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Tuesday Morning - October 15, 2013

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October 15, 2013

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

SNA Urges Congress to End Shutdown to Protect School Meals
USDA Releases Q and A Assuring Meal Programs Continue During Government Shutdown
National School Lunch Week is Here!
USDA FNS Requests Information Related to School Nutrition and Meal Cost
Competitive Foods Update: SNA Submits Comments to Interim Final Rule
October is National Farm to School Month!

State Policy

Wisconsin District Implements New Wellness Policy Impacting Concession Stands
Minnesota Hunger Groups Launch Imitative to Increase Breakfast
Massachusetts School District Formalizes Wellness Policy
California Legislation Signed by Governor on School Nutrition

Reports, Webinars, and Events

Serving Healthy School Meals: Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods Project Released a Report
SNF and the Walmart Foundation Host Webinar on Breakfast in the Classroom
Submit Proposals for the 7th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference: Powering Up

Upcoming Meetings and Events


Federal Policy

SNA Urges Congress to End Shutdown to Protect School Meals

Starting on November 1, 2013, school meal programs will request federal reimbursements for meals served during October, but the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has not guaranteed the availability of sufficient funds to reimburse states for all meals served in October. In fact, one state agency has already notified local school districts that funding is only sufficient to reimburse meals served through October 4, 2013.

To read the SNA press release, click here. To read SNA’s letter to congressional leaders, click here.

Please take a few moments to click on the Action Alert here and let your Member of Congress know that a rapid resolution is necessary to ease any concerns about our school meal programs.

USDA Releases Q and A Assuring Meal Programs Continue During Government Shutdown

On Friday, October 11th, USDA released a Q and A to clarify that federal funding is available to reimburse meals served in the School Breakfast Program, the National School Lunch Program, the Special Milk Program, and the Child and Adult Care Food Program, despite the shutdown. The Q and A states that: “USDA has determined that additional funding is currently available, and is sufficient to support program activity for several months in FY 2014.” The Q and A addresses School Breakfast, School Lunch, the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, and the Child and Adult Care Food Program, among other questions you may have. To read the memo, click here, or here to view the detailed Q and A.

National School Lunch Week is Here!

The National School Lunch Week campaign highlights regional recipes and healthy changes in school cafeterias. Cafeterias nationwide are hosting the “School Lunch Across the USA” campaign to spotlight the nutritious regional recipes, ingredients and traditions that make every school cafeteria unique. To learn more, click here.

USDA FNS Requests Information Related to School Nutrition and Meal Cost

USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has released a request for information in the Federal Register. Comments are invited for their School Nutrition and Meal Cost Study. The study comes at a time of unprecedented change for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP). The new requirements are intended to better align USDA meals and snacks with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and to improve participating students' food and nutrient intake. Complying with the new requirements might affect the costs of producing school lunches and breakfasts. Conducting this study at this historic juncture will provide FNS with crucial information about the effects of the new meal standards on nutritional quality and the cost of school meals. No national study has concurrently examined the cost of producing school meals, the nutritional profile of school meals and the amount of plate waste in school meals. For more details and instructions for submitting information, click here.

Competitive Foods Update: SNA Submits Comments to Interim Final Rule

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. 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. To review SNA’s comments on the rule, click here.

SNA reconvened the Competitive Foods Task Force to review and analyze the rule, as well as to develop a position in response to the rule, which was submitted to USDA following Board approval. SNA strongly encourages members to review the comments and utilize them to develop your own, your district’s, or your state’s position and submit. Written comments on the rule are accepted at Regulations.gov until October 28, 2013.

To view more details and supporting documents on the process SNA took in development of its position, visit www.schoolnutrition.org/competitivefoods.

October is National Farm to School Month!

The National Farm to School Network invites you to partner in promoting Farm to School Month throughout October. Visit www.farmtoschoolmonth.org for more details and to access a host of resources available to help you plan your celebration. Also, don’t forget to use #F2SMonth when you talk about Farm to School Month on social media.


State Policy

Wisconsin District Implements New Wellness Policy Impacting Concession Stands

Schools in the Appleton District in Wisconsin will be seeing healthier options sold at concession stands during after school hours. The updated nutrition policy approved by the school board requires concession stands to offer at least one healthy option in each of these categories: Entrées, beverages, snacks, and candy. It also places additional requirements on fundraising groups and eliminates high-sugar foods from district meals. To learn more, visit this link.

Minnesota Hunger Groups Launch Imitative to Increase Breakfast

Hunger-Free Minnesota and Midwest Dairy Council announced the launch of the Minnesota School Breakfast Challenge, formed to increase participation in breakfast across the state. Also, working with the organizations is the Children’s Defense Fund of Minnesota. Hunger-Free Minnesota will provide a $0.10 per meal (up to 25,000 meals) incentive during the 2013-14 school year to 30 selected schools that increase their school breakfast meals served to free-and reduced-price eligible children over the prior school year. To learn more, visit this link.

Massachusetts School District Formalizes Wellness Policy

The School Board in Pittsfield, Mass., recently formalized a local wellness policy that had been in place for nearly a decade. The process took over two years and incorporated feedback from the community. To learn more, visit this link.

California Legislation Signed by Governor on School Nutrition

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a school nutrition bill Thursday, October 10th, that amends existing law that governs school nutrition to include the nutritional standards of snacks, meals or both and physical activity during after school education and safety programs, the use of cafeteria funds for central food processing expenditures, the cost of housing and equipping cafeterias, the selling of food items to students, of less nutritious food items before school, of less nutritious beverages, of food containing trans-fat, and participation in a nutrition pilot program. To learn more, visit this link.


Reports, Webinars, and Events

Serving Healthy School Meals: Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods Project Released a Report

The Kids' Safe and Healthful Foods Project, a collaboration between The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, released a report last week, Serving Healthy School Meals, that found that, "despite some challenges, 94 percent of school districts expected to meet the updated nutrition standards by the end of the 2012-2013 academic year."

SNF and the Walmart Foundation Host Webinar on Breakfast in the Classroom

The School Nutrition Foundation (SNF), in partnership with the Walmart Foundation, will host a FREE webinar entitled “Sustainable Breakfast in the Classroom Programs Start with Effective Assessments” on October 16th from 2:00-3:15 pm EST (1:00 pm Central, 12:00 pm Mountain, 11:00 am Pacific). Join this webinar to learn about making the most of the assessment process, best practices, and lessons learned from foodservice directors and operators who have successfully integrated breakfast in the classroom (BIC) into their school nutrition programs. Whether you are considering BIC or you are in the process of implementing BIC, this webinar is for you.

Time will be devoted to Q&A, so please come with your questions. For the first time ever, you can also submit your questions early. Just email them to snf@schoolnutrition.org. These questions will be the first to be answered by our panelists. Participation in this webinar is worth 1 SNA CEU. To register, visit https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/307869346.

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

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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