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Tuesday Morning - August 5, 2008

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August 5, 2008

 

Table of Contents

Reminder: Don’t Forget to Fill Out Meal Cost Survey!
USDA Continues to Hold Reauthorization Listening Sessions
FNS Publishes Proposed Rule on HACCP in Federal Register
Washington Post Covers Student Lunch Theft
USDA to Change Agency Responsible for CN Labeling
ERS Releases Report on National School Lunch Program
Action for Healthy Kids Releases Report on Wellness Policies
FRAC Issues Annual Summer Feeding Report
Reports Released on Children’s Advertising
Children Fueling “Green” Trend
Restaurants Respond to Demand for Healthier Foods

 

In Every Issue

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Reminder: Don’t Forget to Fill Out Meal Cost Survey!

SNA is looking for current data about the cost of school meals.  Please visit Related Links to fill out a survey regarding school meal costs.

School Lunch Cost Survey

USDA Continues to Hold Reauthorization Listening Sessions

The U.S. Department of Agriculture continues to hold Child Nutrition Reauthorization listening sessions throughout the country.  On Wednesday, August 6, 2008 listening sessions will be held in Baltimore, Md. and San Francisco, Calif.  Upcoming listening sessions are scheduled for:

  • August 20, 2008 – Atlanta, Ga.
  • September 10, 2008 – Chicago, Ill.
  • September 11, 2008 – Denver, Colo.

SNA strongly encourages all members to attend the listening session in their area.  These sessions provide a great opportunity for school nutrition professionals to voice their thoughts and concerns regarding the school nutrition programs. USDA staff will use the information gathered during these public meetings to shape policy for the 2009 reauthorization bill. For additional information, please see Related Links.

2009 Child Nutrition Reauthorization Listening Sessions

FNS Publishes Proposed Rule on HACCP in Federal Register

Today's Federal Register included a proposed rule from the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) on the HACCP requirement for schools. According to the announcement the proposed rule seeks to formally establish the requirements for a school food safety program based on HACCP principles. Implementation of this proposal would codify the requirements in the "Guidance for School Food Authorities: Developing a School Food Safety Program Based on the Process Approach to HACCP Principles," issued by FNS in June 2005. The Guidance and Rule are a result of the 2004 Child Nutrition Reauthorization law that required school food authorities to implement a HACCP based food safety program in the school year beginning July 1, 2005. The Guidance continues in effect during this rulemaking process and USDA FNS expects that the HACCP-based food safety programs established will remain in place, based on the requirements of the law. The proposed rule allows for a 45 day comment period. For more information including how to submit comments, please see below.

Proposed HACCP Rule

Washington Post Covers Student Lunch Theft

On August 4, 2008, the Washington Post ran a story on video cameras being installed in certain high schools in Fairfax, Va., in an effort to reduce the amount of student theft from the school nutrition program. Several national news organizations have expressed interest in the story as an issue that is effecting many communities at the high school level. SNA's key message on the issue is that cooperation from school administrators and principals is critical to helping students learn that cafeteria theft is wrong. School nutrition professionals continue to work together with administrators to uncover infractions and hope to receive their support to hold students accountable for theft as they would be if it occurred outside the school building.

Fairfax Fed Up With Lunch-Line Thieves

USDA to Change Agency Responsible for CN Labeling

The USDA recently announced that it is changing the agency responsible for monitoring the CN Labeling program.  Currently, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) handles the quality control monitoring of meat, poultry, and non-meat products for the program.  Under the change, the Agriculture Marketing Service (AMS) will be the monitoring agency.  Starting in Spring 2009, all quality control programs will be monitored in compliance with the Food and Nutrition Service requirements. AMS will handle in-plant inspections. For additional information, please see Related Links.

USDA CN Labeling Memo

ERS Releases Report on National School Lunch Program

The Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently released a report detailing trends and issues related to the National School Lunch Program.  The report reviews the history of the National School Lunch Program from it’s inception to the present day.  It also reviews how school nutrition programs are meeting the challenges of successfully running a program, whether it is dealing with costs, participation, or meeting nutritional standards.

