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Tuesday Morning - June 23, 2009

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June 23, 2009

Table of Contents

SNA Estimates New Meal Reimbursement Rates for 2009-2010 School Year

The President and First Lady Address Healthy School Lunches

ANC 2009 – Next Week!

John Kline Named Ranking Republican on 50-Member Education & Labor Committee

New Bills Introduced on Global Hunger and “Paperless” Applications

More School Districts Offering Vegetarian School Lunches

Healthy School Food Lobby Day June 24

Child Nutrition Reauthorization Forum Held in Connecticut

Wilson Speaks at National Conference on Childhood Obesity

Leadership for Healthy Communities Action Strategies Toolkit Released

 

SNA Legislative Action Center

Legislative Toolkit

PR Toolkit

From the Kitchen to the Congress Reauthorization Blog

State and Federal Legislation

SNA Estimates New Meal Reimbursement Rates for 2009-2010 School Year

While the official SY 2009-2010 meal reimbursement rates will not be released until July, SNA has calculated an estimated rate.  Using the recently released May Consumer Price Index for Food Away from Home, SNA estimates that the meal reimbursement rate for free lunches will increase to $2.67 from $2.57.  Reduced price lunches will increase to $2.26 and paid lunches to $0.25.  The May CPI for Food Away from Home, the index used to determine meal reimbursement rates, increased 4.2% over May 2008.  This means that there should be a 4.2% increase for reimbursable meals.  Please note that this is only an estimate, the official meal reimbursement rates will be published in July.

The President and First Lady Address Healthy School Lunches

This week both President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama separately renewed the Administration's call for a strong Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act in Congress this year and a renewed emphasis on healthy school meals. SNA continues to work with the Administration and members of Congress on key policy priorities that would result in better access to nutritious school breakfasts, lunches and snacks through the federal child nutrition programs. Read more here.  Add link to Michelle Obama letter from Katie – if this doesn’t already include it.

Also see media coverage of the White House Garden Harvest from the Washington Post and ABC News here and here.

ANC 2009 – Next Week!

Viva Las Vegas—SNA’s 2009 Annual National Conference (ANC) is just days away! Are you one of the thousands of school nutrition professionals ready to immerse themselves in four invigorating days of education and excitement? SNA staff is working diligently to ensure you have the opportunity to enjoy everything ANC and Las Vegas have to offer. For details about ANC 2009, including education sessions, featured speakers, events and more, please visit the dedicated ANC 2009 section of SchoolNutrition.org. Also, here are some last-minute reminders to keep in mind as you make your way to Las Vegas.

John Kline Named Ranking Republican on 50-Member Education & Labor Committee

Minnesota Congressman John Kline was chosen today by the House Republican Steering Committee to serve as the ranking Republican on the 50-member Education and Labor Committee.

As the ranking Republican on the Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Subcommittee, Congressman Kline brings to the table an in-depth knowledge of the issues that matter most. From Head Start to retirement security, he has demonstrated the ability to advance the positions that benefit Americans - from cradle to grave. He has been a driving force behind coalition efforts to take on critical issues including preserving workers' right to a secret ballot election, and is leading the fight to ensure the federal government keeps its promise to fully fund the federal share of special education.

Healthy School Food Lobby Day June 24

On June 24, 2009, a Healthy School Food Lobby Day will take place on Capitol Hill to support national nutrition standards legislation, specifically HR 1324 and S. 934, the Child Nutrition Promotion and School Lunch Protection Act of 2009. The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Woolsey (D-Calif.) in the House with 140 co-sponsors and Senator Harkin (D-IA) in the Senate with 20 co-sponsors, is supported by the School Nutrition Association along with over 100 national, state and local groups. In addition to the Lobby Day, a national petition is also being conducted online allowing parents and individuals to support the legislation. The signatures will be presented during the Lobby Day next week.

SNA members can support the legislation, which ends the time and place rule and updates nutrition standards for foods sold outside of reimbursable school meals, by sending an action alert to Congress here.

