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Tuesday Morning - February 2, 2010

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February 2, 2010

 

Table of Contents

SNA Applauds President Obama’s Proposed $1 Billion Increase for Child Nutrition Programs

LAC Update: Hearing Date, More Conference Speakers Announced

President Mentions Child Obesity Initiative in State of the Union Address

The Surgeon General’s Vision for a Healthy and Fit Nation 2010

National Governor’s Association Calls for Increased Funding for Child Nutrition Programs

FRAC Releases New Report on Food Hardship

Massachusetts, South Carolina Legislatures Approve Strong School Nutrition Standards

Effects of Switching from Whole to Low-Fat/Fat-Free Milk in Public Schools

SNA Legislative Action Center

Legislative Toolkit

SNA Applauds President Obama’s Proposed $1 Billion Increase for Child Nutrition Programs

Following the release of President Barack Obama’s Fiscal Year 2011 budget, which incldes a $1 billion increase for child nutrition programs, the School Nutrition Association (SNA) applauded the President and First Lady Michelle Obama for their commitment to strengthening the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs.

President Obama’s budget increase for school meals and First Lady Michelle Obama’s new childhood obesity initiative highlight the importance of school nutrition issues just as Congress prepares to reauthorize the Child Nutrition Act.

SNA has been calling on Congress to increase the school meal reimbursement to keep pace with rising costs and provide school lunch rooms with the support they need to expand offerings of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

For additional information, please visit the link below.

SNA Applauds President Obama’s Proposed $1 Billion Increase for Child Nutrition Programs

LAC Update: Hearing Date, More Conference Speakers Announced

SNA’s annual Legislative Action Conference (LAC) is only four weeks away! This year’s conference promises to be the most exciting one yet, with dynamic new speakers added to the conference agenda everyday. Here are some highlights:

  • Just added this week, Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) is among the several members of Congress and key USDA officials that will address attendees during the conference general sessions. Other speakers include Representative Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.), Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Undersecretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services Kevin Concannon, and Deputy Undersecretary for food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services Janey Thornton.
  • The House Education and Labor Committee will hold a hearing on the school nutrition programs on Tuesday, March 2nd at 2:30 PM in the Rayburn House Office Building. This hearing will serve as the Education and Labor Committee’s official “kickoff” for Child Nutrition Reauthorization. Be sure to attend this very important hearing!
  • Amy Walter, one of the nation’s top political forecasters and editor-in-chief of The Hotline, will speak during the keynote luncheon on Sunday, February 28th.
  • Register for one of two dynamic preconference sessions! New speakers have been added both sessions. Those attending the first preconference session, Special Meals for Special Kids: Providing Meals to Students with Special Diets will hear about the legalities of serving children with special dietary concerns from USDA Office of Civil Rights assistant general counsel Tami Trost. During the second general session, School Nutrition Foundation Director Julie Abrera will demonstrate successful grant writing techniques to help you get the most support for your school nutrition program.

For additional information about LAC 2010, including registration, please visit the links below.

LAC 2010

President Mentions Child Obesity Initiative in State of the Union Address

President Barack Obama mentioned First Lady Michelle Obama’s campaign against childhood obesity during last week’s State of the Union address. The acknowledgement came as the President discussed his plans for healthcare reform. “I want to acknowledge our First Lady, Michelle Obama, who this year is creating a national movement to tackle the epidemic of childhood obesity and make our kids healthier,” the President stated, drawing a standing ovation for the First Lady from members of Congress.

To view the full article: http://www.schoolnutrition.org/Blog.aspx?id=13483&blogid=622

The Surgeon General’s Vision for a Healthy and Fit Nation 2010

The First Lady and Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin presented the Surgeon General's Vision for a Fit and Healthy Nation, a series of recommendations to combat overweight and obesity in the United States. Included in the recommendations is a section on creating healthy schools. The plan calls on schools to provide healthy and nutritious food options that include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and water. Schools are also recommended to include more physical activity for students.

To view the Surgeon General’s Vision for a Healthy and Fit Nation 2010: http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/obesityvision/obesityvision2010.pdf (pdf)

National Governor’s Association Calls for Increased Funding for Child Nutrition Programs

On January 28, the National Governor’s Association sent a letter to Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), House Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller (D-Calif.), Senate Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), and House Education and Labor Committee Ranking Member John Kline (R-Minn.). The letter was sent by Governor Bill Ritter, Jr. (D-Colo.) and Governor M. Jodi Rell (R-Conn.) of the NGA’s Education, Early Childhood and Workforce Committee. Secretary Tom Vilsack, U.S. Department of Agriculture is also a recipient of this letter. The letter called for increased funding to be appropriated to child nutrition programs.

Despite the recession, the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and other child nutrition programs have seen an increase in both enrollment and participation. As schools are pressured to provide healthier meals, they confront operational, administrative, and financial challenges that make it difficult to sustain healthy school meal programs that meet federal requirements and consumer preferences. The letter encourages Congress to increase funding as a means to ensure that child nutrition programs can continue to provide healthy meals.

To view the Letter: National Governor's Assocation Letter for Increased Funding

FRAC Releases New Report on Food Hardship

Food Research and Action Center President Jim Weill and Representative Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) held a Congressional briefing on food hardship in the U.S. on Tuesday, January 26th. The briefing introduced data collected from 535,000 U.S. homes on food hardship on a congressional district-by-congressional district basis for January 2008 through December 2009. The data also looked at food hardship in the 100 largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas. The data demonstrated “suffering almost everywhere” in the U.S. due to food hardship, as over 70% of congressional districts had at least 15% of their population experiencing food hardship and only 20 districts had food hardship percentages in the single digits.

According to the data food hardship has lessened slightly with the minor improvements in the economy in the last year. Food hardship was at its highest during the winter months of 2008. Congressman McGovern and Mr. Weill emphasized the power of the data as a tool to effectively put pressure on politicians because it shows that “no communities are hunger free.” Congressman McGovern also called for a White House conference on Food & Nutrition to bring together legislators, advocates, NGOs etc. in order to make a more coordinated effort towards robust nutrition programs, such as NSLP and SNAP, to confront the pervasive food hardship demonstrated in the data.

Massachusetts, South Carolina Legislatures Approve Strong School Nutrition Standards

The South Carolina Senate education committee and the Massachusetts House of Representatives both approved this week legislation that would strengthen the requirements for school meals. The South Carolina bill would ban school-hour sales of high-fat, high-sugar foods and beverages throughout the school campus in all grade levels. The legislation, which moves on to the full Senate would set regulations for both competitive foods and meals sold through the National School Lunch Program. The South Carolina House of Representatives has already approved the legislation.

In Massachusetts, the state House of Representatives also approved stronger school nutrition standards for competitive foods.  The legislation also included language to encourage more school nutrition programs to participate in farm-to-school programs. The legislation now moves onto consideration in the state Senate.

Effects of Switching from Whole to Low-Fat/Fat-Free Milk in Public Schools

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report that summarizes the results of a data released by New York City public schools between 2004 and 2009. In 2005, the New York City (NYC) Department of Education (DOE) began to review food policies of NYC public schools as a result of increased prevalence in childhood obesity. NYC public schools decreased the availability of whole milk and increased the availability of low fat and fat free milks in schools.

The goal of this policy change was to reduce the amount of calories and fat without reducing the overall consumption of milk purchased by students. A current concern, after the reduction of fat content in milk, is the amount of sweetened, chocolate milk that is being consumed. Low-fat and fat-free chocolate milk have a higher calorie count than reduced fat white milk and contain double the amount of sugars.

To read the full report:

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5903a2.htm

 

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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