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Tuesday Morning - October 28, 2008

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 October 28, 2008

 

Table of Contents

Action Alert: Support School Nutrition Program Funding!

Students Nationwide Elect Pete Pizza “President of School Lunch”

Educate Your Community Week is Coming Up

SNA Submits Comments on Proposed 2010 Dietary Guidelines

Wide Range of Media Promotes Healthy School Meals

School Meals Focus of Series in Newsday

Free and Reduced Price Participation Increasing

SNA Receives Response to Boar’s Head Letter

CDC Study Finds 3 Million U.S. Children Have Food or Digestive Allergies

USDA Unveils Food Pyramid for Pre-School Aged Children

Study Finds Children Do Eat Healthy

Webinar Wednesdays: The Truth about Whole Grains

 

In Every Issue

Legislative Action Center

Legislative Toolkit

PR Toolkit

State Policy Index

State and Federal Legislation

PPL Committee

Action Alert: Support School Nutrition Program Funding!

Support funding for the school nutrition programs!  In late September, Senator Bob Casey (D-Penn.) introduced legislation that would require the reimbursement rate for the school nutrition programs to be adjusted twice a year.  Currently, the reimbursement rate is adjusted once a year, in July.  By adjusting the rate in both January and July, reimbursements for the school nutrition programs would keep up with increases in the cost of food.

Since September 29, 2008, over 2,500 Action Alert messages have been sent to Members of Congress.  As of publication, Georgia leads the way with 240, followed by strong showings in Pennsylvania (207), Indiana (201), Ohio (128), and Massachusetts (112).  Other states that have sent high numbers of action alerts include Arkansas (102), Minnesota (102), Virginia (96), Kentucky (94), Florida (84) and Wisconsin (78).  If you live in Iowa, North Dakota, New Hampshire, Vermont, Oregon, Michigan, or Nebraska, 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 the Legislative Action Center.

Students Nationwide Elect Pete Pizza “President of School Lunch”

Student voters from across the country have made their decision, and Pete Pizza is taking the national prize as winner of the Vote for School Lunch 2008 Presidential Election. Celebrated by students from coast to coast during National School Lunch Week, this year’s “Vote for School Lunch” marked the third and final round of lunchroom elections. Even special dignitaries got involved in the vote! In Louisville, Ky., Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer cast his vote in the ballot box while visiting the Klondike Lane Elementary School.

Pete Pizza was the top slice in 46 of the 50 states followed by runner-up, Biff Burger, winner of the 2007 primary. Kentucky, Florida and Georgia had a three-way tie for the most number of students to participate in the “Vote for School Lunch” campaign with Tennessee and Texas following right behind as hundreds of thousands of students made their choice.  Gloria Grilled cheese was the big winner in Wyoming, Larry Lasagna took the District of Columbia, Nevada and Oregon and Petunia Pita Pocket got a healthy amount of votes in every state.

The Votes are In!  Pete Pizza Elected “President of School Lunch”

Educate Your Community Week is Coming Up

National School Lunch Week may be over, but there are other ways to promote the benefits of healthy school meals to community.  November 17-21 is the first annual Educate Your Community Week.  SNA encourages school nutrition professionals across the nation to present the benefits of school meals at various meetings within their community.

The week provides a great opportunity to demonstrate to your community the integral role the school nutrition programs play. 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. 

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.

SNA Submits Comments on Proposed 2010 Dietary Guidelines

SNA submitted comments this week on the proposed 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. In a letter to the committee that will be developing the guidelines, SNA stated it supports consistent standards.  SNA recommends that the 2010 Dietary Guidelines be practical and easy to adapt to standards such as meal patterns for the National School Lunch Program.

To see a complete copy of the letter, please visit the below link.

SNA Comments on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines 

Wide Range of Media Promotes Healthy School Meals

From the cover story of the National PTA Magazine “Our Children“ to the NBC Today Show, a wide range of media covered healthy school meals during the third quarter of 2008. Between July and the end of last month, SNA public awareness efforts resulted in over 30 million households being reached with key messages through broadcast, print, and online media, for an advertising dollar equivalency of approximately $1.7 million.

To find out more about SNA’s media outreach efforts, please visit the below link.

