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Tuesday Morning - November 11, 2008

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November 11, 2008

Note: Tuesday Morning will not be emailed out on Nov. 11, 2008, due to the Veteran's Day Holiday. Instead it will be sent out Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2008.

Table of Contents

Obama Elected President, Transition Team Begins Building Administration

Election Brings In New Members of Congress

SNA Members Rankin, Stiles Elected, Re-elected to Public Office

Educate Your Community Week Starts on Monday!

Action Alert Update: Over 3,000 Action Alerts Sent!

School Nutrition in the News

Whole Grain Acceptability in School Meals

Help GCNF Change Our World

National Anti-Hunger Organization Release Blueprint to Hunger

Study: Children Copy Parent’s Food Habits

Fast Food Meals Do Not Meet NSLP Requirements

In Every Issue

Legislative Action Center

Legislative Toolkit

PR Toolkit

State Policy Index

State and Federal Legislation

PPL Committee

Obama Elected President, Transition Team Begins Building Administration

In a historic election, Senator Barack Obama (D-Ill.) became the first African-American to be elected president on Tuesday, November 4, 2008.  Immediately following the election, President-elect Obama and his transition team began work on building his administration.  In the coming weeks, the Obama team will begin making appointments for various political positions, including political roles in the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service.  People interested in applying for one of these appointments should visit the Obama transition team website, www.change.gov for an application.  The SNA Board of Directors has also approved an ad hoc committee to make recommendations for appointments.

On Wednesday, November 5, 2008, the General Accountability Office (GAO) issued a press release announcing the unveiling of its Transition 2009 website.  The website is designed to help the government transition to a new president and Congress.  On the website is listed a set of “urgent” issues facing the next president.  Food safety is considered one of the key issues facing the next administration.  The website also lists important issues on a department basis.  One of the important issues facing the USDA in the coming administration is the issue of nutrition standards and competitive foods in the school nutrition programs. 

2009 Transition - Government Accountability Office

 

Election Brings In New Members of Congress

Last Tuesday’s election also brought in several new members of Congress, while some members on key committees lost their re-election bids or retired.   As of this writing, two members of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry are in races yet to be decided.  Ranking member Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) is facing a runoff in his reelection campaign, as he failed to meet the 50 percent threshold required to win re-election.  In Minnesota, Senator Norm Coleman (R) leads Democratic challenger Al Franken by only a few hundred votes.  Under Minnesota election law, the race must now be determined by a recount.

On the Senate Budget Committee, Senators Pete Domenici (R-NM) and Wayne Allard (R-Colo.) have retired, leaving two seats to be filled.  The House Budget Committee also has a few open seats.  Representative Thomas Allen (D-Maine) is leaving his seat in order to run for Senate.  (He lost to incumbent Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine).)  Also leaving the committee is retiring Representative Darlene Hooley (D-Ore.).  The House Education and Labor Committee also saw the loss of some committee members.  Representative Ric Keller (R-Fla.) lost his re-election bid, as did Representative John “Randy” Kuhl (R-N.Y.), Representative Timothy Walberg (R-Mich.), and Representative David Davis (R-Tenn.).  Resident Commissioner Luis Fortuno (R-Puerto Rico) is also leaving the committee.

Both the Senate and the House of Representatives will begin appointing committee members in early January, when the 111th Congress convenes for the first session. For additional information, please visit the link below.

2008 Election Results Analysis (pdf)

SNA Members Rankin, Stiles Elected, Re-elected to Public Office

Helen RankinSNA members Helen Rankin and Nancy Stiles rolled to election victories yesterday in Maine and New Hampshire Nancy Stilesrespectively.

Retired School Nutrition Association member and former SNA Public Policy and Legislative Committee member Helen Rankin, SNS was elected State Representative from District 97 to the Maine House of Representatives on Tuesday.  She defeated her Republican challenger 3,072 votes to 1,905, winning all five towns in the District. Rankin served for 38 years as school nutrition director for SAD 55 in Hiram, Maine, before recently retiring and running for the Maine House of Representatives.

Retired SNA member and former SNA Public Policy and Legislative Committee Chair Nancy Stiles, SNS was re-elected for the third time to her seat on the New Hampshire House of Representatives. Stiles was once again the top vote-getter in her district and was named New Hampshire’s Legislator of the Year last year. Nancy served as the School Nutrition Director for the Hampton School District for 30 years before retiring in 2004.

Educate Your Community Week Starts on Monday!

The first annual Educate Your Community Week begins next Monday, November 17, 2008.  Please join SNA members from across the country as they spread the word about healthy school meals.  Educate Your Community Week is a great opportunity for school nutrition professionals to demonstrate how the school meal programs are an integral part of the community.  Everyday, these programs provide students nationwide with healthy, balanced meals.  While the school nutrition programs fill an important role in a student’s daily life, the average person does not know how these programs operate.  Educate Your Community Week is the perfect time to teach your community about the vital role these programs play.

