USDA issued a rule on the proposed meal pattern standards on January 13, 2011, starting a 90 day comment period. All comments on the proposed meal pattern requirements are due by April 13, 2011. SNA is currently drafting official comments to submit prior to the April 13th deadline.
SNA has convened an 11 person task force, headed by Vice President Helen Phillips, to review, discuss and draft SNA’s official comments on the proposed meal pattern requirements. The Task Force on Nutrition Standards in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs met from February 15-16th, to begin this process.
There are several opportunities for you to contribute to SNA’s official comments. Please leave your thoughts and concerns inthe comments section below this story. Task Force members will continually monitor the comments submitted.
There will also be two opportunities at LAC for you to voice your ideas. SNA members will be able to address attending LAC Task Force members during the timeframe of 5:30-6:30 PM (Rayburn Room ofthe J.W. Marriott) on Sunday, March 6th. During the closing general session onWednesday, March 9th, LAC attendees will have an opportunity to speak with Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and other USDA officials on the issues affecting the proposed meal pattern standards. In addition, over 6 hours of general session time will be dedicated to discussing the proposed meal pattern standards and the new Child Nutrition Reauthorization law.
SNA members will also have an opportunity to remark on the draft comments, expected to be posted inmid-March.
Below are links to several resources that will help you understand the proposed meal pattern requirements.
Proposed Meal Pattern Standards
Summary of the Proposed Meal Pattern Standards
SNA appreciates the input of its members and the hard work exhibited by the Task Force as it worked to develop these standards.
View the reccommendations by clicking here.
Professionally qualified directors recognize the need and possess the skills to position the SNPs as an integral part of the educational program, maximize the use of federal, state, and local funds, and build state and community alliances that provide additional program and district support. SNPs have the potential to help improve the health and academic achievement of children and adolescents, ensuring a better educated and healthier nation in the future.
SNA believes that professional standards will elevate the quality and efficiency of School Nutrition Programs nationwide with respect to nutrition, food safety, operations and fiscal management by ensuring that all administrators are better qualified to manage these complex programs.
Comments are now closed. Thank you to all who participated in the discussion!
Professional Standards Background (pdf)
Task Force Recommendations (pdf)
This summer, an Ad Hoc Committee of SNA Past Presidents presented to the SNA Board of Directors a proposal calling for the establishment of standards for professionally qualified directors of school nutrition programs at the State and LEA levels. As part of SNA's annual plan of work the Association believes there is a need to elevate its actions on this issue, especially as it relates to Child Nutrition Reauthorization.
As a follow up to this action, the House of Delegates held a mega issue discussion at the SNA 2009 Annual National Conference in Las Vegas to determine whether the Association should adopt and advocate for Federal professional standards as part of the Child Nutrition and Reauthorization Act. The outcome of that discussion was overwhelmingly in favor of developing some type of professional standards and that it was best for SNA to lead the way. On August 20-22, 2009, the SNA Professional Standards Task Force convened in National Harbor, MD to draft recommendations for professional standards for school nutrition professionals.
SNA members are encouraged to review and comment on the Task Force’s recommendations on this blog. The recommendations will be posted here on Monday, September 21st. SNA members will have from September 21-October 2 to provide comments. All comments will be considered by the Professional Standards Task Force. During the Committee Days meeting in October, the SNA Board of Directors will review the recommendations and vote to approve them. Following approval, SNA will begin to solicit Congressional support for these standards, as a part of our efforts concerning Child Nutrition Reauthorization.
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