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SNA News Releases

New Share Our Strength Analysis Shows Impact of School Breakfast on Academic Achievement

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Today, Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign hosted a briefing on Capitol Hill to release a new analysis demonstrating the positive potential impact that school breakfast has on the academic, health and economic futures of America’s students.

Marla Caplon, RD, LD, Director of Food & Nutrition Services for Montgomery County (Md.) Public Schools, spoke at the briefing on behalf of School Nutrition Association, and discussed how school nutrition professionals are reaching more students with a healthy school breakfast through alternative delivery models, like breakfast in the classroom.

Share Our Strength’s study, developed in collaboration with Deloitte, finds that on average, students who eat school breakfast have the potential to achieve 17.5% higher scores on standardized math tests and attend 1.5 more days of school each year.  Research also shows students who attend class more regularly are potentially 20% more likely to graduate from high school, and high school graduates typically earn $10,090 more a year while enjoying a 4% higher employment rate.

For complete details and an interactive map highlighting the benefits of school breakfast at the state and local levels, visit www.NoKidHungry.org/Breakfast.  

 

USDA Announces One Year Extension of Flexibility for Grains and Proteins

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Today, USDA announced a one-year extension of the flexibility on meeting the weekly requirements for grains and meat/meat alternates through School Year 2013-2014. This extension applies to both breakfast and lunch and states that schools must only meet the weekly minimum through SY 2013-14. USDA stated that they received a strong amount of feedback showing that the flexibility for this school year better allowed SFAs to create healthy nutritious meals while maintaining the integrity of the objectives of the Meal Pattern Guidelines. USDA is open to the idea of a further extension in the future.

Making the flexibility permanent is the first point of the SNA 2013 Legislative Issue Paper. SNA is pleased to see the one-year extension, but the Association remains committed to achieving a permanent elimination of the weekly limits on Grains and Meat/Meat Alternates served in the National School Lunch Program.  Weekly limits on the grains and proteins create significant menu planning challenges as school nutrition professionals cannot offer healthy options like daily sandwiches (too much grain), a small side of peanut butter with celery sticks or low or non-fat cheese and yogurt on the salad bar (too much protein). 

The entire USDA Memo can be found here.

 

SNA Announces Senators Cochran (R-MS) and Hoeven (R-ND) will join Congresswoman Fudge on Congressional Panel at LAC

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SNA is pleased to announce that two distinguished and dedicated Senators will be joining the Congressional Panel on the closing day of this year’s Legislative Action Conference (LAC). Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS) is the Ranking Member on the Senate Agriculture Committee which oversees all of the Child Nutrition Programs and has served the State of Mississippi in the Senate since 1978. He has spent his years of government service focused on expanding educational opportunities for rural areas. Senator John Hoeven (R-ND) of North Dakota is serving his first term in the Senate and is dedicated to the improvement of child nutrition programs as shown by spearheading the Congressional letter to USDA asking that the grain and protein limits be lifted. He serves on the Agriculture Committee with Senator Cochran as well as the Appropriations Subcommittee focused on nutrition programs. The Senators will be joining Congresswoman Marcia Fudge (D-OH) on Wednesday, March 6, for the LAC Closing General Session for what will be a dynamic discussion about their expectations for the Administration and the 113th Congress. This bi-partisan and geographical diverse panel should not be missed!

LAC 2013 is taking place March 3-6, in Washington, D.C. To register for LAC, visit www.schoolnutrition.org/lac.

Chicago Sun-Times Features Article by SNA President Sandra Ford

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(February 13, 2013)  Today's Chicago Sun-Times  included a special “Youth Empowerment” publication featuring an article by SNA President Sandra Ford, SNS.  “Students are Making Healthier Choices in their School Cafeterias” reports on new nutrition standards for school meals and how school nutrition professionals are encouraging students to try healthier menu options.  The article, distributed in 500,000 copies in the Chicago region, can be found on page 5 at http://doc.mediaplanet.com/all_projects/11884.pdf.

Join in the Annual School Survey Today

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Milk is an important component of school meal programs. The School Nutrition Association, the National Milk Mustache “got milk?®” Campaign (MilkPEP), and the National Dairy Council ask you to take a few minutes to complete the Annual School Survey. The information collected in this survey is very important and will help us bring you effective programs that support your nutrition, foodservice and wellness goals. It’s easy. Complete the survey online at www.primeconsulting.biz/schoolsurvey.

After completing the survey, you will be eligible to win a $25 Amazon.com gift certificate (1 out of every 20 surveys win)! As an added incentive for completing the survey online, we will draw 2 grand prize winners from completed submissions who will each win a $100 American Express gift card.

Your completed survey must be received by February 28, 2013 to participate in the grand prize drawing. If you have any questions, please call Barb at Prime Consulting: 1-888-945-1155.

Thank you in advance for your support. We look forward to sharing the results later this spring.

OFW Memo on Competitive Foods

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 On February 8, 2013, the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a proposed rule entitled “Nutrition Standards for All Foods Sold in School as Required by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010” (the proposed rule). The proposed rule can be found at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-02-08/pdf/2013-02584.pdf. OFW has drafted a memo intended to provide background for the proposed rule, a detailed review of the proposed rule, and a discussion of how this rule compares with existing state and local standards, including the HealthierUS School Challenge Program offered by FNS. The proposed rule also proposes to codify a provision of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA) that requires schools participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) to make free potable water available to children in the place lunches are served during meal service. Public comments are invited for 60 days from the date of publication, with comments due April 9, 2013.
 
SNA members can log on to www.schoolnutrition.org/mealpattern to access the OFW memo.

USDA Releases Proposed Rule on Competitive Foods

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On February 1, 2013, USDA released a proposed rule to develop a national policy on the sale of competitive foods in schools. 

Last fall, in preparation for the rule, SNA assembled a competitive foods task force comprised of operators from each region, and industry members.  Now that the proposed rule has been released, the task force has been activated and will begin the process of reviewing the proposal and gathering information and comments to respond to USDA.   This diverse task force is charged with developing a response that reflects the comments and concerns of the entire SNA membership.

The competitive foods proposal will be a key topic of conversation at LAC.  The task force will be represented and will gather comments from LAC attendees.  Please note that this will be just one of the ways to submit comments to SNA.

Click here for the USDA press release.
Click here for the full text of the proposed rule.
Click here for the SNA press release.


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