For ideas and suggestions on planning an Educate Your Community event in your school district, visit the Educate Your Community page.  There you will find adaptable presentations, talking points, handouts and other resources you can use when meeting with various members of your community.   Also be sure to let SNA know about your plans by registering your event with SNA through this form.

Action Alert Update: Over 3,000 Action Alerts Sent!

SNA members have sent over 3,000 action alerts to members of Congress since September 29, 2008.  As of Friday, November 7th, 3,067 action alerts had been sent.  Georgia leads the pack with 321.  Pennsylvania and Indiana follow with 249 and 219 respectively.  Breaking 100 action alerts are Ohio with 143, followed by Arkansas (129), Massachusetts (121), North Carolina (117), Minnesota (111), Virginia (111), Kentucky (109), and California (108).  Other states near 100 action alerts are Connecticut (96), Florida (93), Iowa (93), and Wisconsin (90).

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. Please contact your Senators and ask them to co-sponsor this important legislation.  To send an Action Alert, please visit the Legislative Action Center.

School Nutrition in the News

Last weekend several large media outlets covered a variety of school nutrition topics. From bake sales to the increase in free and reduced participation, SNA spokespersons and leaders provided key messages and important perspectives to the different stories. Coverage included the following:

School menus freshen up  November 9, 2008, Chicago Tribune. The article covers the trend towards locally grown, minimally processed foods now more commonly available in schools. SNA president Dr. Katie Wilson explained the realities of providing healthy meals to students who are accustomed to eating fast food while out of school.  

Bake Sales Fall Victim to Push for Healthier Foods November 9, 2008, New York Times. The story focuses on applying nutrition standards to fundraiser bake sales in schools, particularly in California. California School Nutrition Association president Stephanie Bruce emphasized the need to teach moderation to students.

More Families Seek Reduced-Cost School Lunches November 9, 2008, National Public Radio. This is the first national story on the increase in free and reduced participation since USA Today and the New York Times covered it early in the school year. SNA of Connecticut president Mary Ann Lopez provided perspective on the value of school nutrition programs during an economic downturn.

Whole Grain Acceptability in School Meals

whole grainsGradually adding whole wheat flour to bread products for elementary school children increases student consumption of whole grains. A research study published in the fall 2008 issue of the Journal of Child Nutrition and Management tested the feasibility of an innovative approach that gradually increased the whole wheat content of bread products in school lunches to increase whole grain intake by children. The study authors, Renee Rosen, Dr. Marla Reicks and Dr. Len Marquart, , of the University of Minnesota Department of Food Science and Nutrition, found that such an approach may allow school nutrition directors to gradually introduce acceptable whole grain products into school menus.

Study: Students Accept Whole Grains When Gradually Added to School Foods

Help GCNF Change Our World

Please join the Global Child Nutrition Foundation (GCNF) in helping to bring school feeding programs to developing countries by participating in the second annual Change Our World campaign.  Our friends at Schwan’s Food Service undertook the initial launch last year. With the help of corporations, SNA state affiliates, state chapters and school districts throughout the United States, the campaign raised over $100,000 for GCNF programs. This year, in an effort to expand the campaign, they have turned it over to the GCNF leadership.  

Participation in the campaign provides a unique opportunity for you to demonstrate the importance of social responsibility and help increase awareness of global child hunger issues.  Please email gcnf@schoolnutrition.org for various ways you can partner and support GCNF through the Change Our World campaign.  Visit www.changeourworldonline.org for more information.

National Anti-Hunger Organization Release Blueprint to Hunger

The National Anti-Hunger Organizations (NAHO), a coalition of anti-hunger groups released the updated Blueprint to End Hunger this week.  The Blueprint outlines steps that need to be taken to fight hunger in the United States.  The Blueprint argues that all sectors of society need to be active in working to solve the problem of hunger.  Strengthening the federal nutrition programs, including the school nutrition programs, is a key component of the Blueprint.  Included in the suggestions are ways to connect schools, the government, business, and non-profit organizations with people who are in need of assistance.  To read more about the Blueprint, click on the below link.

A Blueprint to End Hunger

Study: Children Copy Parent’s Food Habits

Preschool children do copy their parent’s food habits, according to a study included in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.  The study followed 120 children as they “bought” food from a play grocery store.  The researchers observed that the children, ages 2-6 years old, mimic their parents’ purchases.  If a child’s parents purchased healthy items, the child also purchased healthy items.  Likewise, if a child’s parents purchased unhealthy items, the child purchased similar items.  Researchers suggest that the study results indicate that children are already forming their food choices at a young age.

Kids mimic parents’ diets from an early age

Fast Food Meals Do Not Meet NSLP Requirements

Children’s fast food meals do not meet National School Lunch Program Requirements, according to a study conducted by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine, Michigan State University, and the University of Texas.  The study assessed the nutrient quality of fast food meals by using criteria from the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).  They found that only 3 percent of all kids fast food meals met the nutrient standard requirements set by the NSLP.  Those that did meet the requirement included a side of fruit and milk.  Those meals that did not meet the NSLP criteria were more than 1.5 times energy dense then foods that did meet the requirements.

Nutrient quality of fast food meals 

 

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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