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Tuesday Morning March 18, 2008

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March 18, 2008

 

Editor’s Note: Presentations from LAC 2008 are now posted online.  Please click here to access them.

 

Table of Contents

Beef Recall Reimbursement Update
OMB Asked to Publish Final Rule on Retailers Affected by Recalls
CN Reauthorization 2009 Kicks Off
Congress Extends Farm Bill Again; Food Allergies Bill Sees Movement
State Legislative Highlights
Well Done! Details Local Wellness Policy Challenges and Successes
Grants Available for Summer Feeding and After School Sponsors
Nutrition Education Intervention Instills Healthy Habits in Preschoolers

 

In Every Issue

Legislative Action Center
Legislative Toolkit
PR Toolkit
State Policy Index
State and Federal Legislation
Public Policy and Legislative Committee

Beef Recall Reimbursement Update

beefUSDA officials issued guidance to State Agencies on February 17th regarding how to claim reimbursements for beef that was destroyed as a result of the Hallmark/Westland Meat Company recall.  It is the responsibility of State Agencies to instruct school food service operators to send to them all receipts and expenses, including destruction forms.  The State Agency will compile all documents and claims from school districts and send one comprehensive claim (public voucher) to their respective USDA FNS Regional Office, where the claim will be reviewed for completeness.  Any missing information that is critical will be returned to the State Agency for correction.  USDA cannot make payments to State Agencies until a comprehensive claim has been submitted.  As FNS receives complete documentation from each State affected by the recall, they will forward the paperwork to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the USDA for payment.  AMS will issue one check per state to cover the reimbursement for all affected districts in the state.  It is up to the State Agency to then redistribute the reimbursement money.  It is critical for school districts to submit their completed documentation to their State Agency in a timely manner in order to receive reimbursement.

SNA is seeking additional information regarding reimbursement for processors.  Under the current statutes, AMS can only make payments to State Agencies for hold and recall claims, which precludes processors from reimbursement directly by AMS.  USDA currently is looking at ways to streamline this process. Please continue to check with SNA from more information about the beef recall. To access more information on the recall see Related Links.

OMB Asked to Publish Final Rule on Retailers Affected by Recalls

This week Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) sent a letter to the Office of Management and Budget, asking them to allow USDA to move forward with a final rule that would permit USDA to publish the names of retailers affected by recalls.   DeLauro is the chairwoman of the House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies.  In her letter, DeLauro argues that this rule is needed to streamline the recall process and make more information available for consumers, such as during the recent beef recall.

CN Reauthorization 2009 Kicks Off

As the expiration date of the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 draws near, SNA is starting to examine the issues and concerns to address in the 2009 Reauthorization.  SNA’s 2009 Child Nutrition Reauthorization web page is up and running with links to information about the various priorities for Reauthorization, as well as a potential timeline.  As soon as it is available, a summary of the Reauthorization Town Hall Meeting held during the 2008 Legislative Action Conference (LAC) will also be posted to the Reauthorization web page.  SNA will also distribute this summary to all state affiliate leaders.

In the coming months, SNA will be working very closely with several groups.  SNA is working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to coordinate SNA member participation in listening sessions across the country.  During these sessions, the public will be able to share their concerns and ideas for Reauthorization 2009.  The Child Nutrition Forum will also reconvene this year.  Co-chaired by SNA and the Food Action and Research Center (FRAC), the Forum brings stakeholder groups to determine priorities in the child nutrition community. See Related Links for the SNA Reauthorization web page.

Congress Extends Farm Bill Again; Food Allergies Bill Sees Movement

capitolCongress moved this week to extend the expiration of the current Farm Bill to April 18, 2008.  The previous extension was set to expire on March 15.  Legislators are deadlocked in negotiations, with funding being the major barrier.    The Senate Agriculture and Finance Committees are disputing how to spend an additional $10 billion in extra funding over the $280 billion baseline in the bill. President Bush has threatened to veto the bill if it does not meet spending requirements.

In other federal legislative news, legislation concerning school food allergies policies passed a House subcommittee mark-up this week.  The legislation, H.R. 2063, the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Management Act of 2007, moved from the Healthy Families and Communities Subcommittee to the full House Education and Labor Committee.  The bill requires both the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to develop voluntary plans for school districts to manage the risk of food related allergies and anaphylaxis.  Additionally, the legislation would also establish school-based food allergy management grants. See Related Links for more on the legislation.

State Legislative Highlights

Several state legislatures passed bills related to child nutrition this month.  In Washington State, the legislature authorized a bill that would ease restrictions for school districts to purchase locally grown produce and encourage more schools to participate in farm to school programs.  The legislation also creates a series of grants that would pay for locally grown produce for school districts that have a free and reduced price eligible student population of greater than 50 percent.  The bill, SB 6483, unanimously passed the state Senate and received only one no vote in the state House.  It is now awaiting the governor’s signature.

