September 26, 2012 – Yesterday, SNA leaders met with representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to discuss the implementation of the new nutrition standards and to share input from SNA members, including successes, suggestions and creative ideas for overcoming challenges of the new meal pattern regulation. Background information was gathered from an SNA news article created to gather more information about the challenges facing SNA members as the implementation phase began this school year.
SNA CEO Frank DiPasquale, SNA President Sandra Ford, Montgomery County (Md.) Food Director Marla Caplon and SNA Industry Representative Gary Vonck
In just one week, more than 85 comments were received. Highlights of those comments included: Challenges meeting calorie minimums and maximums; grain and protein restrictions and their impact on calorie totals; fruit and vegetable acceptance and plate waste; highly athletic students being hungry; students from food insecure households being hungry; challenges with procurement and existing excess inventory; increased costs; and drastic drops in participation.
Those attending the meeting from SNA included (pictured below): SNA President Sandra Ford, SNA CEO Frank DiPasquale, SNA Industry Representative Gary Vonck, Montgomery County Maryland Food Director Marla Caplon, and SNA Vice President of Child Nutrition & Policy Cathy Schuchart (not pictured). Those participating on behalf of USDA included: Under Secretary Kevin Concannon, Chief of Staff Dan Christensen, Associate Administrator Tim O’Connor, Child Nutrition Division Director Cindy Long, and Brenda Lisi and Laura Griffin, who are two Special Assistants to the Deputy Under Secretary and Administrator, respectively.
USDA's Food and Nutrition Service recently released three documents, including a revised Questions and Answers on the National School Lunch and Breakfast Program. The Questions and Answers now include a table of contents, among other revisions. Click here to review the cover letter, which discusses how the content has been reformatted and the questions that have been updated. Click here for the updated Questions and Answers on implementing the final rule. In addition, USDA has released Short and Long Week adjustments for schools that regularly operate on a short or long week schedule. Click here to review those adjustments.
These resources, along with other tools to aid in adjusting to the new meal pattern, are available at www.schoolnutrition.org/mealpattern. We continue to update this site with the latest news and resources from SNA and USDA to help you understand and meet the new requirements.
September 19, 2012 – SNA has produced a new Public Service Announcement to spread the word about healthy school meals. The 30 second PSA, featuring school foodservice professionals and the delicious, nutritious food they serve, is scheduled to air on national television during an upcoming episode of the Food Network’s hit show “Chopped.” SNA will also distribute the PSA to over 1,000 TV stations across the country and promote the spot online.
Mark your calendars and tune into Food Network on Tuesday, September 25, 2012, at 10 p.m. (Eastern)/9 p.m. (Central). SNA’s PSA is scheduled to air in a commercial break during the all-new “Chopped - Class Acts, Too” episode featuring school chefs competing to survive the Chopping Block.
For tips and ideas to put together a fun and fabulous “Chopped” viewing party, and to learn about SNA’s Scavenger Hunt and prize, visit www.schoolnutrition.org/chopped.
On September 11, 2012, USDA released a memo adjusting the amount of allowable added sugars in frozen fruits. The new regulation allows for fruit packed in water or juice-only. USDA offers unsweetened frozen fruits and encourages States and School Food Authorities (SFA) to order those products. There is an allowance and recognition for SFAs to utilize existing product and time for industry to reformulate.
Click here for the full text of the memo or find it along with other tools at www.schoolnutrition.org/mealpattern.
September 13, 2012 - This week, SNA President Sandra Ford and her team at Manatee County Schools were recognized for their hard work in improving school meals and earning HealthierUS School Challenge Bronze awards for 28 of the district’s elementary schools. USDA FNS Under Secretary Kevin Concannon met with Ford and the Manatee County School Board to honor the achievement. Later, he joined Ford and Blanche H. Daughtrey Elementary School students for a healthy school breakfast. Congratulations to Sandra Ford and to all of America’s HealthierUS Schools!
USDA FNS is seeking comments regarding Research on the Causes, Characteristics, and Consequences of Childhood Hunger and Food Insecurity. Section 141 of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 provides $10 million to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for research on the causes, characteristics and consequences of childhood hunger and food insecurity. This notice announces a request for public comments to assist the Food and Nutrition Service in determining how best to focus these funds on areas and methods with the greatest research potential to maximize the return on this investment.To read the federal register notice in full, click here. SNA would like to submit comments based on members’ experiences with hunger in school children. Please review the notice and share your comments with Cathy Schuchart, Staff Vice President of Child Nutrition and Policy at firstname.lastname@example.org by October 1, 2012.
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