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Tuesday Morning April 8, 2008

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April 8, 2008

 

Table of Contents

Farm Bill Update
Impact of Beef Recall Showing
It’s Showering Change!  Global Child Nutrition Month Kicks Off
USDA Releases New Commodity Fact Sheets
Flavored Milk Provides Health Benefits for Children
Privatization of School Meal Programs May Hurt Student Performance
Reduced Corn Crops Could Mean Higher Food Costs
 

In Every Issue

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

 

Farm Bill Update

Lawmakers are still deadlocked in negotiations over the Farm Bill.  With less than two weeks until the current extension runs our, negotiators on both sides are struggling to reach a compromise on several key issues, including nutrition program funding.  Representative Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, wants reassurance that funding for food stamps and other nutrition programs is not cut in favor of other priorities.  Some legislators, including Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Senator Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), are pushing for the creation of a disaster relief fund for farmers suffering from natural disasters such as droughts or flooding.  Any new funding or increases for programs must be offset with either tax increases or cuts to existing programs.  The current Farm Bill extension expires On Friday, April 18, 2008.

Impact of Beef Recall Showing

USA Today reported last week that the impact of the recent beef recall is being felt throughout the food industry, especially in schools.  In California, the state has spent over $1.1 million to destroy the recalled beef and beef products that were sent to school districts.  School nutrition programs in 46 other states were also affected by the Westland/Hallmark meat recall. USDA stated that it will reimburse states with either credits or commodities.  Private companies that resold the beef or beef products are also facing catastrophic fiscal losses. SNA has updated the web page dedicated to helping members cope with the recall.  Resources include fact sheets, frequently asked questions, and USDA statements.  New to the page are video clips of past SNA president Janey Thornton discussing the safety and security of the nation’s beef supply.

It’s Showering Change!  Global Child Nutrition Month Kicks Off

gcnfIt's showering quarters, nickels and dimes today as the first ever Global Child Nutrition Month kicks off.  This April, the School Nutrition Association (SNA), in conjunction with the Global Child Nutrition Foundation (GCNF), encourages school nutrition professionals to take a day, week, or even the whole month, to partner with students and teachers in raising funds to fight global hunger. More than 600 school districts nationwide are participating this month, while several got a head start on the action:

 

  • Students at Pride Elementary School in Hillsborough County, Fla., collected more than $2,300 as they raised awareness about potential solutions to global hunger and poverty.
  • Evergreen Elementary School students in Spanaway, Wash., built the largest pizza in their community. By tossing coins that represent favorite toppings into a circle they helped their school reach its goal of $1,100.
  • In Ohio, students at the Beavercreek City Schools received a token with their school lunch.  The token serves as a reminder to students to bring back a coin this month, helping the school district reach a goal of $2,500.

    The U.S. Congress also recognized Global Child Nutrition Month.  On Monday, March 31, 2008, Representative Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) offered remarks before the House of Representatives, recognizing the work of organizations like GCNF and SNA in ending the worldwide scourge of hunger and poverty. For additional information, please see Related Links.

    USDA Releases New Commodity Fact Sheets

    Straight from the presses!  USDA just released several new fact sheets to answer your most burning questions about commodities.  The Did You Know? fact sheet provides basic answers to common misperceptions about the commodities program while the Commodity Foods Backgrounder gives information regarding how the program works. Please visit Related Links to view the publications.

    Flavored Milk Provides Health Benefits for Children

    Researchers at the University of Vermont have found that children who drink milk, whether flavored or plain, have a lower body mass index (BMI) than children who do not.  The study, published in the April issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, found that drinking flavored milk does not cause increased weight gain.  Researchers noted that sugar intake did not differ between flavored milk drinkers and plain milk drinkers. Children who drank either plain or flavored milk consumed more nutrients, such as Vitamin A and calcium, than children who did not drink milk.

    Privatization of School Meal Programs May Hurt Student Performance

    A new study by a researcher at the University of Michigan found that privatizing the school meal programs may not benefit a school district in the long run.  The research was conducted Roland Zullo, an assistant research scientist with the school’s Institute of Labor and Industrial Relations.  He argues that Michigan school districts that used food service contract management companies did not see significant cost savings.  While the districts saved money on labor and food, they usually spent those savings on contractor fees and supplies.  Zullo also noted that schools that utilized contract management companies saw lower test scores on average.  He attributed this to they types of meals served by these companies.

    Reduced Corn Crops Could Mean Higher Food Costs

    This week, the USDA released a projection showing that American farmers will plant 8 percent less corn this year, sending concerns about higher food costs through out the food industry.  High demand for corn, combined with record wheat and soy prices, are driving up food costs worldwide.  Farmers are planting fewer corn crops this year in favor of cashing in on the high prices of wheat and soy. Many in the food industry fear that a smaller corn crop will drive prices even higher.  Corn is a key ingredient in many American food products.

     

    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

    CBrooks@seymourschools.org

    Sara Gasiorowski

    Mideast Region

    Sara.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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