Tuesday Morning - December 22, 2009



December 15, 2009


The next issue of Tuesday Morning will be published on Tuesday, January 5, 2010. Best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year!

Table of Contents

Food Safety a Priority for School Nutrition Programs

Innovations in Addressing Childhood Obesity Hearing

Tonko Introduces Legislation Expanding School Breakfast

Federal Legislation Promoting School Salad Bars Introduced

USDA To Sponsor Web-Based Nutrition Gaming Contest in Support of the President’s Open Government Initiative

School Breakfast Workshops Scheduled

Sign Up for USDA’s Commodity Alert System!

SNA Legislative Action Center

Legislative Toolkit

Food Safety a Priority for School Nutrition Programs

In response to USA Today’s latest article on school food safety issues, the School Nutrition Association issued a press release on the programs’ food safety records.

“School meals programs abide by some of the toughest food safety standards in the industry, and our superior food safety record reflects that fact” said School Nutrition Association President Dora Rivas, MS, RD, SNS, and executive director of Food and Child Nutrition Services for the Dallas Independent School District in Texas. “School nutrition professionals take their responsibilities very seriously – they prepare their meals with a focus on safety and nutrition at all times.”

SNA noted that food safety is a shared responsibility. Under federal law, schools are required to receive two health inspections a year, but these inspections are conducted by state or local health departments, leaving schools with little control over the actual number of inspections school cafeterias receive. Too many over-burdened local and state health departments simply fail to conduct the required number of inspections each year, even when schools officially request additional inspections. Successful partnerships between health departments and school programs do exist in many districts and should be the model for effective school inspection programs.

For additional information on these efforts, including the complete release and talking points, please visit the links below.

Food Safety Programs a Priority for School Nutrition Programs

School Nutrition Association Supports School Food Safety Efforts

Innovations in Addressing Childhood Obesity Hearing

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Health held a hearing entitled Innovations in Addressing Childhood Obesity on December 17. The witnesses were in agreement that childhood obesity is a concern and that improvements have been made to combat the problem.

The Witness List included the following:

  • William H. Dietz, M.D., Ph.D., Director, Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Terry Huang, Ph.D., M.P.H., Director, Obesity Research Strategic Core, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health
  • Ron Jaworski, Jaws Youth Fund, National Football League Play 60
  • Sandra Hassink, M.D., Chair, Obesity Leadership Workgroup, American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Jeremy Nowak, Ph.D., President and CEO, The Reinvestment Fund
  • Mary Sophos, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, Grocery Manufacturers Association
  • Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D., M.B.A., President and CEO, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

For additional information on the hearing, please visit the link below.
Innovations in Addressing Childhood Obesity - Hearing

Tonko Introduces Legislation Expanding School Breakfast

U.S. Representative Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.) has introduced legislation that would expand participation in the School Breakfast Program. H.R. 4325, the Universal Classroom Breakfast Expansion Act, would authorize a grant program, administered by USDA, that would provide states with funding to help schools establish universal classroom breakfast programs. Universal school breakfast programs provide free breakfasts to all students in their classrooms after the school bell has rung.

Grant money could be used by schools to purchase equipment needed to operate the program, such as carts, portable heating and cooling units, as well as other costs associated with starting a universal classroom breakfast program. Grants would be targeted at the highest-need schools and states can withhold up to 5 percent of their grant money to conduct outreach to schools with the most low-income children.

For additional information on the legislation, please visit the link below.

Tonko Proposes Free School Breakfast Plan

Federal Legislation Promoting School Salad Bars Introduced

A bipartisan bill encouraging school salad bars was introduced by US Representative Sam Farr (D-Calif.) this week. If passed, H.R. 4333, the Children’s Fruit and Vegetable Act, would provide funding for schools to improve nutrition through salad bars and new cafeteria equipment for processing fresh fruits. The bill would also help reduce transportation and storage barriers for fresh foods. The legislation includes funding requests for $10 million for 2011 and 2012 to build salad bars, $100 million in onetime funds for upgrading and purchasing cafeteria equipment for serving fruits and vegetables, $10 million per year for five years to improve access to locally grown fruits and vegetables, and $500,000 over five years for training and technical assistance.

For additional information, please see the link below.

USDA To Sponsor Web-Based Nutrition Gaming Contest in Support of the President’s Open Government Initiative

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services (FNCS) are launching a program to support the President’s Open Government Initiative. The program is called the Innovations for Healthy Kids Challenge and promotes healthier dietary habits among children.

The Challenge is aimed at entrepreneurs, software developers and students. It encourages them to design an educational and creative game targeted to kids to encourage healthy lifestyle and dietary choices. The dataset released by USDA contains 1,000 of the most common food items as well as open source codes from USDA to enable the USDA-generated dataset to be used. It is available to the public on and

The FNCS Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion will begin accepting fully developed Web-based games in the spring of 2010. The games will be judged by a panel of public and private sector nutrition and gaming experts. Additional details will be posted to

School Breakfast Workshops Scheduled in Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction is hosting two workshops on starting a school breakfast program and increasing breakfast participation. The workshops will be held on Tuesday, February 16, 2010 at the Holiday Inn in Stevens Point, WI and on Wednesday, April 14, 2010 at the Ramada Inn in Fond du Lac, WI. The workshops will include sessions on breakfast marketing, meal requirement guidelines, and grant writing. Registration costs $35.00 per person. Wisconsin Kohl Grant recipients are required to attend one of these meetings and one representative from each Kohl Grant school will have the registration fee waived. To learn more about these sessions, contact Laura Wilford ( or Julia Salomon (

Sign Up for USDA’s Commodity Alert System!

Quickly learn about USDA commodity food safety alerts by signing up for the USDA Commodity Alert System. Click on the following link to sign up for the system. 

State and Federal Legislation (login required)
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: California, District of Columbia, Federal, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Wisconsin


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