANC) in Kansas City, Mo., in July.

Action Alert for Proposed Legislation in Senate and House

Please help us in providing healthy school meals each day. Contact your Senators and Member of Congress and ask them to co-sponsor S. 427/H.R. 1303. For a customizable form letter to send to your House Members and Senators, visit http://capwiz.com/asfsa/issues/alert/?alertid=62541546.

Senate Markup on the Farm Bill Scheduled for Tuesday

The Senate Agriculture Committee has scheduled its markup for next Tuesday, May 14th, at 10:00 am ET. Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow’s (D-MI) mark includes a $4.1 billion/10 years cut to SNAP/food stamps. The $4.1 billion ‘Heat and Eat’ cut would limit states’ ability to coordinate the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and SNAP benefits, and, counter intuitively, reduce SNAP benefits for households eligible for but receiving the smallest, least adequate LIHEAP benefits.

H.R.1783 Introduced: School Food Modernization Act

On April 26, 2013, Representative Tom Latham (R-IA) introduced the School Food Modernization Act. The purpose of the bill is to direct the Secretary of Agriculture to issue loan guarantees for purposes of financing improvements to school lunch facilities, training school food service personnel, and for other purposes. SNA is in the process of reviewing the legislation and working with the Senate in introducing a companion bill.

Congressional Calendars: How About a Cafeteria Visit?

During recess periods, many Senators and Members of Congress head back to connect with constituents in their districts. The Senate and House are both on State Work/Constituent Work Weeks during May 27-31, 2013. That would be a great time to reach out and invite them to visit your cafeteria and see how school meals help the kids in their districts. To see the calendars for 2013, click here. For SNA’s toolkit on setting up a Cafeteria Site Visit, click here.


State Policy

West Virginia Dept. of Education Praises New Legislation

Richard Goff, the director of Child Nutrition for the West Virginia Dept. of Education praised the recently passed bill providing universal feeding for all students. Mr. Goff praised the legislation stating it would build upon programs already in place and does not pose an additional burden on school systems. His staff will begin training school directors on the new law over the summer and the Board of Education will hold a meeting on the new law on June 8th. To learn more, click here.

Texas House Passes Breakfast Expansion, Sends Bill to Governor Perry

The Texas House passed a bill expanding the breakfast in the classroom program; it now goes to Governor Perry to sign into law. As mentioned previously, schools where 80% or more of students qualify for the federal program must offer the free meal, but school boards could opt out of the program. To learn more, click here.

Wisconsin Ends “Morning Milk” Program Due to Funding Pressures

A statewide program that provided free milk or juice to students who qualify for free or reduced price meals is coming to end. The program, deemed “Morning Milk” has seen its budget slashed over the past few years to the point it was deemed unsustainable for School Year 2013-14. To learn more, click here.


Reports, Webinars, and Events

May 12th Deadline for Let’s Move Healthy Recipe Challenge

First Lady Michelle Obama, the USDA, the U.S. Department of Education, and Epicurious have joined together again for the second Healthy Lunchtime Challenge. Children ages 8 to 12 and their parents (or legal guardians) are invited to create and enter their best original lunch recipes inspired by MyPlate, the USDA's user-friendly guide to healthy eating. One winner from each of the 50 states and U.S. Territories will be awarded a trip to Washington, D.C., and the opportunity to attend the Kids' "State Dinner," hosted by the First Lady at the White House this summer. These lucky finalists might also have their recipes served at the event! Click here for more information.

Opportunity to Submit Nominations for Nutrients of Interest for Dietary Reference Intake Reviews

The US and Canadian governments are offering the opportunity to nominate nutrients for which Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) values may need to be reviewed. These will be considered by the Federal DRI Committees of both countries as they undertake the task of prioritizing nutrients for future review. Nomination requirements will be specified on the Dietary Reference Intakes web page, available at www.health.gov/DRI. The nomination consists of a cover letter and a literature search. The DRI Committees will accept nominations for consideration through 11:59 pm EDT on July 31, 2013.

SNA Announces Participating as National PTA School of Excellence Resource Partner

SNA recently signed on to be a National PTA School of Excellence Resource Partner providing SNA materials and resources to the National PTA as part of their initiative. SNA’s Tray Talk will be provided free to Local PTAs through this list of resources from the National PTA.

Food Allergy Becomes a New Protected ADA Disability: Review the Changing Requirements

On May 29, 2013, at 1:00 pm ET, there will be a webinar covering the changes in categorizing food allergies. As a result of a recent settlement between the federal Department of Justice and Lesley University in Massachusetts, students with serious food allergies may now qualify for accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). By applying ADA to food allergies, the Department of Justice has turned food into an access issue... access to an education in this case. This decision will likely impact both higher education as well as the primary and secondary levels. The implications of this settlement are likely to be far reaching and require significant changes for all levels of education in order to avoid charges of discrimination against students with special dietary needs. Please join Melissa Fleischer, attorney at law, as she guides you through the landmark Lesley University settlement and helps you understand its relevance to you as you consider what changes might be necessary in your dietary planning in order not to violate this new ADA accessibility requirement. To learn more about this webinar, click here.


SNA Executive Team Events and Regional Meetings

May 7-9, 2013, Healthy Flavors, Healthy Kids, Culinary Institute of America, San Antonio, TX
May 17-21, 2013, National Restaurant Association Show, Chicago, IL
May 18-24, 2013, Global Child Nutrition Forum, Global Child Nutrition Foundation, Praia do Forte, Brazil


 
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