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Tuesday Morning - August 26, 2008

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August 26, 2008

 

Table of Contents

Reauthorization Listening Sessions Continue

USDA Releases Report on Food Prices

Rising Prices Affect USDA Commodity Purchases

Educate Your Community This November!

School Nutrition in the News

Book on Childhood Obesity Prevention Released

Meat Companies Still Feel Effects of Beef Recall

Trust for America’s Health Releases Annual Report Card

California Fresh Start Program Evaluation Issued

Summer Increases Chances of Weight Gain in Children

 

In Every Issue

Legislative Action Center

Legislative Toolkit

PR Toolkit

State Policy Index

State and Federal Legislation

PPL Committee

 

Reauthorization Listening Sessions Continue

USDA continues to hold listening sessions for Reauthorization 2009.  On Tuesday, August 19, 2008, over 100 people attended a listening session in Atlanta, Georgia. Josephine Mack, president of Georgia SNA, presented remarks on behalf of the School Nutrition Association.  SNA members from Kentucky, Mississippi, and Florida, also spoke at the hearing. 

Two more listening sessions are scheduled.  SNA members are strongly encouraged to attend the sessions scheduled for September 10th in Chicago, or September 11th in Denver.  Illinois SNA past-President Paula DeLucca will speak at the Chicago session, while Colorado SNA Past-President Susan Rondinelli will present at the Denver session. For additional information, please see below.

USDA Reauthorization Listening Sessions

 

USDA Releases Report on Food Prices

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released a report last week predicting food prices to post the largest increase since 1990.  Food prices are expected to rise 5 to 6 percent for the upcoming year.  Meat and produce products are pushing up the prices, as well as high energy costs.  The latest estimate is higher than USDA’s initial food price forecast.  The original forecast stated that food prices would only rise 4.5 to 5.5 percent. USDA does not expect any relief from the high prices in the near future. 

 Food prices to post biggest rise since 1990

 

Rising Prices Affect USDA Commodity Purchases

According to guidance issued to State Agencies by USDA, the rising price of commodities will affect the purchasing power of your entitlement dollars in FY 08.  Due to higher prices USDA is experiencing a smaller purchasing capability for deliveries early this school year.  Commodities continue to be purchased, but you should be aware of the smaller volume of product that can be purchased with the remaining funds available in the 4th quarter of the fiscal year.  Current projections limit FY 08 4th quarter funds (which are used for School Year 08/09 entitlement purchases July 1 through Nov 15 for Group A products and July 1 through Oct 31 for Group B) to only 33% of your total SY 09 entitlements.

 

Educate Your Community This November!

This November, SNA will be hosting the first annual Educate Your Community Week.  From November 17-21, 2008, SNA members are encouraged to invite parents, teachers, school administrators, and community leaders into their cafeterias to educate them about the benefits of school meals.  More information about the week is coming soon, so keep checking www.schoolnutrition.org for additional information.

 

School Nutrition in the News

The rising cost of school meals remained a prominent news story last week.  USA Today ran an article on increasing participation in the free and reduced price programs, stating that more families are participating in the free and reduced price meal programs.  Rising cost was also the subject of a syndicated opinion column written by conservative humor columnist Tom Purcell.  Purcell compliments the work school nutrition professionals do each day, but he also argues that the government should not provide funding for all student meals. The New York Times covered rising school lunch prices on August 25, 2008.

 The Clark County School District, in Las Vegas, Nevada also received considerable news coverage in the past week.  Two articles appeared in the Las Vegas Journal-Review.  One article was a general story about the school lunch program, while the other highlighted the benefits of buying a school lunch over bringing one from home. Several television segments featuring the district’s school nutrition program should air this week.

More families requesting free or reduced price lunch, USA Today

Free school lunch is more expensive every year

As food costs rise, so do school lunch prices, New York Times

Kitchen aims to please palates aplenty, Las Vegas Review-Journal

As Long as it’s Nutritious, Las Vegas Review-Journal

 

IOM Releases Book on Childhood Obesity Prevention

The Institute of Medicine recently released a book detailing the progress in preventing childhood obesity.  Progress in Preventing Childhood Obesity: How Do We Measure Up? looks at various obesity prevention initiatives from 2004-2006.  It found that many of the obesity prevention programs are fragmented and small scale.  The book calls on stakeholders to provide leadership for obesity prevention programs, as well as monitor, evaluate, and provide guidance.  The book also asks successful programs to share their practices.

Childhood Obesity Progress Assessment

 

Meat Companies Still Feel Effects of Beef Recall

Meat companies are still feeling the effects of the February 2008 Hallmark/Westland beef recall.  According to an article in Pork Magazine, a trade journal for pork producers, USDA is having a difficult time purchasing beef products for the National School Lunch Program.  Some companies are hesitant to supply the program due to the increased scrutiny of products sold through the National School Lunch Program.

 Effects of Hallmark/Westland Linger

 

Trust for America’s Health Releases Annual Report Card

The Trust for America’s Health released its annual report card, F as in Fat: How Obesity Problems are Failing in America on Tuesday, August 19th.  (The press release and full report are available through this link: http://www.healthyamericans.org/reports/obesity2008/) As in previous years, the report found that the rate of adult obesity continued to rise nationwide.  The report authors argue that federal, state, and local governments need to do much more to reverse this trend.  Improving the nutritional quality of school meals and increasing physical and nutrition education are among the key recommendations.

 

California Fresh Start Program Evaluation Issued

A recent evaluation of the California Fresh Start Program (CFSP) found that it was a highly successful program.  The CFSP was a program that provided 10 cents for fresh fruits and vegetables per school breakfast in California schools. In participating schools, the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables offered to students doubled while the amount of fresh fruit taken by students increased by up to 136 percent.  Student participation in the school breakfast program also increased by approximately 2 percent during the CFSP. Despite the successful results, the program will not be offered this year due to funding cuts.

 

Summer Increases Chances of Weight Gain in Children

The summer months increase the chances of weight gain in children.  According to an article in the Boston Globe, children are more likely to spend less time outdoors and more time inside, where they watch television and play computer games.  As children watch more television, they are also more likely to be exposed to commercials for sugary, high fat foods.  Articles published in the American Journal of Public Health and the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine last year found that children are more likely to gain weight during the summer months and lose weight during the school year.  Both studies argue that during the summer, students are not on a rigid schedule and they do not have access to balanced school meals.

 In summer, obesity rules

 

 

 

SNA Legislative Action Center

Legislative Toolkit

PR Toolkit

State Policy Index

State and Federal Legislation

 

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, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and District of Columbia

 

 


 
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