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Tuesday Morning - July 2, 2013

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July 2, 2013

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

Competitive Foods Update: Interim Final Rule Published
SNA President Testifies Before House Education Subcommittee on Impact of Federal School Meal Rules
SNA Signs On to Letter of Support for FIT Kids
Farm to School Showcase Toolkit Launches
Summer Foods Kick Off!
FDA Requests Nominations for Voting Members on the Food Advisory Committee
SNA and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation Creating Breakfast Materials
Action Alert for Proposed Legislation in Senate and House

State Policy

New York Governor Cuomo Announces Summer Feeding Program
Maryland Distributes Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Grant Funds
Wisconsin School Looks to Switch to Breakfast Break
Maine Prepared for New “Smart Snack” Rule

Reports, Webinars, and Events

July 9, 2013: Childhood Obesity Event by RWJF and American Heart Association
RWJF Research: Consumers Want Menu Labeling
Opportunity to Submit Nominations for Nutrients of Interest for Dietary Reference Intake Reviews

Upcoming Meetings and Events


Federal Policy

Competitive Foods Update: Interim Final Rule Published

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has published an interim final rule for Competitive Foods entitled, National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program: Nutrition Standards for All Foods Sold in School as Required by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. SNA is in the process of reviewing and analyzing the rule, as well as determining next steps in response to the rule. This interim final rule amends the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program regulations to establish nutrition standards for all foods sold in schools. There is a 120 day comment period for the interim final rule and written comments on the rule are accepted at Regulations.gov until October 28, 2013. Key changes in the rule are:

  • Increasing the proposed rule’s sodium limit on snacks and non-program side dishes from 200 mg per portion as packaged to 230 mg (through June 2016);
  • Exempting nuts/seeds and nut/seed butters from the rule’s total and saturated fat standards;
  • Exempting part skim mozzarella cheese from the total and saturated fat standards;
  • Allowing full strength juice diluted with added water (or carbonated water);
  • Allowing fruit packed in light syrup; and
  • Adopting the 35 percent by weight standard for sugar over the alternate 35 percent of calories standard.

Visit www.schoolnutrition.org/competitivefoods for the Interim Final Rule, SNA’s Press Release, and a list of a number of news articles on the topic quoting SNA President Sandra Ford. Other resources include the OFW Memo on the Interim Final Rule and a side-by-side comparison (in Excel) of SNA’s recommendations (view comments) and the Interim Final Rule.

SNA President Testifies Before House Education Subcommittee on Impact of Federal School Meal Rules

On Thursday June 27, 2013, SNA President Sandra Ford, SNS, testified before the House Education Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education on the impact that the new school meal pattern regulations have had on school meal operators. Ford’s testimony included discussion on the financial impact and the unintended consequences of elements on the new requirements. During the question and answer period, Members of Congress inquired into best practices of schools, the impact on industry and how schools have and will adjust in the future.

The witnesses included: SNA President Sandra Ford, SNA Member Megan Schaper of State College, Pa., Margo Wootan, PhD, of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, and Kay Brown of the GAO. Visit this link for the testimonies of all the witnesses and the archived video of the hearing.

SNA Signs On to Letter of Support for FIT Kids

Along with a number of allied groups, SNA signed on to a letter to Senator Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate, Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee in support of his introducing the FIT Kids Act (S. 1033) as well as an amendment in the House.

The undersigned organizations thank you for introducing the Fitness Integrated with Teaching Kids (FIT Kids) Act. This bill will help our children obtain a much needed head start on a healthy life by providing regular, quality physical education.

Here are the final letters sent to the House and Senate.

Farm to School Showcase Toolkit Launches

Ecotrust’s Farm to School program has put together a new resource, entitled The Farm to School Showcase Toolkit: A Guide for Connecting Local Food Suppliers with School Food Buyers at School Nutrition Trade Shows. Since 2010, they have been coordinating a special event for Oregon school foodservice staff to help them connect with local food producers, processors and distributors. The event, which they call the “Farm to School Showcase,” is part of the school food trade show at Oregon’s School Nutrition Association (SNA) annual conference. The conference is attended by school foodservice staff from almost every school district in the state of Oregon. Read a short story about the origins of the Farm to School Showcase here, and you can also download the free toolkit here.

Summer Foods Kick Off!

