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Tuesday Morning - June 2, 2009

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June 2, 2009

Table of Contents

Philadelphia Universal School Meals Pilot Reportedly to End This Month

ANC Update: Attend Sessions on Charge Policies and Indirect Costs

First Lady Michelle Obama Comments on Healthy School Meals

Sodexo Agrees to Alliance for a Healthier Generation Nutrition Standards

Child Nutrition in the News

Food Allergy Legislation Passes in Colorado and Maryland

Webinar Wednesdays: Managing Food Allergies Series

More Research on Link Between Late Night Eating and Childhood Overweight Needed

Researchers Find Possible Link Between Childhood Obesity and Food Allergies

In Every Issue

SNA Legislative Action Center

Legislative Toolkit

PR Toolkit

From the Kitchen to the Congress Reauthorization Blog

State and Federal Legislation

Philadelphia Universal School Meals Pilot Reportedly to End This Month

Last week USDA under the Obama Administration announced that the decision to end the Philadelphia program would stand and that the program would end this school year. SNA, anti-hunger organizations and several members of Congress from Pennsylvania spoke out last fall in support of continuing the pilot. This week members of the Philadelphia Congressional delegation introduced new efforts to continue the pilot and expand it to other large urban school districts. Representative Joe Sestak (D-PA) has indicated that he intends to introduce legislation soon that would allow the Philadelphia program to continue and provide the opportunity for other large urban districts, such as Los Angeles Unified School District and New York City Public Schools, interested in following the same program to do so.

In 1991 the US Department of Agriculture approved a Universal Feeding pilot program for the School District of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania that replaced the school meal application process with one based on sophisticated surveys of poor populations to determine if students qualified for free or reduced price school meals.

The Philadelphia Universal School Meals Program

ANC Update: Attend Sessions on Charge Policies and Indirect Costs

Two of the biggest issues facing school nutrition programs are charge policies and indirect costs. Delve further into these issue areas by attending one of the special “Hot Topic” sessions held during ANC.

During “The Bottom Line on Charge Policies” session, learn about different approaches to account for unpaid meal balances from directors representing several different size school districts. Participants gather tips on how to deal with the often difficult press and publicity surrounding the issue. In the “What You Need to Know About Indirect Costs” session, participants will hear perspectives from a major city director and a state agency director. Participants will also learn strategies for handling these charges and discover how to lessen the financial impact on their programs.

To learn about these and other “Hot Topic” sessions, please visit the link below.

ANC Hot Topic Sessions

First Lady Michelle Obama Comments on Healthy School Meals

Late last week First Lady Michelle Obama visited students at Bancroft Elementary School in Washington, DC, to follow-up with them after having worked with them earlier this spring on planting the new White House Vegetable Garden. The First Lady commented on child nutrition reauthorization as follows:   

"...we also need to think more broadly about the quality of the foods that we give our kids throughout -- what we're doing in our schools, in our school lunch programs -- because as the economy gets more troubled, there are going to be more and more kids who are going to qualify and rely on the meals that they get at schools, their breakfasts and their lunches. And the next step -- or one of the next steps in this conversation is figuring out how do we ensure, through the help of the government, as well as local communities, that the foods that our kids are getting in school each and every day is as healthy as it can be, so that we're bringing some of these lessons home and we're also expanding them in the classrooms and in the schools."

The First Lady Visits With Students At Bancroft Elementary School: The Full Text of Her Remarks

Sodexo Agrees to Alliance for a Healthier Generation Nutrition Standards

Foodservice management company Sodexo signed on to the Alliance for a Healthier Generation's School Beverage and Competitive Food Guidelines last week. The Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a joint initiative of the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation, originally developed the Guidelines in 2006 as part of their effort to significantly reduce childhood obesity in the United States by 2015. The agreement focuses on products sold to schoolchildren outside of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) school meal program on an a la carte basis-inclusive of products in the cafeteria, school store, snack carts, and vending machines in more than 470 U.S. school districts served by Sodexo. As a result of the agreement, Sodexo will only offer age appropriate portion sizes that limit total calories. The company will also only supply snacks that have no more than 35 percent of their calories from total fat and 10 percent of calories from saturated fat. The approved snacks will contain no more than 35 percent sugar by weight and can have no more than 230 milligrams of sodium, nor can they contain trans fats. SNA's 2008 Trends Report found that about 10% of school districts currently follow the Alliance Guidelines, compared to 74% that follow state mandated or recommended nutrition standards for foods sold outside of school meals.

