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Tuesday Morning - October 21, 2008

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October 21, 2008

 

Table of Contents

Action Alert: Support School Meal Funding!

Agriculture Secretary, Under Secretary Visit Schools During Lunch Week

National School Lunch Week Receive Strong Media Coverage

Educate Your Community Week Is Coming Up

SEIU Submits Comments on Child Nutrition Reauthorization

Obama, McCain Discuss Proposals for Anti-Hunger Programs

AAP Doubles Vitamin D Recommendations

Rising Cost of School Meals Headlines the News

SNA Campaign Websites Take 2008 Silver W3 Awards

USDA, NFSMI Hold Webinar on Commodity Foods

In Every Issue

Legislative Action Center

Legislative Toolkit

PR Toolkit

State Policy Index

State and Federal Legislation

PPL Committee

Action Alert: Support School Meal Funding!

action alertTo help school nutrition programs keep up with rising food prices, Senator Bob Casey (D-Penn.) introduced the National Hunger Relief Act of 2008 in late September.  The bill, S. 3614, would provide for semi-annual reimbursement rate increases.  Instead of raising the reimbursement rate once a year, in July, the new legislation would require the USDA to increase the reimbursement rate twice a year, during January and July, based on the current Food Away From Home Consumer Price Index.  Doing so would allow the federal reimbursement rate to more accurately reflect the cost of preparing a meal, since food prices fluctuate throughout the school year. Since September 29, 2008, more than 1000 Action Alert messages have been sent to Members of Congress.  Pennsylvania leads the way with 162 letters sent, followed by Indiana at 156, Georgia at 123, and Massachusetts at 100.  If you live in Iowa, Minnesota, or Ohio, your help is especially needed. Please contact your Senators and ask them to co-sponsor this important legislation.  To send an Action Alert, please visit theLegislative Action Center.

 

Agriculture Secretary, Under Secretary Visit Schools During Lunch Week

Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer and Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services Nancy Montanez Johner marked National School Lunch Week by visiting schools in Louisville, Ky and Oklahoma City, Okla. this week.  Secretary Schafer made a lunchtime appearance at the Klondike Lane Elementary School in Louisville, where he recognized several Kentucky schools that have met the HealthierUS Challenge requirements.  Kentucky has 121 schools that are recognized as HealthierUS Challenge schools, the most of any state.

Under Secretary Montanez Johner visited with students at the Martin Luther King Elementary School in Oklahoma City on Wednesday, October 15th.  Montanez Johner came to Oklahoma to recognize the efforts state and local officials are making in providing students with nutritious meals and encouraging healthy lifestyles.  Food and Nutrition Service official Eric Steiner also was on the road last week celebrating National School Lunch Week in Dayton, Ohio, schools.

Klondike’s nutrition efforts praised – Louisville Courier-Journal

Nutrition official promotes healthy choices to children – The Oklahoman

 

National School Lunch Week Receives Strong Media Coverage

Media coverage of this year’s National School Lunch Week set records last week as news outlets across the country covered school nutrition programs.  Newspapers, television stations, and radio programs covered the “Vote for School Lunch” campaign and other National School Lunch Week activities held across the nation.  Below are some links highlighting some of the articles.

NISD students vote for… lunch – Nacogdoches Daily Sentinel, Texas

Students vote for school lunch – WNKY - Kentucky

Florida schools celebrate National School Lunch Week – News-Press, Florida

Pete Pizza challenges Biff Burger – Naples Daily News, Florida

Visit the cafeteria, school lunches really good – St. Tammany News, Louisiana

Week of celebration – Jackson Sun, Tennessee

Schools celebrate National School Lunch Week – WSAW - Wisconsin

Cook Hill Elementary Celebrates Lunch Week – Meriden Record-Journal, Connecticut

Students learn nutritional values through presidential assembly, Carlisle Sentinel, Pennsylvania

 

Educate Your Community Week Is Coming Up

eycNow that National School Lunch Week is over, turn your focus to Education Your Community Week!  The school nutrition programs are an integral part of school districts nationwide.  Everyday, they provide healthy, nutritionally balanced meals that give students the energy to succeed in class.  While the school nutrition programs fill an important role in a student’s day, the average person does not know how the nutrition programs operate.  In order to debunk the myths and clear the misconceptions, the School Nutrition Association is sponsoring the first annual Educate Your Community Week November 17-21, 2008.

Educate Your Community Week is a great opportunity to present at various organization meetings within your community.  For more information about the week, please visit the Educate Your Community web page.  Also, don’t forget to let SNA know about your event.  Visit this link to register your event.

