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Tuesday Morning - September 17, 2013

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September 17, 2013

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

A Call for Advocating Your Healthy School Lunch Photos in “Fed Up” Youth Campaign
USDA Blog Post: Healthy School Meals in Their Own Words
Apply for the HealthierUS School Challenge Today
SNA and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation Breakfast Materials Still Available
2015 Dietary Guidelines Process is in Full Swing
Competitive Foods Update: Interim Final Rule Published, SNA Task Force Reconvenes

State Policy

Butts County Georgia Sees Improved Numbers with Community Eligibility Option
Texas Begins Five Year Plan on Summer Feeding Programs
West Virginia School Begins Using Fingerprints for Cafeteria Lines
Indiana Legislators Push for Audit of NSLP Numbers
Minnesota Celebrates Farm to School Month
North Carolina School Invites Grandparents to Lunch

Reports, Webinars, and Events

SNA Monitors Participation in Lunch and Breakfast Programs
September 19th Webinar on “A Fresh Start for Breakfast,” An SNA and AFHG Resource
USDA Farm to School Program and eXtension Hosting Two Webinars
Submit Proposals for the 7th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference: Powering Up

Upcoming Meetings and Events


Federal Policy

A Call for Advocating Your Healthy School Lunch Photos in “Fed Up” Youth Campaign

DoSomething.org, a youth advocacy website with two million members, has launched a campaign encouraging young people to photograph their school lunch. The Fed Up school lunch campaign (www.dosomething.org/fedup), asks participants to “show us what you think of school lunch” by posting photos of their meal, completing a short survey on their impressions of school lunch, and voting either “eat it” or “toss it” on posted photos. SNA sent this letter to DoSomething.org on behalf of members and is communicating with DoSomething.org regarding campaign inaccuracies. SNA encourages members to help show DoSomething.org the true state of school meals.

Visit this link and submit a photo of your school lunch so visitors to the site can see the healthy, fresh, delicious food you serve in your schools each day. It only takes a few minutes to participate. Click on the “Show us your lunch” tab at the bottom of the page. Then click on “register” in the top right corner. You will be required to provide your name, an email address and birthday (you are not required to submit a cell number). Upload your photo and you can complete the short multiple choice survey telling the site how healthy your lunch is!

USDA Blog Post: Healthy School Meals in Their Own Words

A recent U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) blog post recognized schools across the country for serving healthy, delicious breakfast and lunches to students. But how do the students and staff feel about the changes? USDA interviewed students and staff at Bondurant-Farrar School District outside of Des Moines, Iowa, to get their take on the new meals. Lexi Atzen, a senior at Bondurant-Farrar High School says that school meals make her feel better. “When you eat good foods, you feel a lot better about yourself,” says Atzen. “You feel a lot better just in general, you have more energy. And then that leads into the classroom as well.” And Clayton Beck, also a senior, says that complaints about the amount of food don’t tell the full story. “Well, those people that are complaining, they’ll only take a burrito and an apple,” says Beck. “But if you take the burrito and then the beans and then the salad and then the fruit, you get full.” Read more here.

Apply for the HealthierUS School Challenge Today

Highlight the efforts your staff and school community are making to ensure that students will be eating nutritious meals and engaging in nutrition education, physical education, and physical activity this school year. Download the HealthierUS School Challenge Criteria Application at teamnutrition.usda.gov/HealthierUS/application.html. If you have any questions, you can always contact your State Child Nutrition Agency for more information.

SNA and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation Release Breakfast Materials

In collaboration with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, SNA’s Nutrition Committee created materials with examples of breakfast menus that meet the new meal pattern standards for school breakfast. SNA and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation released this guide at the Association’s Annual National Conference (ANC) in Kansas City. To access this resource, click here.

2015 Dietary Guidelines Process is in Full Swing

The Departments of Health and Human Services and Agriculture have announced the establishment of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC). This process happens every 5 years. The DGAC is expected to convene five public meetings; the first meeting was held on June 13-14, 2013. The Committee’s recommendations and rationale will be presented in a report to both the Secretaries of Health and Human Services and Agriculture, and will serve as a basis for the eighth edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. This serves as a policy document for which all dietary guidance for Americans is based upon.

SNA will be drafting comments to be included in the record, as well as submitting comments for consideration for oral testimony. SNA is monitoring the process closely and has registered to provide oral comments at the October 3 meeting. You are encouraged to submit comments, as well. To view archived webinars from public meetings, submit comments, and see the full calendar of events, click here.

Competitive Foods Update: Interim Final Rule Published

USDA’s 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. 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. SNA has reconvened the Competitive Task Force in order to develop an official association position. These comments are being reviewed and will be shared upon board approval.

See 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 then SNA President Sandra Ford, SNS. 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.


State Policy

Butts County Georgia Sees Improved Numbers with Community Eligibility Option

Less than two weeks after the start of the 2013-2014 school year, participation in the school nutrition program in the Butts County School System was showing marked improvement. This is the first year the school system has qualified for the Community Eligibility program and in the first two weeks, lunch numbers have increased to 88% and breakfast is up to 95%. The program is supported by both the Superintendent of Schools and the Nutrition Director. To learn more, visit this link.

