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Tuesday Morning - February 24, 2009

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February 24, 2009

CN Forum Statement of Principles – Thank you to the 42 states that have signed on. If your state has not, please visit this link for more information about the Statement of Principles. 

Table of Contents

New York Times Op-ed Calls for Substantial Investment in Child Nutrition

LAC 2009 is Only 5 Days Away!

Two Ways to Spread the Word about Reauthorization 2009

House Budget Committee Holds Hearing on Childhood Hunger

“Weekend Food For Kids” BackPack Program

Strategies Promote Healthy Eating in Schools

USDA Unveils Commodity Alert System

USDA Issues New Guidance on Food Service Management Companies

In Every Issue

Legislative Action Center

Legislative Toolkit

PR Toolkit

State Policy Index

State and Federal Legislation

PPL Committee

New York Times Op-ed Calls for Substantial Investment in Child Nutrition

On Friday, February 20, 2009, the New York Times ran an opinion piece by chef Alice Waters arguing for changes to the National School Lunch Program. In the column, Waters and co-author Katrina Heron acknowledge that the National School Lunch Program is under funded, with many school districts using a portion of the reimbursement money to pay for indirect costs. SNA applauds their call for Congress to increase the federal reimbursement to $5 per child per day at a cost of $27 billion per year.

For additional information, please visit the link below.

New York Times Op-ed Calls for Substantial Investment in Child Nutrition

LAC 2009 is Only 5 Days Away!

The 2009 Legislative Action Conference is only five days away! This year’s conference promises to be one of the most important ever. With reauthorization of the child nutrition programs scheduled for this year, SNA members will be in Washington, DC making their mark on the future of these programs. Some highlights of the conference include:

  • Two legislative champions of child nutrition will address conference attendees. Senator Bob Casey (D-Penn.) will speak on Monday, March 2 at the annual LAC Banquet. Representative Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) will address attendees during the 2nd General Session Monday morning.
  • Noted child nutrition experts Dr. Brian Wansink, Dr. Keith Ayoob, and Dr. Virginia Stallings will discuss the latest information relating to school nutrition.
  • The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry will hold a hearing on the child nutrition programs on Wednesday, March 4, 2009 at 10:30 AM in Room 216 of the Hart Senate Office Building. SNA President Dr. Katie Wilson, SNS is among those invited to testify. Please plan on attending this hearing if possible, which is immediately following the final general session.

Even if you will not be attending the conference, you can still be a part of the action. For the first time, SNA will be blogging live from LAC. Keep checking From the Kitchen to the Congress for updates all week long.

For more information on the conference, please visit the LAC 2009 website.

Two Ways to Spread the Word about Reauthorization 2009

Looking for ways to spread the word about Reauthorization 2009? SNA has two different resources you can use to educate your community and legislators about the reauthorization of the federal child nutrition programs.

  • Action Alerts – Send your Senators and Congressional representatives an Action Alert, notifying them of the important issues facing the school nutrition programs.
  • Letters to the Editor – Send a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. Let them know that school meals are a tremendous value and help promote good nutrition.

For more information, please visit Related Links.

Supporting Funding for Healthy School Meals – Action Alert

The Value of School Lunch – Letter to the Editor

House Budget Committee Holds Hearing on Childhood Hunger

On Thursday, February 12, 2009, the House of Representatives Committee on the Budget held a hearing entitled “Building a Foundation for Families: Fighting Hunger, Investing in Children.” The hearing focused on various federal programs that provide food to families and children, including the school nutrition programs. Testifying before the committee were:

  • Sharon Parrott, Director of Welfare Reform and Income Support Division at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities;
  • Dr. Deborah Frank, Founder and Principal Investigator of the Children’s Sentinel Nutrition Assessment Program and the Growth and Development Program at the Boston Medical Center;
  • Leon Lott, Sheriff of Richland County, South Carolina, on behalf of the Fight Crime: Invest in Kids Program, and;
  • Douglas Besharov, Senior Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

While the hearing mostly focused on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and WIC, the call for universal free school breakfast and lunch was mentioned several items during the hearing.

“Weekend Food For Kids” BackPack Program

BackPack Programs are designed to meet the needs of children who rely on school nutrition programs as their primary source of meals during the school year. BackPack programs fill the nutrition gap for weekends and holiday breaks. Typically, children who participate receive a back pack filled with child friendly, shelf-stable, vitamin fortified foods to take home on the weekends. Backpacks are discretely filled and distributed to children in the classroom, nurse’s office or guidance office. See the link below to learn more about one weekend back program in Indiana.

Weekend Food For Kids Backpack Program

Strategies Promote Healthy Eating in Schools

The article "When Nudging in the Lunch Line Might Be a Good Thing in the March 2009 issue of Amber Waves, the publication of the USDA Economic Research Service, discusses how the behavioral economics concept of “choice architecture” can be applied to the school food environment. The article reviews several studies that outline how to structure school cafeteria environments in a noncoercive manner to encourage healthy choices.

Strategies Promote Healthy Eating in Schools

USDA Unveils Commodity Alert System

USDA/FNS has made arrangements to allow users to self register for email notifications for potential USDA commodity food safety events that are issued for commodities bought through USDA programs. These notifications will be administered by the FNS Food Safety Unit to ensure the accuracy of the information contained. Registration is free and can be accessed directly at https://www.envoyprofiles.com/USDA-ALERTS or through the FNS web site. The registration web site will ask you to enter the following: first name, last name, company, time zone, and email account to receive the notification. The user will also be required to create a user ID, password, and password reset question.

Visit the Food Distribution Division webpage - http://www.fns.usda.gov/fdd/fd_foodsafety.htm for more information and to enroll in this free-of-charge service.

USDA Issues New Guidance on Food Service Management Companies

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has released new guidance for state agencies on food service management companies (FSMC). The purpose of the manual is to provide state agencies with guidance on ensuring compliance with federal school nutrition program regulations and federal cost and procurement standards. The manual also provides guidance for technical assistance in which state agencies may help school food authorities strengthen contracts with FSMCs.

Contracting with Food Service Management Companies: Guidance for State Agencies

In Every Issue

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: Alabama, 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, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.


 
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