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Tuesday Morning - February 10, 2009

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February 10, 2009

 

Table of Contents

School Nutrition and the Economic Stimulus Package

Senate Agriculture Committee Tackles Peanut Butter Recall

Pennsylvania Senator Casey to Speak at LAC Banquet

SNA Submits Comments on Proposed USDA Research Study

South Carolina, Iowa Consider Nutrition Standards Legislation

National School Breakfast Week is Three Weeks Away!

Two School Breakfast Webinars Planned

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Releases Brief on SNDA III Results

Good News: School Nutrition

In Every Issue

Legislative Action Center

Legislative Toolkit

PR Toolkit

State Policy Index

State and Federal Legislation

PPL Committee

 

SNA Sends Letter to Congress on Economic Stimulus Package

Around noon on February 10, 2009, the US Senate passed the economic stimulus legislation by a vote of 61 to 37. SNA has learned that $100 million in school nutrition equipment grants was included in the bill as passed by the Senate. Thank you to the 1,300 SNA members and friends who sent emails and made calls to Senate offices after reports last Friday that the equipment funds of $198 million had been completely cut from the bill.  The Senate and House conferees now meet in Conference Committee to reconcile the House and Senate versions of the stimulus bill. The Senate version has the $100 million for equipment but no funding for after school meals.  The House version has funding for after school meals but no funding for kitchen equipment. SNA members are encouraged to continue to contact their members of Congress to emphasize the importance of school nutrition funding. For more related news, check out the SNA Reauthorization Blog - From the Kitchen to the Congress. 

Senate Agriculture Committee Tackles Peanut Butter Recall

On Thursday, February 5, 2009, the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee held a hearing entitled, “Examination of Federal Food Safety Oversight in the Wake of Peanut Products Recall.” Attending the hearing were Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Ranking Member Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), along with Senators Casey (D-PA), Johanns (R-NE), Klobuchar (D-MN), and Leahy (D-VT).

Witnesses included:

  • Dr. Stephen Sundlof, Director, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
  • Rear Admiral Ali S. Khan, Assistant Surgeon General and Deputy Director of the National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-borne, and Enteric Diseases, Center for Disease Control
  • Ms. Gabrielle Meunier, Mother of affected child, South Burlington, VT
  • Ms. Caroline Smith DeWaal, Director, Program on Food Safety, Center for Science in the Public Interest
  • Mr. William Hubbard, Former Senior Associate Commissioner for Policy, Planning and Legislation, Food and Drug Administration; on Behalf of Alliance for a Stronger FDA

The School Nutrition Association (SNA) continues to consider the safety of school food as a top priority. This is evident from both the amount and quality of staff training that school districts provide their staff, as well as the school food safety record. SNA maintains that even one student's illness caused by eating a school meal is too many, which is why school nutrition professionals nationwide have worked hard over the past three years to implement HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) a comprehensive approach to food safety that follows the flow of food through a foodservice operation to eliminate or reduce the risk of foodborne hazards. In order to ensure the safest foods possible are served to children in schools, and outside of schools, it is imperative that the food safety system function properly throughout all levels of the food supply chain. For additional information on the hearing, please visit the link below.

Senate Agriculture Committee Tackles Peanut Butter Recall

 

Pennsylvania Senator Casey to Speak at LAC Banquet

Senator Casey

U.S. Senator Casey (D-PA)

Senator Robert Casey, Jr. (D-Penn.) will give the Carl D. Perkins Memorial Lecture on Monday evening, March 2, 2009 during the Legislative Action Conference Annual Banquet.  Senator Casey is a strong supporter of the child nutrition programs. Last fall, he introduced legislation that would require the reimbursement rate for the school nutrition programs to be adjusted twice a year. Senator Casey is a member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, the committee that will play a significant role in the 2009 reauthorization of the child nutrition programs. For additional information regarding the conference, please visit the LAC 2009 page. To follow the Reauthorization process online go to SNA's From the Kitchen to the Congress blog.