Texas Begins Five Year Plan on Summer Feeding Programs

The Texas Hunger Initiative and other organizations have begun work on redeveloping the Texas summer feeding program. The initiative is driven by a five-year plan laid out by legislation approved in 2012. The objective is to identify the best practices among those schools and community partners that participate in the Summer Food Service Program. The legislation requires the state to come up with a five-year plan to increase participation in the program and access to the program in rural districts. To learn more, visit this link.

West Virginia School Begins Using Fingerprints for Cafeteria Lines

Philip Barbour High School located near Clarksburg, WV will test a system allowing students to pay for lunch with their fingerprint. By just having to swipe their finger across a pad, officials are hoping to move the lines quicker and thus feed more students in the same amount of time. To learn more, visit this link.

Indiana Legislators Push for Audit of NSLP Numbers

Some legislators in Indiana have voiced concerns that the free/reduced numbers in some school districts are fraudulent. As the numbers are used to calculate other support programs such as textbook assistance, some local officials are pushing for strict audits of all programs to ensure that the information gathered is correct. To learn more, visit this link.

Minnesota Celebrates Farm to School Month

Minnesota schools are celebrating Farm to School Month during September. Schools participating in Farm to School Month will be serving many local favorites including a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables and other minimally processed foods in school meals. To learn more, visit this link.

North Carolina School Invites Grandparents to Lunch

In honor of National Grandparents Day, a middle school in North Carolina invited the grandparents of students to join them for lunch. To learn more, visit this link.


Reports, Webinars, and Events

SNA Monitors Participation in Lunch and Breakfast Programs

With the many changes occurring in school nutrition programs, SNA has been monitoring data from USDA to understand how national participation in lunch and breakfast programs is changing compared to the previous school year. Based on preliminary data for the 2012-13 school year (September 2012 through May 2013), 30.8 million students participated in the National School Lunch Program on an average day. This is a 3.2% decrease compared to the 2011-12 school year. While average lunch participation has decreased, participation in the School Breakfast Program has increased reaching on average 13.1 million students per day. This is a 2.16% increase compared to the 2012-13 school year. 

To view the National School Lunch Participation Tracking Charts, visit the SNA Resource Center or click here.

September 19th Webinar on “A Fresh Start for Breakfast,” An SNA and AFHG Resource

Beginning this school year, new breakfast requirements went into effect with more to be rolled out in 2014-15. To assist our members for the rollout of the new policies, SNA, along with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, created “A Fresh Start for Breakfast.” This menu planning guide features a suggested two week cycle of menus for breakfast in the classroom, grab and go, and traditional cafeteria breakfast programs that meet the School Breakfast requirements. The Alliance for a Healthier Generation is hosting a webinar on September 19, 2013 at 1:00 pm (ET) to discuss the menus created by SNA and the Alliance, as well as other tips for implementing the rule. If you are interested in participating in the webinar, click here. The menu planning guide can be found here.

USDA Farm to School Program and eXtension Hosting Two Webinars

The USDA Farm to School Program and the eXtension Community of Practice in Community, Local, and Regional Food Systems will host two webinars to explore Cooperative Extension professionals’ role in supporting farm to school programs.

  • Wednesday, September 25, 1:00-2:00 pm (EDT), Emily Jackson of Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project will share outcomes from a tri-state project that examined the roles of Cooperative Extension in farm to school. She will be joined by Teresa Wiemerslage from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach who will share how she is supporting local food procurement, school wellness, and youth engagement in Northeast Iowa.
  • Wednesday, October 9, 1:00-2:00 pm (EDT), Julia Govis from University of Illinois Extension and Morgan Taggart from Ohio State University Extension will discuss the many ways they are supporting farm to school through the development of educational resources and curriculum.

To view the webinars via LiveMeeting, click here. To hear the webinars, dial 1-800-988-0278 and use the passcode 91613#. Both webinars will be recorded and available on the USDA Farm to School website within 1-2 weeks of initial viewing.

Submit Proposals for the 7th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference: Powering Up

The National Farm to Cafeteria Conference will convene more than 1,000 diverse stakeholders from across the farm to cafeteria movement who are working to source local food for institutional cafeterias and foster a culture of food and agricultural literacy across America. The conference will take place April 15-18, 2014, in Austin, Texas. Submit your proposal for a workshop, poster or lightning talk by November 8. For full details and information, you can download the official request for proposals here. For more information, visit farmtocafeteriaconference.org. Registration opens in January 2014.


Upcoming Meetings and Events

September 26-28, 2013, Arizona State Conference, Glendale, AZ
October 11-12, 2013, Maryland State Conference, Ocean City, MD
October 16-20, 2013, SNA Fall Committee Days, Crystal City, VA
October 17-20, 2013, South Carolina State Conference, Myrtle Beach, SC
October 25, 2013, Vermont Annual Meeting, Shelburne, VT
October 29-30, 2013, Massachusetts State Conference, Worcester, MA


 
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