The Idaho House passed a concurrent resolution urging the Idaho Department of Education to adopt nutrition standards for school vending machines.  The recommended standards include:

  • Maximum of 400mg of sodium per serving
  • Maximum of 3g of fat per 100 calories
  • Maximum of 35% of sugar by weight

The standards also recommend that beverages be either low-fat or skim milk, water, or 100% fruit juice and school districts should not sell beverages containing greater than 5 mg of caffeine per ounce.  The Idaho bill, unlike bills in other states, is non-binding and has no enforcement behind it. After passing the House, the resolution is now being debated in the state Senate.

Legislators in the New Hampshire House also approved a bill last week that would restrict the sale of certain food items in schools.  The bill, HB 1435, would adopt the Institute of Medicine nutrition standards.  After passing the House, the bill is now being debated in the Senate. See Related Links for local news coverage of all three bills.

Well Done! Details Local Wellness Policy Challenges and Successes

well doneDeveloping local school wellness policies in districts across the United States was the first challenge, as teams of administrators, teachers, parents, students and school nutrition professionals came together to determine changes and guidance for creating healthy school environments. But with policies now in place, school nutrition professionals and their allies are facing a whole host of new challenges—as well as some exciting opportunities.

A new publication from SNA provides inspiration and practical ideas for all in the school community who are committed to fostering healthy eating habits in children. Well Done! School Nutrition Professionals Put Wellness Policies to Work is a booklet of motivational tales of how school nutrition directors are meeting the challenges and seizing the opportunities presented by local school wellness policies. School nutrition professionals from districts of all sizes and all across the country share experiences relating to gaining support from principals, teachers, parents and students; establishing cafeteria-based nutrition education programs; finding products to meet new nutrition standards; developing staff wellness programs and making operational changes. Order your copy today through the SNA Bookstore.

Grants Available for Summer Feeding and After School Sponsors

Share Our Strength’s Great American Bake Sale is now requesting proposals for grants to increase participation among low-income children in summer and afterschool meal programs.  The program will be accepting applications from March 10, 2008 through May 30, 2008 from sponsors of meal programs including the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). There are two types of grants being offered:

  • Grants for Program Sponsors: Organizations and school districts that directly sponsor USDA-reimbursed afterschool and summer meal programs for children.  Awards will range from $1,000 to $10,000.
  • Grants for Advocacy: Organizations that work to increase participation in USDA-reimbursed afterschool and summer meal programs through outreach and advocacy.  Eligible organizations must engage in advocacy when working with schools, community organizations, local businesses, and a range of government officials.  Awards will range from $1,000 to $10,000.

For additional information and to access a grant application, please visit Related Links.

Experts Wanted for 2010 Dietary Guidelines Committee

The USDA and the Department of Health and Human Services are looking for nutrition experts to assist with developing a portfolio of evidence abstracts for use in developing the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.  Participants on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Committee will serve as Nutrition Evidence Library Abstractors and will review and process articles.  Training and a stipend will be provided.

People with an advanced degree in nutrition (MS, MPH, PhD, or graduate student candidates) and 5 years experience in the field are preferred.  NEL abstractors are expected to review 30-60 articles per year with a minimum two-year commitment and an estimated average of 3 hours work per week.  All applications must be submitted to NutritionEvidenceLib@cnpp.usda.gov by Friday, March 28, 2008.

Nutrition Education Intervention Instills Healthy Habits in Preschoolers

A study conducted by researchers at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine found that preschool children who received nutrition education in both their school and their homes developed healthier eating habits than children who did not.  Students that participated in the six month intervention received lessons in nutrition education and physical activity, as well as ate snacks containing more fruits and vegetables than students who did not participate.  At home, parents received newsletters and participated in monthly nutrition education dinners to reinforce the habits learned in preschool.  At the end of the study, students at intervention schools were less likely to be overweight or at risk of overweight than students in other schools. See Related Links for an article on the research.

SNA Legislative Action Center

Legislative Toolkit

PR Toolkit

State Policy Index

State and Federal Legislation

State legislation can now be accessed on the Internet through Netscan. Use Username: schoolnutrition and Password: sna

Click State Legislation Instructions for steps to access state legislation through the service. Legislatures currently in session include:  Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin, and District of Columbia.

2007 - 2008 Public Policy and Legislative Committee Contacts

Craig Weidel

PPL Committee Chair

clweidel@mpsaz.org

Cindy Brooks

Northeast Region

cindy9253@sbcglobal.net

Sara Gasiorowski

Mideast Region

sarah.gasiorowski@wayne.k12.in.us

Annette Bomar Hopgood

Southeast Region

awhopgood@bellsouth.net

Cindy Hormel

Midwest Region

chormel@liberty.k12.mo.us

Melanie Konarik

Southwest Region

melaniek@springisd.org  

Lyman Graham,

West Region

lyman.graham@carlsbad.k12.nm.us

Lincoln Pierce

Northwest Region

lpierce@bethelsd.org

School Nutrition Association

Child Nutrition and Policy Center

epeterson@schoolnutrition.org 


 
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