New research from Pew and RWJF has concluded that updating national nutrition standards for snack foods and beverages sold in schools could help students maintain a healthy weight and increase food service revenue. The health impact assessment (HIA) comes as the USDA is preparing to issue policies requiring that food and beverages sold outside of federal school meal programs meet minimum nutrition standards. Based upon the rigorous research conducted by the HIA, the project recommends that the USDA: establish nutrition standards for all foods sold regularly onsite during the school day and that are outside of the USDA meal programs; set nutrition guidelines for all beverages sold on school grounds; and adopt policies and practices that ensure effective implementation of the standards.For more info click here.
The full House Appropriations Committee approved and reported the FY 2013 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill (the Bill) on June 19, 2012, by a voice vote. The Bill has not yet been scheduled for House action, but may be considered as early as next week. The bill can be found at http://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/bills-112hr-fc-ap-fy13-agriculture.pdf. The report can be found at: http://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/hrpt-112-ap-fy13-agriculture.pdf.The White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy opposing passage because of the deep levels of cuts to discretionary funding and threatening a veto.
Link to OFW Memo.Link to Opening Remarks.
School Food Directors are beginning to ask what the impact might be on school meal programs if Congress does not reach a budget deal to avoid automatic budget reductions - sequestration - currently scheduled to take place on January 2, 2013, as required by the Budget Control Act of 2011. These reductions are expected to range from 7 to 9 percent in many Federal programs. SNA does not expect there to be any impact on School Lunch, School Breakfast, Child and Adult Care Food, and others, because they are exempted from automatic cuts by another law, the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act. But the Special Milk program is not exempted, and could face a reduction. We will continue to monitor Congressional action and report any important developments as they occur.
On June 11, 2012 USDA released a revised Q and A related to the interim rule entitled, Certification of Compliance with Meal Requirements for the National School Lunch Program under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. The interim rule establishes the requirements related to certification and this new performance-based reimbursement. The attached Revised Questions and Answers reflect questions USDA has received and provide additional information on these requirements. The new and updated questions are in red italics. This can be found on the SNA Meal Pattern page, under USDA Resources. Here is a direct link as well.
SNA appreciates your comments regarding the challenges many of you are facing in implementing the new meal pattern regulations scheduled to take effect this fall. We wanted to take a moment and share with you what SNA is doing to assist its members as we work towards this goal.
In April, SNA identified an Ad Hoc Working Group tasked with developing the “New Meal Pattern Guidelines: A Companion Guide.” This Guide will provide sample menus and other important information for food service directors and industry members on the new meal pattern regulation. SNA is also gathering input on its website from interested stakeholders who are encouraged to log in and submit their comments, concerns and challenges on the new regulation. Click here if you would like to provide comments. Further, this information has been categorized by component and is being shared with the Ad Hoc Working Group for consideration, reference and possible inclusion in the Guide. In addition, the SNA staff has shared these stakeholder comments with USDA officials through ongoing conversations and discussions with the ultimate objective being to provide timely assistance to its membership.
Following completion of the Guide, SNA will be utilizing ANC Denver 2012 to share the information through four “hot topic” education/roundtable sessions. The sessions will be hosted by members of the Ad Hoc Working Group and will include State Agency/Food Service Directors, Industry and USDA representatives. These forums will also provide an opportunity for questions and answers.
Thank you again for your input and feedback. We hope that you will continue to visit the SNA website for more updates as this process moves forward.
On May 31, 2012 USDA released a memo to Regional Directors and State Directors of Child Nutrition Programs. FNS has issued information and materials to support the certification process set forth in the interim rule, called Certification of Compliance with Meal Requirements for the National School Lunch Program under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. These certification tools include a menu worksheet module and a simplified nutrient assessment module and are designed to assist SFAs and State agencies in measuring compliance. These materials can also be found at: www.schoolnutrition.org/mealpatternThe materials include:
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