Alliance for a Healthier Generation Applauds Sodexo For Their Pledge To Fight Childhood Obesity

Child Nutrition in the News

School nutrition programs in the Los Angeles area are struggling to attract student diners with healthier meal items. According to an article syndicated by Reuters, school nutrition professionals are introducing healthier foods and preparation techniques in the school meal programs. Students are slow to accept the changes, however. Instead, they opt to eat at local fast food restaurants and convenience stores near schools. School fundraisers and other competitive food sales are also undermining the school nutrition programs. The article also discusses the need for additional funding for the school nutrition programs.

“Green” cafeterias were the focus of a piece appearing in the Christian Science Monitor last week. More schools are banning Styrofoam trays and composting cafeteria waste, encouraging students to participate in more environmentally friendly practices. The local foods movement and school gardens were also discussed in the article.

On Saturday, May 30, 2009, the Washington Post article "The Last Hope for Hungry Kids" focused on the funding shortfall hitting afterschool programs at the same time demand is increasing for afterschool snacks. "Many groups are serving twice as many children because of increased need, which poses a huge challenge when budgets are tight," said Carol Watson, director of grants for Share Our Strength, a Washington-based national organization for ending childhood hunger.   

Healthy school lunch efforts face daunting hurdles - Reuters

The school lunchroom grows green – Christian Science Monitor

The Last Hope for Hungry Kids - The Washington Post

 

Food Allergy Legislation Passes in Colorado and Maryland

Colorado Governor Bill Ritter (D) recently signed into law SB 226, legislation that would require state Board of Education, along with the Department of Public Health and Environment, to develop food allergy and anaphylaxis management guidelines for school districts. Signed May 14, 2009, the bill would require all Colorado school districts to implement a food allergy management policy by July 1, 2010.

In Maryland, Governor Martin O’Malley (D) approved legislation that requires school principals, in consultation with health professionals, to create plans to help at risk students manage food allergies and anaphylaxis. The legislation, HB 26, was approved on May 19, 2009. It also requires schools to designate peanut and tree nut free tables in the cafeteria.

Webinar Wednesdays: Managing Food Allergies Series

The School Nutrition Foundation has partnered with the USDA to offer a series of three webinars on “Managing Food Allergies in Schools.” The sessions are offered as part SNF’s Webinar Wednesday series and participants are encouraged to attend all three. The final webinar in the series, “Managing Food Allergies in Schools: Implementing Policy”, will be held tomorrow Wednesday, June 3, 2009 at 2:30 PM EDT. To register for this free webinar, please visit the link below.

Webinar Wednesdays: Managing Food Allergies in Schools

More Research on Link Between Late Night Eating and Childhood Overweight Needed

Researchers are calling for more research to be conducted on the connection between late night eating and childhood overweight. Researchers at East Carolina University and Pennsylvania State University found inconclusive evidence linking childhood overweight and late night eating. Looking at data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 1999-2004, the researchers found that overweight children ages 6-11 consumed significantly more food than healthy weight children. Overweight children ages 12-18, however, consumed significantly lower proportions of daily food intake with each advancing two hour increment in the evening. The study was published in the May 2009 issue of the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity.

Eating late in the evening is associated with childhood obesity in some age groups, but not in all children

Researchers Find Possible Link Between Childhood Obesity and Food Allergies

Researchers have found a possible link between childhood obesity and food allergies. According to a study published in the May issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, found that overweight and obese children were 50 percent more likely to suffer from a milk allergy than children who were not. Overall, the study finds that overweight or obese children were 25 percent more likely to suffer from a food allergy. The report authors acknowledge that their report is inconclusive and that further research must be conducted to understand the links between weight and risk of food allergies.

Childhood: Food Allergies May Be Linked to Obesity – New York Times

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:  Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Federal, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin.

 


 
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