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Tuesday Morning - March 24, 2009

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March 24, 2009

Table of Contents

FIT Kids Act Introduced in the 111th Congress

Castle, Johanns Publish Op-eds on Child Nutrition Reauthorization

Castor Sends Letter to Chairman of House Education and Labor Committee

Indirect Costs and School Nutrition Programs

LAC Presentations Now Posted

Milk, Whole Grains Surveys Launched

SNA Member Plans a “World of Hope Festival” Fundraiser for GCNF

SNF Hosts Webinar Wednesday on School Foodservice Equipment

Report Shows Federal and State Funding Directed to Improving Health

Fast Food Restaurants Around Schools Increase Incidence of Overweight

 

In Every Issue

Legislative Action Center

Legislative Toolkit

PR Toolkit

State Policy Index

State and Federal Legislation

PPL Committee

FIT Kids Act Introduced in the 111th Congress

Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Representatives Kind (D-Wisconsin), Wamp (D–Tennessee) and Inslee (D-Washington) introduced legislation this week that would promote more physical activity in schools across the country.  If enacted, The Fitness Integrated with Teaching Kids Act (FIT Kids Act) would amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to require that all schools, districts and states include the quantity and quality of PE in the “report cards” currently sent to parents. It would also ensure that children get the support they need to be physically active and make healthy food choices.  

The FIT Kids Act would engage parents and the public by requiring all schools, districts and states to report on students’ physical activity, including the amount of time spent in required physical education in relation to the recommended national standard.  The Act would further ensure appropriate professional development for health and physical education teachers. It would also fund research to examine the link between children’s health and their academic achievement, and recommend effective ways to combat childhood obesity and improve healthy living and physical activity.

Senator Harkin, Reps. Kind, Wamp, Inslee Introduce FIT Kids Act Calling for More P.E. in Schools

Castle, Johanns Publish Op-eds on Child Nutrition Reauthorization

Representative Mike Castle (R-Del.) and Senator Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) recently published two opinion pieces on child nutrition reauthorization and the federal school nutrition programs.  In a piece published in the Capitol Hill publication The Hill, Castle discussed the link between good nutrition and learning.  He noted that the child nutrition programs are more important than ever, as many families are struggling to provide their children with balanced, nutritious meals.  Castle urged Congress to support these programs through reauthorization.

In a post to The Hill’s Congress Blog,Johanns, the former Secretary of Agriculture, wrote about recently introduced legislation that would exclude combat pay from income when determining a family’s participation in the school nutrition programs.  Johanns stated that this exemption is critical in providing meals to children who have parents called to serve.

Nutritional Programs Proven to Boost School Attendance, Performance

Protect Access to Critical Nutrition Programs for Military Families

Castor Sends Letter to Chairman of House Education and Labor Committee

Representative Kathy Castor (D-Fla.) recently sent a letter to House Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller (D-Calif), voicing support for his leadership on child nutrition reauthorization. In the letter, Castor calls on Congress to increase the federal meal reimbursement.  She also expresses support for creating a consistent, national nutrition standard. Castor sent the letter after meeting with members of the Florida School Nutrition Association delegation.

Letter from Castor to Miller 

Indirect Costs and School Nutrition Programs

On March 12, 2009, the Budget Committee held a hearing with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan testifying. Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA) asked Secretary Duncan about indirect costs and the need for additional regulations to ensure that school nutrition programs were paying reasonable and appropriate amounts in indirect costs to school district general funds, rather than being taken advantage of. The Secretary spoke to the need for strong nutrition programs for children and indicated that he would be working with Secretary Vilsack on issues such as indirect costs. SNA continues to work with a variety of partners on policy options to address the indirect costs and school nutrition.

LAC Presentations Now Posted

Were you unable to come to LAC?  Are you looking for the slides from a presentation you attended?  The LAC presentations are now posted online.  To access them, please click on the link below.