Child Nutrition Reauthorization Forum Held in Connecticut

On Monday, June 15, 2009, a Child Nutrition Forum with Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) was held in New Haven, Connecticut, sponsored in part by the School Nutrition Association of Connecticut, End Hunger Connecticut, the New Haven School Nutrition Department and others. DeLauro is Chairwoman of the Agricultural Appropriations Subcommittee in the House of Representatives. Participants discussed the need for national nutrition standards as well as increasing access to all of the child nutrition programs. The Forum will be aired in its entirety online tonight here.

Press coverage of the event can be accessed here and here.

New Bills Introduced on Global Hunger and “Paperless” Applications

Two additional bills were introduced recently in Congress relating to child nutrition. On June 10, 2009, Senators Casey (D-PA) and Specter (D-PA) as well as Senator Bennet (D-CO) introduced S. 1226 which would amend the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act to improve paperless enrollment and efficiency for the national school lunch and school breakfast programs, based largely on the Philadelphia School Meal Pilot Program that has been the subject of several blog posts below. The legislation would save school nutrition programs time and money by replacing the meal application process with an alternative form of determining eligibility for free and reduced priced meals.

HR 2817 was also introduced last week. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) addresses global hunger and improves food security through the development and implementation of a comprehensive government-wide global hunger reduction strategy and the establishment of the White House Office on Global Hunger and Food Security. The bill would increase support for global school feeding programs among many other efforts. The legislation has eight bipartisan co-sponsors.

More School Districts Offering Vegetarian School Lunches

School Nutrition Association president Dr. Katie Wilson, SNS announced new data Friday, June 19th on the widespread availability of vegetarian school lunch options. Almost two thirds of school nutrition programs now offer a vegetarian school lunch on a consistent basis, up from 22% in 2003, according to the SNA’s soon to be released 2009 School Nutrition Operations Report. The availability of vegetarian school lunches in a majority of districts is consistent with the overall trend in the past five years towards more nutritious school lunches emphasizing whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and low-fat dairy. The vegetarian choices also come in spite of federal school lunch reimbursements that have not kept pace with increased food and labor costs. Dr. Wilson presented the research findings at the National Conference on Childhood Obesity in Washington, DC today.

For more details on these findings, please visit the link below.

Majority of School Nutrition Programs Now Offer Vegetarian School Lunches

Study Released on Meal Participation Factors

The Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture released a report on the factors that lead to school nutrition program participation.  The study results found that elementary aged children are more likely to participate than students who are middle or high school.  The taste of the food also plays an important role, as students that enjoy the meals are more likely to participate than those who do not.  The study also looked at economic factors.  It found that students who qualified for reduced price meals were more likely to participate if they received those meals for free.  More information on this report can be found by viewing the link below.

Factors Associated with Meal Participation

Leadership for Healthy Communities Action Strategies Toolkit Released

Working in close collaboration with 11 influential policy-maker organizations, Leadership for Healthy Communities developed this toolkit to equip state, municipal, county and school leaders with promising and evidence-based policy approaches designed to improve children’s health and reduce childhood obesity. This comprehensive resource includes strategies in 10 policy areas, lists of key stakeholders, tips on how to start programs, and examples of policies that states and communities have implemented successfully. It is prefaced with an unequivocal leadership statement signed by executive directors from each of the 11 participating policy-maker organizations. This statement underscores the organizations’ recognition that childhood obesity is a national problem and reflects their commitment to work collaboratively across levels of government to build healthier communities.

Report: Family, Community Influence Teen Activity Levels

A new Child Trends report shows that family and community influence activity levels in teenagers.  According to the recent report, low-active teens (those not participating in sports or exercising) are more likely to be overweight.  The study also found that teens who live in neighborhoods considered unsafe were also more likely not be physically active.  To view a copy of the complete report, please see the link below.

Physical Inactivity in U.S. Adolescents: Family, Neighborhood, and Individual Factors

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, Delaware, District of Columbia, Federal, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Wisconsin


 
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