The National School Lunch Program: Background, Issues, and Trends

Action for Healthy Kids Releases Report on Wellness Policies

Action for Healthy Kids (AFHK) issued a report today looking at the state of local school wellness policies two years later.  The report examines survey data and interviews assessing the progress school districts have made in developing and implementing their policies.  Overall, the report indicates that school districts are making progress in implementing their policies, however, much more needs to be done.  With regards to the school nutrition programs, the report states that school districts are making strides to make school meals healthier.  While AFHK acknowledges that school nutrition programs are faced with difficult challenges, the organization asserts that school districts need to do much more.  These include insufficient funding and student preferences. Please see Related Links for a copy of the report.

Action For Healthy Kids

FRAC Issues Annual Summer Feeding Report

Last week the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) released Hunger Doesn’t Take a Vacation, a report on participation in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) during July 2007. The analysis compares participation in the National School Lunch Program during the school year with participation in the Summer Nutrition Programs demonstrating that in comparison the SFSP continues to fall short in reaching eligible low-income children. Fewer than one of out every five eligible children participated in July 2007, according to the FRAC report. While 16.3 million low-income children receive school lunch during the regular school year, only 2.85 million children (or about 17.5%) get summer food when school is out. Low participation in the Summer Nutrition Programs is tied to an increase in food insecurity rates during the summer. According to research by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, food insecurity rates increase during the summer for households with children, and the increase is greater for states with low participation in the Summer Nutrition Programs. For additional information, please visit Related Links.

FRAC Issues Annual Summer Feeding Report
Hunger Doesn’t Take a Vacation FRAC Report

Reports Released on Children’s Advertising

Two reports on food marketing aimed at children were released on Tuesday, July 29, 2008.  The reports, issued by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB), provide a concrete look at how food manufacturers direct their advertising towards children.

In 2006, food companies spent approximately $1.6 billion on food marketing directed at children, according to the report released by the FTC.  The report found that approximately $870 million was spent on marketing to children under age 12, while just over $1 billion was spent on marketing to adolescents.  About $300 million overlapped between the two age groups. Most of the products advertised were soda, fast food, and cereal.  A significant portion of the advertising involved integrated campaigns, combining traditional broadcast and print advertising with other mediums such as sweepstakes, in-store advertising, and the Internet.  Many of the advertising campaigns were also cross-promotions, tying food and beverage products to movies, television shows, and animated characters.

Food manufacturers are making strides to limit the amount of advertising directed at children.  The Council of Better Business Bureaus released a report yesterday examining the organization’s Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative. For more information the reports, please see Related Links.

Reports Released on Children’s Advertising

Children Fueling “Green” Trend

Children are driving their parents to purchase “green” products, notes a study conducted by Packaged Facts, a market research firm.  According to the study, more than half of children between the ages of 6 and 8 are encouraging their parents to buy environmentally conscious “green” products.  A significant majority of children expressed concern for environmental issues and about three-quarters of the children surveyed believed in buying recycled paper products.

Kids Take Lead on Green Purchases

Restaurants Respond to Demand for Healthier Foods

Just as school nutrition programs have been doing so for the past several years, commercial restaurants are now responding to a growing trend for healthier foods.  An article in Cooking Light magazine highlighted how restaurants from across the country are including lighter, healthier fare on their menus.  More Americans are now asking for healthy options when they dine out.  According to the National Restaurant Association approximately three out of four adults are trying to make healthier choices when they eat out.  Some of the ways restaurants are catering to this trend include offering smaller plates, serving seasonal ingredients, and rebalancing the components of their plates.

Eating healthy when dining out is getting easier

 

 

SNA Legislative Action Center

Legislative Toolkit

PR Toolkit

State and Federal Legislation

PPL Committee

State legislation can now be accessed on the Internet through Netscan. Use Username: schoolnutrition and Password: sna

Click State Legislation Instructions for steps to access state legislation through the service. Legislatures currently in session include:  California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and District of Columbia.

 


 
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