LAC 2009 Presentations

Milk, Whole Grains Surveys Launched

Two surveys, one on school milk programs and one on whole grains use, were released last week.  By completing the surveys, school nutrition professionals will help determine the popularity of milk and whole grains products in schools.  Each short survey only takes a few minutes to complete.  For more information, please see the links below.

School Milk Survey

Whole Grains Survey

SNA Member Plans a “World of Hope Festival” Fundraiser for GCNF

With Global Child Nutrition Month coming up in April, SNA member of over 25 years Patricia Mergens is making headlines by organizing a festival in her neighborhood of St. Paul, Minn. to raise over $10,000 for the Global Child Nutrition Foundation (GCNF.) Mergens has worked 28 years as an employee of St. Paul Schools Nutrition Services where she is currently a coordinator in their central facility.

The community event she is planning has a goal of raising $10,000 to further the work of GCNF and will be held Saturday, March 28. The Festival will feature a taco salad luncheon, silent auction, cakewalk and children’s games with small prizes.

Global Child Nutrition Month is observed in April and highlights the need for sustainable solutions to childhood hunger internationally through the development of coordinated school feeding programs. You can set your own fundraising goal for GCNF through the Change Our World website.

For more information, please see the link below.

SNA Member Plans a “World of Hope Festival” Fundraiser for GCNF

SNF Hosts Webinar Wednesday on School Foodservice Equipment

The next webinar in the School Nutrition Foundation’s Webinar Wednesdays series will take place on Wednesday, April 15, 2009, at 2:30 pm EDT. Entitled “Equipment Solutions: Plug into Profitability,” this 75-minute live event will feature discussion and success stories on how to increase participation and profitability with the right choice of equipment for your operation. 1 SNA CEU credit will be awarded to participants. Registration and other information is available at www.schoolnutrition.org/equipment.

Report Shows Federal and State Funding Directed to Improving Health

Last week the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) released a new report that found Midwestern and Southern states received less funding from the federal government than Northeastern and Western states did in fiscal year (FY) 2008 for disease prevention programs, which can amount to millions of dollars in differences. The Shortchanging America’s Health: A State-By-State Look at How Federal Public Health Dollars are Spent also examines how the economic downturn could lead to serious cuts to disease prevention and emergency preparedness programs at the state level. The report found that states receive $17.60 per person on average from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to spend on public health. Midwestern states received an average of $17.69 per person and Southern states received $18.43 per person, while Northeastern states received $22.49 and Western states received $23.94 per person from the CDC.

Fast Food Restaurants Around Schools Increase Incidence of Overweight

A fast-food restaurant within about 500 feet of a school may lead to at least a 5 percent increase in the obesity rate at that school, according to a study released about a week ago by economists at economists at Columbia University and the University California, Berkeley. The report concludes that "a ban on fast foods in the immediate proximity of schools could have a sizable effect on obesity rates among affected students." The report is just the latest evidence that points to important factors outside of schools and school nutrition that may be resulting in the increase in overweight children. The study follows one presented last month at an American Stroke Association conference. Researchers from the University of Michigan found people who live in neighborhoods packed with fast-food restaurants are more likely to suffer strokes. In December, a study found that youth who study within a half mile from a fast-food outlet eat fewer fruit and vegetables, drink more soda and are more likely to be obese than students at other schools.

Action for Healthy Kids Launches Wellness Policy Evaluation Tool

Action for Healthy Kids has launched a convenient monitoring component as a part of its 8-step Wellness Policy Tool. The new, web-based monitoring component is fully customizable for each school. It offers an implementation “desk top” where users post all provisions of their wellness policy, then note progress, next steps, resources needed, and people responsible for each. A unique scoring system allows schools to evaluate their progress against benchmarks for best practices, as well as their adherence to federal wellness policy mandates. The tracker also provides links to helpful resources based on areas needing improvement.

AFHK Wellness Policy Evaluation Tool

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, Florida, 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, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin


 
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