With school out, food is still available at a USDA Summer Meal site. The Summer Meal Program provides children with a safe place to go in the summer when school is out where they can get free, nutritious meals. Many of these sites also have organized activities that can keep children busy and make sure they are ready to learn when they return to school in the fall. For more information about a site near you, visit www.whyhunger.org/findfood.

FDA Requests Nominations for Voting Members on the Food Advisory Committee

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has published a notice requesting nominations for voting members on the Food Advisory Committee. Nominations received on or before July 22, 2013 will be given first consideration for membership on the Committee, and nominations received after that date will be considered to the extent nominees are still needed. The Food Advisory Committee provides advice to the FDA Commissioner, and other appropriate officials, on emerging food safety, food science, nutrition, and other food-related health issues that FDA considers of primary importance for its food and cosmetics programs. Members serve for terms of up to 4 years. Nominees should have expertise in microbiology, nutrition, food science, food technology, pediatric development, or nanotechnology in food. To read the federal register notice, click here. To read the OFW Memo, 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 USDA's 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.

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.


State Policy

New York Governor Cuomo Announces Summer Feeding Program

Gov. Cuomo of New York recently announced the opening of the Summer Feeding Program, which is federally supported and depends on schools and other local community organizations to administer and distribute meals to children. The Education Department has set up a website which includes an interactive map with information on all of the summer meal sites in New York State. The map and listing of locations will be continually updated until the start of the program in late June. More than 350,000 children throughout New York will receive meals each day throughout the summer. To learn more, visit this link.

Maryland Distributes Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Grant Funds

The Maryland State Department of Education recently distributed $3,069,100 in federal funds to 147 schools for participation in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP). The FFVP provides a wide variety of common and more unique fruits for consumption and education purposes within schools. To be eligible for the program, schools must be currently participating in the National School Lunch Program and every child enrolled in a participating school will be offered fruit and vegetable snacks regardless of income. For more information, as well a link to the list of all 147 schools, visit this link.

Wisconsin School Looks to Switch to Breakfast Break

A school district in Wisconsin is looking to switch from a state-supported milk break to the better funded federal breakfast program. The Onalaska School District gets a better reimbursement rate for its breakfast program from USDA than it does from the Wisconsin School Day Milk Program, which is administered by the state. The morning nutrition break at the middle school, which is counted as part of the district’s breakfast program, has proven popular and has helped drive up breakfast participation numbers. To learn more, visit this link.

Maine Prepared for New “Smart Snack” Rule

School nutrition professionals in Maine are prepared for the coming “smart snack” rule due to passage of stricter state rules two years ago. Maine's rules are tougher because they apply on school grounds at all times; the federal rules will apply only during the school day. Additionally, local districts can have even further restrictive rules such as Portland which has a "50-50" rule, so any foods that don't meet the standard are balanced with an equal amount of healthy options. To learn more, visit this link.


Reports, Webinars, and Events

Childhood Obesity Event by RWJF and American Heart Association

After decades of increases in rates of childhood obesity, several cities and states across the country have reported that their rates have declined. Join the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the American Heart Association (AHA) for an engaging conversation with leaders from the places showing signs of progress to learn more about what’s working to reverse the epidemic. The event will be hosted by Voices for Healthy Kids, a new collaboration between RWJF and AHA focused on changing local, state and federal policies to help children and adolescents eat healthier foods and be more active.

Signs of Progress Toward Reversing the Childhood Obesity Epidemic
July 9, 2013, 9:00 am–1:00 pm EDT
The National Capital Y, 1711 Rhode Island Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20036
Register for the event

RWJF Research: Consumers Want Menu Labeling

As the Food and Drug Administration works to finalize national menu labeling regulations, a new research review from Healthy Eating Research shows most consumers want menu labeling at the point of purchase in restaurants and cafeterias. Other show, customers notice menu labels at the point of purchase, and those labels increase their awareness of nutritional information and the impact of menu labeling may be greater among women and on higher-calorie items. In addition to the research review, two new RWJF-supported studies received national media attention: The first study shows that when people eat fast food, they consume more calories than they realize; the second study shows that menu labels can help people choose lower-calorie options. To learn more about the latest menu labeling research, visit this link.

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.


Upcoming Meetings and Events

July 14-17, 2013, SNA Annual National Conference, Kansas City, MO
July 30-August 2, 2013, South Dakota State Conference, Aberdeen, SD


 
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