SNA Submits Comments on Proposed USDA Research Study

Last week SNA submitted comments in response to a Federal Register announcement about the upcoming planned School Food Purchase Study--III to be conducted by USDA. Comments centered around the changes that have occurred in school nutrition since the last study was conducted in the mid-1990’s. See below to read SNA’s comments.

South Carolina, Iowa Consider Nutrition Standards Legislation

The South Carolina legislature is considering legislation that would set nutrition standards for all competitive food items.  The bill, HB 3297, would limit snacks to no more than 200 calories, with 35 percent of total calories from fat, 10 percent of total calories from saturated fat, and 35 percent of total weight from sugar.   The bill also sets standards for beverages.  The standards follow the voluntary guidelines developed by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.  Last week, the legislation was voted out of the committee on education and public works.  It will next be considered by the full House.

Iowa is also considering nutrition standards for competitive foods.  Under the proposed regulations, Iowa schools would be required to limit vending machine items to less than 200 calories and a la carte entrees to less than 400 calories.  Fat, sodium, and sugar content would also be restricted.  During a public hearing last week, school nutrition professionals expressed frustration with the proposed regulations, arguing that their programs will lose money if the regulations are implemented. For more information regarding these standards, please visit the links below.

S.C. bill requiring healthier school food advances

School nutrition standard plan criticized

State and Federal Legislation 

National School Breakfast Week is Three Weeks Away!

National School Breakfast Week is only three weeks away!  SNA has a variety of tools you can use to help your schools “Power Up! With School Breakfast.”  During this year’s NSBW, students nationwide are invited to join the School Breakfast Heroes – Mr. Breakfast, Crunch, Fruit Avenger, Yogurl, Susie Powers the Sandwich Sensei, and their trusty sidekick Eggbot – on a morning adventure as they join together to rescue hungry kids from the plague of the Breakfast Skipper!  From March 2-6, 2009, encourage your students to power up with a healthy, nutritious school breakfast.

Visit the National School Breakfast Week website for more information.  Also, keep checking www.schoolnutrition.org for additional articles regarding activities taking place across the country. 

Two School Breakfast Webinars Planned

Two school breakfast webinars are planned in the next two weeks.  On Wednesday, February 11, 2009, USDA Food and Nutrition Service is hosting a webinar on a new school breakfast resource, as well as success stories about expanding school breakfast participation.  To register, please click here.

The following week, be sure to join the School Nutrition Foundation for the next webinar in the Webinar Wednesday series, entitled “School Breakfast: It’s All About Location, Location, Location”, which will take place on Wednesday, February 18, 2009 at 2:30 pm EST.

This 75-minute webinar, produced in partnership with General Mills, will be moderated by Ali VanGorden, Senior Nutrition Scientist at General Mills and will feature a panel of three school nutrition professionals, including 2008-2009 SNA President Katie Wilson, discussing their successes with school breakfast programs.

Details on how to register for this webinar, as well as other pertinent information, can be found at: www.schoolnutrition.org/schoolbreakfast. Stay tuned to the SNA website for more details on other upcoming Wednesday Webinars! 

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Releases Brief on SNDA III Results

Last week, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released a policy brief that reviewed the results of the School Nutrition Dietary Assessment Study (SNDA-III).  The brief explains some of the key findings of the report, which looked at school nutrition programs during the 2004-2005 school year.

Improving Child Nutrition Policy: Insights from National USDA Study of School Food Environments

Good News: School Nutrition

In the past week several internationally syndicated news stories written by Associated Press reporters have focused on the value of the school breakfast program, vegetarian school meals and the overall healthful quality of today’s school lunches. SNA spokespersons and staff worked with the AP reporters and the articles included positive messaging about school lunch. These include:

Nutrition Standards Revolutionize School Lunches 

School Lunch Revolution Recipes 

Maine schools expand meatless options 

US schools pushing breakfast programs 


 

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 Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming.


 
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