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Tuesday Morning - January 27, 2009

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January 27, 2009

 

Table of Contents

Register for an LAC Pre-Conference Session Today!

SNA Releases Legislative Issue Paper

Peanut Butter Recall Update

Senate Confirms Vilsack as Secretary of Agriculture

Action Alert: Support School Nutrition Funding in Economic Stimulus

SNA Launches Two New Media Initiatives

SNA and NDC Release School Milk Data

State Legislative Update

In Every Issue

Legislative Action Center

Legislative Toolkit

PR Toolkit

State Policy Index

State and Federal Legislation

PPL Committee

 

Register for an LAC Pre-Conference Session Today!

LAC 2009

LAC is March 1 to 4, 2009

Register today for the 2009 Legislative Action Conference!  LAC is the premier legislative event for school nutrition professionals.  Join several hundred of your colleagues in Washington, DC from March 1-4, 2009 as they influence the future of the federal school nutrition programs. The district profile sheet is now available on the LAC website as well.  Use it to prepare for visits with members of Congress and also provide a copy of the completed profile sheet can also be provided to SNA.

Be sure to register for one of two dynamic pre-conference sessions:

  • Cents and Sensibility – School nutrition directors and industry professionals will review the impact of the current economic crisis on the school nutrition industry.  Learn how to develop comprehensive financial management strategies to maintain fiscal integrity during difficult economic times.
  • How to Successfully Lobby State Legislatures – Are you trying to gain greater influence with your state legislature?  To gain favorable legislative action, you must be able to answer a fundamental lobbying question: “Why would that lawmaker give me his or her vote?” Learn successful tricks of the trade from a noted lobbying professional during this seminar.

There are many more reasons to attend LAC 2009.  For additional information and to register, please visit the link below.

LAC 2009

SNA Releases Legislative Issue Paper

This week, SNA released its 2009 Legislative Issue Paper. Each year, SNA presents Congress with the critical issues facing school nutrition professionals nationwide.

The 2009 Legislative Issue Paper focuses on several important areas SNA would like addressed through Reauthorization:

  • Increase the per meal reimbursement of all school meals by 35 cents for all meals to keep pace with rising costs and implementing the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
  • Improve nutrition standards by requiring the Department of Agriculture to implement a consistent, science-based interpretation of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans for all federally reimbursed school meals.

The Legislative Issue Paper is based on input from SNA members and is drafted by members of the Association’s Public Policy and Legislation Committee.  After final approval from the Board of Directors, the paper is used to guide SNA’s legislative actions.  As always, the goal of the Association is to provide over 30 million children with safe, healthy school meals through the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program.

To view a complete copy of the 2009 Legislative Issue Paper, click here.

Peanut Butter Recall Update

On January 12, 2009, the King Nut Companies has recalled peanut butter distributed by the company under the King Nut and Parnell’s Pride labels for possible salmonella contamination. The peanut butter is manufactured by the Peanut Corporation of America and distributed by the King Nut Companies under the King Nut and Parnell’s Pride labels.  While the peanut butter was delivered to manufacturers and some food service institutions, USDA did not purchase any of the product for the school nutrition programs.

Since January 12, the peanut butter recall has widened, as more companies that distribute or use Peanut Corporation of America peanut butter are recalling their products.  For updated information regarding the recalled products, please visit the link below.

Update: Peanut Butter Recall

Senate Confirms Vilsack as Secretary of Agriculture

Secretary Vilsack

Secretary Vilsack

The U.S. Senate confirmed former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack (D) as Secretary of Agriculture on Tuesday, January 20, 2009.  Vilsack, along with six other Obama administration nominees were confirmed on Inauguration Day by a voice vote.

In both testimony and questions during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, Vilsack discussed the important role the federal nutrition programs, including the child nutrition programs, play.  Vilsack has already begun to coordinate efforts with the Obama administration related to the child nutrition programs.  He noted the importance of including healthier items, including more fresh fruits and vegetables in the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program.  Both Vilsack and Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) acknowledged that the reauthorization of the child nutrition programs will be a major priority of the USDA this year.

Vilsack Confirmed 

Action Alert: Support School Nutrition Funding in Economic Stimulus

Please contact your member of Congress and ask them to support funding for the federal nutrition assistance programs, including increased funding for school lunches and breakfasts. 

To send an action alert to your member of Congress, please visit the Legislative Action Center.

Legislative Action Center

SNA Launches Two New Media Initiatives

SNA proudly presents From the Kitchen to the Congress, a blog exclusively dedicated to discussing news and issues related to the 2009 Reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Programs!  Turn to From the Kitchen to the Congress for up-to-date news and information throughout the entire reauthorization process.  This blog will also feature entries from guest bloggers – members of the SNA leadership who will explain the Association’s position on the legislation and offer opinions.  From the Kitchen to the Congress is also a place to ask questions and leave comments about the legislation and SNA’s positions.  We encourage you to engage in discussion with other SNA members and school nutrition professionals throughout the entire reauthorization process.

SNA is also now on Twitter!  Visit the Media Center page for a link to SNA’s Twitter page.  To find and follow us on Twitter, search for School Lunch.

From the Kitchen to the Congress – Reauthorization 2009 Blog 

Media Center

SNA and NDC Release School Milk Data

According to a statement jointly released today by SNA and the National Dairy Council, nearly 80 percent of students in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) chose low-fat or fat-free milk in 2005, compared to less than 30 percent in the early 1990s. The data comes from a report analyzing U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) data released today. Unpublished data from USDA’s third School Nutrition Dietary Assessment (SNDA III) show that most schools voluntarily follow the recommendation which was also outlined in the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) to encourage more consumption of low-fat and fat-free dairy. The current DGA recommends three servings of dairy every day for most Americans. Significant changes in consumption patterns have developed between the first SNDA report from 1992 and the most current data from 2005. In the 1992 assessment, 28.6 percent of students who drank milk chose either low-fat or fat-free milk, while the latest SNDA data show that 79.2 percent of milk-drinking students now choose low-fat or fat-free milk.

Click here to read more.

State Legislative Update

State legislatures in nearly every state are currently in session.  Since the beginning of January, a number of bills concerning all aspects of school nutrition have been introduced. Over 40 bills have been introduced since January 1, 2009. Below are some highlights:

  • Colorado SB 33 – If passed, this bill would eliminate the reduced price category for meals served to children participating in state-subsidized early childhood education programs.
  • Colorado SB 46 – This bill would prohibit the sale of snack foods that do not meet minimum nutrition requirements to students during the day.  The legislation would require all school districts to pass a policy implementing these guidelines.
  • Maryland SB 100 – If passed, this bill would prohibit schools and child care centers from providing foods with artificial colorings.
  • Mississippi HB 1262 – Under this piece of legislation, school districts would be required to provide low fat school meals to students who are medically diagnosed as overweight.
  • New York HB 590 / SB356 – This bill is another attempt by the New York General Assembly to pass detailed nutrition standards for all schools.
  • South Carolina HB 3297 – Also a nutrition standards bill.  If passed, this bill would set strict standards for all foods sold to students during the school day.
  • Virginia SB 1322 – This bill would required the Board of Education to establish guidelines for managing and caring for students with food allergies in schools.

For additional information on these and other bills introduced this session, please visit the Federal and State Legislative Page.

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:  Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Federal, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming.


 
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