October 20, 2011 – Last week, school cafeterias across the country celebrated National School Lunch Week with farm fresh produce, special guests, games and activities to get kids excited about learning where their food comes from. This year’s theme, School Lunch – Let’s Grow Healthy, promoted locally sourced foods and all the ways that school lunch helps kids grow strong and healthy.
Here’s a sampling of activities from school districts across the country:
Arlington Public Schools’ (VA) menus featured locally grown fruits and vegetables every day during Lunch Week, and the district hosted an event where local farmers offered free produce samples in the cafeteria. Special guests included USDA Under Sec. (FNS) Kevin Concannon and SNA CEO Frank DiPasquale.
Provo School District (UT) celebrated Lunch Week in a variety of ways, and they included parents in the fun too! Parents were invited to join their students for school lunch during National Take Your Parents to Lunch Day. To see photos and read more about all of Provo’s Lunch Week events, visit their Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/ITSMealsProvo#!/ITSMealsProvo
Hillsborough County School District’s (FL) Chef Ben Guggenmos helped students learn more about healthy choices during Lunch Week. Chef Ben hosted healthy snack demos in several district schools. Click the link to see how he got students excited about roasted broccoli: http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/dpp/news/education/chef-brings-healthier%2C-tastier-twist-to-school-lunches-101411
Students at Taylor Elementary School, Cedar Rapids, IA, celebrated Lunch Week with special guest, USDA Dep. Under Sec. of FNS Janey Thornton, who announced that Iowa’s HealthierUS Schools will receive over $340,000 in federal funds. http://thegazette.com/2011/10/12/usda-official-brings-good-news-to-local-schools/
(October 19, 2011) Last night, the US Senate approved an amendment that effectively lifts USDA’s proposed meal pattern restrictions on starchy vegetables served in school meals. The amendment, offered by Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo, passed during debate on the Fiscal Year 2012 Agriculture Appropriations Bill. Specifically, the amendment prohibits the use of funds to implement a rule that sets maximum limits on the serving of vegetables in school meal programs or is inconsistent with the recommendations of the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans for vegetables. While SNA agreed with Senator Collins desire to increase the amount of starchy vegetables that could be served, SNA supported USDA completing the regulatory review process and issuing a revised rule based on the comments submitted.
The Senate is expected to complete action on this appropriations bill this week. Once the Senate completes debate and passes the bill, a conference committee will be assigned to resolve the differences between the House and Senate bills. When the final bill is drafted, it must be approved by both Houses of Congress before being sent to the President for his signature. SNA will keep members apprised of any new developments.
In the meantime, SNA stands behind the 11 page comments our Association submitted in response to the proposed rule. USDA is taking all comments under consideration as they work toward a final meal pattern update. SNA strongly supports this process and full completion of the regulatory process so that federal nutrition standards will be in line with the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
© 2000 - 2013 School Nutrition Association, All Rights Reserved