Wide Range of Media Promotes Healthy School Meals

School Meals Focus of Series in Newsday

The National School Lunch Program was the focus of a series of articles appearing in Newsday, the newspaper for Long Island, New York.  The articles covered a variety of issues facing the school nutrition programs, including rising costs, low reimbursements, competitive foods, and student participation.  School nutrition directors, including several SNA members, from Long Island school districts were interviewed, discussing the challenges they face in providing healthy, nutritious meals to students everyday.  To view the series, visit the link below.

School Lunches on Long Island

Free and Reduced Price Participation Increasing

Participation in the free and reduced price categories for the school meal programs are increasing, according to various newspaper reports.   The current economic downturn is forcing many families to turn to free or reduced price school meals.  In the past few weeks, several newspaper and television articles in areas such as Louisville, Ky., Colorado Springs, Colo., and Dallas, Texas indicate that schools in those locations are experiencing increased demand for the program.  In the Dallas Independent School District, 80 percent of the students are eligible for free or reduced price lunch, while in Broward County, Fla. nearly half of all students are eligible.  Even small school districts are seeing big increases this year.  In Santa Rosa County, Fla., applications are up about 26 percent. Historically, when unemployment rises and the U.S. economy slows, participation in the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program increases.

SNA Receives Response to Boar’s Head Letter

SNA President Dr. Katie Wilson received a response to her letter regarding Boar’s Head Provision Company’s “Take Back Lunch” campaign.  In the letter, Boar’s Head claims that the “Take Back Lunch” campaign was “never intended to slight school lunches.”  The company insists the scenes included in the advertisements were “shot specifically to avoid any connection to school lunches due to” last year’s response from SNA.  Boar’s Head argues that the scene in the commercial on their website is at a mall food court, not in a school. 

CDC Study Finds 3 Million U.S. Children Have Food or Digestive Allergies

The number of young people who had a food or digestive allergy increased 18 percent between 1997 and 2007, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2007, approximately 3 million U.S. children and teenagers under age 18 – or nearly 4 percent of that age group – were reported to have a food or digestive allergy in the previous 12 months, compared to just over 2.3 million (3.3 percent) in 1997.

The findings are published in a new data brief, “Food Allergy Among U.S. Children: Trends in Prevalence and Hospitalizations.” The data are from the National Health Interview Survey and the National Hospital Discharge Survey, both conducted by CDC′s National Center for Health Statistics.

For more information on the report, please visit the below link.

CDC Study Finds 3 Million U.S. Children Have Food or Digestive Allergies

USDA Unveils Food Pyramid for Pre-School Aged Children

Pre-school aged children now have their own food pyramid.  The USDA unveiled a new food pyramid geared toward toddlers at the American Dietetic Association’s annual conference in Chicago last weekend.  The pyramid is intended to help parents make better food choices for their young children.  On the new MyPyramid page is a how-to guide on children’s nutrition for parents, with information on how to talk to your child about food and strategies for introducing new foods.  The new MyPyramid for preschoolers can be accessed at www.mypyramid.gov.

Study Finds Children Do Eat Healthy

A recently released study suggests that children and teenagers do have healthier eating habits that many adults believe.  Analysts with Mintel, a market trends research firm, found that 42 percent of children and teenagers look for foods that give them more energy, while 35 percent eat foods that are rich in vitamins and nutrients.  A majority of children (65 percent) eat dinner at home at least five times a week, with 33 percent doing so daily.  The analysts state that healthy eating and wellness campaigns are having an impact on children’s habits.  To meet these changing demands, they suggest that companies find ways to appeal to healthy eating habits.

Eating Habits of Children and Adolescents Somewhat Better Than Expected

Webinar Wednesdays: The Truth about Whole Grains

The School Nutrition Foundation (SNF) in partnership with ConAgra Foods will be offering a FREE webinar on Wednesday, November 12, 2008, entitled “The Whole (Grain) Truth and Nothing but the Truth.” The webinar will be moderated by Cynthia Harriman of Whole Grains Council. Speakers include Elizabeth Arndt of ConAgra Foods; Len Marquart, PhD, RD of the University of Minnesota; and Jean Ronnei of the St. Paul School District.

This webinar is the second in SNF’s new “Wednesday Webinars” series and will be offered at no charge. Stay tuned to www.schoolnutrition.org/webinars for information on upcoming Wednesday Webinars throughout the 2008-2009 school year.

For questions regarding this webinar please contact SNA’s Service Center at servicecenter@schoolnutrition.org

In Every Issue

SNA Legislative Action Center

Legislative Toolkit

PR Toolkit

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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