 

SEIU Submits Comments on Child Nutrition Reauthorization

Last Wednesday the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and UNITE-HERE, which together represent more than 250,000 workers in early care and education settings nationwide, called on the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Congress to “strengthen the nutrition safety net for our nation's children.” In public comments submitted to the Food and Nutrition Service of the USDA, SEIU and UNITE-HERE called on the agency to ask Congress to improve meal programs in school and child care settings by increasing funding for healthy foods, ensuring broader participation, and creating training opportunities for food service workers. The workers and their unions recommended that the USDA:

  • Increase federal reimbursement rates for meals to enable schools to cover the rising costs of meeting dietary guidelines and to purchase fresh, healthy foods.
  • Reach more struggling families by relaxing eligibility requirements, streamlining application processes, and allowing for regional variations in cost of living in determining eligibility.
  • Improve food safety, nutrition, health and wellness, and customer service through additional training for food service employees.
  • Fund dinner-time meals for children in afterschool programs whose parents must work long hours.

To access the full statement see below.

Service Worker Unions Call for Stronger 'Nutrition Safety Net' for America's Children

 

Obama, McCain Discuss Proposals for Anti-Hunger Programs

With only two weeks to go before the 2008 presidential elections, both the Democratic and Republican nominees have discussed their plans with regard to anti-hunger issues.  SNA sent letters to both the Obama and McCain campaigns, asking what their position is on additional funding for school nutrition programs and national nutrition standards. While SNA has yet to receive a letter in response from either candidate, both campaigns have publicly addressed the issues.  

According to information posted by Senator Barak Obama’s campaign, the Senator, if elected, would work to eliminate hunger by 2015.  His proposal states that the school nutrition programs are very important to providing nutrition assistance to low-income children.  Obama pledges to simplify the programs to ensure that more eligible students participate, as well as work with Congress on the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Bill.  With regards to funding for federal programs, Obama states that he will look at all programs line by line in the federal budget and cut programs that do not run effectively and increase funds for programs where warranted.

Senator John McCain’s website states that he supports fully funding food and nutrition programs and carrying out a robust Emergency Food Assistance Program.  Sen. McCain also supports providing marketing tools for the fruit and vegetable industry focused on promoting healthier American diets.  During the final presidential debate, McCain stated that physical fitness and nutrition programs need to be in every school.  McCain also stated in the debate that he would support an across the board cut in funding for all federal programs.

Keep visiting www.schoolnutrition.org for more information about the 2009 Child Nutrition Reauthorization and comments from the presidential candidates regarding school nutrition programs.

 

AAP Doubles Vitamin D Recommendations

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued a recommendation this week that infants, children and adolescents double their Vitamin D intake.  The AAP now recommends consumption of 400 IU (International Units) of Vitamin D either through food or supplementation.  The justification for this new recommendation comes out of clinical trials that have proven increased vitamin D intake can prevent and treat rickets, a vitamin D deficiency.  Rickets is a preventable bone softening disease that continues to be reported in children and adolescents throughout the United States.  Findings show that adequate intake of vitamin D throughout childhood can also reduce the rick of osteoporosis and may prevent infections, autoimmune diseases, cancer, and diabetes.    

The AAP doubles Vitamin D recommendations

 

Rising Cost of School Meals Headlines the News

The current economic downturn is affecting far more than Wall Street investors and mortgage holders.  Since April, school nutrition programs nationwide have been the center of news stories focusing on the rising cost of school meals.  SNA has tracked over 800 articles dealing with the crisis.  Please visit the below link to see selected articles.

Rising Cost of School Meals Headlines the News

 

SNA Campaign Websites Take 2008 Silver W3 Awards

The School Nutrition Association’s Vote for School Lunch 2008 kids’ website: www.voteforschoollunch.org and the Power Up with School Breakfast (NSBW 2009) website, www.schoolbreakfast.org were both honored as Silver winners of the 2008 W3 Awards by the International Academy of the Visual Arts this week. Receiving over 3,000 entries, the W3 Awards honor outstanding websites, web marketing, and web video created by some of the best interactive agencies, designers, and creators worldwide. Both awards bestowed on the School Nutrition Association were in the children's category recognizing creative excellence on the web.

SNA Campaign Websites Take 2008 Silver W3 Awards

 

USDA, NFSMI Hold Webinar on Commodity Foods

The USDA and the National Foodservice Management Institute (NFSMI) held a webinar on USDA commodity foods last Wednesday, October 15, 2008.  Those unable to make the webinar can view it by visiting this link.  The webinar discussed the high quality, nutritious foods the USDA provides to the school nutrition programs.  During the webinar, several school nutrition professionals

 

In Every Issue

shared their experiences with USDA commodity foods.

SNA Legislative Action Center

Legislative Toolkit

PR Toolkit

Educate Your Community

State Policy Index

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

 


 
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