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Tuesday Morning - February 9, 2010

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February 9, 2010

Table of Contents

SNA Partners with First Lady Michelle Obama's Childhood Obesity Initiative

LAC Update: More Speakers Announce, Register for a Pre-Conference Session Today!

Urge Congress to Support a Strong Child Nutrition Reauthorization Bill

USDA Announces Food Safety Initiatives for Nutrition Assistance Programs

Feeding America: Landmark New Study Reveals Unprecedented Number of Americans Seeking Food

SNA Legislative Action Center

Legislative Toolkit

SNA Partners with First Lady Michelle Obama’s Childhood Obesity Initiative

SNA is proud to support First Lady Michelle Obama’s childhood obesity initiative. SNA and its members have agreed to a number of key steps to further improve the nutritional quality of school meals and advance nutrition education for America’s students. Commitments include:

  • Challenge school nutrition programs to achieve US Department of Agriculture’s HealthierUS School Challenge Certification, significantly increasing the number of schools nationwide meeting the program’s goals
  • Encourage school nutrition directors to partner with the Center for Disease Control’s Coordinated School Health Programs to improve the school health environment. SNA will offer educational programs and training on successfully implementing the Coordinated School Health Program.
  • Challenge school nutrition program directors to accelerate the time frame for meeting the Institute on Medicine’s (IOM) National Nutrition Standards for school meals. To meet this goal, SNA will initiate the following during the 2010-2011 school year
  • Advance nutrition education opportunities for all students. With the First Lady and federal officials, SNA plans to partner with media, technology, and education program leaders to bring turnkey nutrition education into the classroom, cafeteria, and home

The First Lady’s initiative was launched just as Congress prepares to reauthorize the Child Nutrition Act, a critical opportunity for legislators to enhance the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs for 31 million American children who benefit from school meals each day.

SNA Partners with First Lady Michelle Obama’s Childhood Obesity Initiative

LAC Update: More Speakers Announce, Register for a Pre-Conference Session Today!

SNA’s annual Legislative Action Conference (LAC) is only three weeks away! Dynamic new speakers are added to the conference agenda everyday. Here are some highlights:

  • Just announced! Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) will address conference attendees during the final general session on Wednesday, March 3rd. Also speaking during the final general session are Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Representative Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.).
  • Other important Congressional and USDA officials will speak throughout the conference. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) will speak during the 2nd general session on Monday, March 1st.  Undersecretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services Kevin Concannon, and Deputy Undersecretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services Janey Thornton will both address attendees during the afternoon general sessions on March 1st.
  • 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 Committee’s official “kickoff” for Child Nutrition Reauthorization. Be sure to attend this very important hearing!
  • Space is limited! Register for one of two dynamic preconference sessions! The first session on Saturday, February 27th, Special Meals for Special Kids: Providing Meals to Students with Special Diets, looks at providing meals to children with special dietary needs. In the second session, Fiscal Challenges, Budgeting Solutions and Grant Writing Techniques, participants will learn how to confront the financal challenges facing school nutrition programs and gain unique tactics for controlling costs and maximizing resources.

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

 LAC 2010

 Urge Congress to Support a Strong Child Nutrition Reauthorization Bill

President Obama has included $1 billion in his FY2010 budget for Child Nutrition Reauthorization. Urge your member of Congress to support a strong Child Nutrition Reauthorization bill. Send an action alert to your elected leaders, asking them to support SNA’s priorities for Reauthorization 2010, including:

  • provide adequate funding for school meals
  • implement consistent, national guidelines based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans
  • define what expenses can be paid for with the funds appropriated.

 To submit an action alert, please visit the link below

Support Child Nutrition 2010

USDA Announces Food Safety Initiatives for Nutrition Assistance Programs

On February 4, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack restated his commitment to promote good health for America’s school children when he announced new USDA initiatives to ensure that food purchased by the USDA for the National School Lunch Program and other food and nutrition assistance programs is both safe and of high quality.

The five USDA agencies – the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), the Farm Service Agency (FSA) and the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) have agreed to combine their efforts in the following initiatives:

  • AMS will implement new food safety requirements for its beef suppliers
  • ARS and FSIS will support technical assistance initiatives to benefit AMS for School Lunch and other Federal nutrition assistance programs
  • AMS has asked the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to review the ground beef purchasing program AMS will increase the information exchanged with other agencies in order to better monitor and identify potential food safety issues
  • Meat, poultry, and processed egg vendors will be reviewed and evaluated.
  • FNS will work to provide rapid communication to schools and school districts in regard to product recalls
  • FNS will devote a Center of Excellence to research on school food and safety issues within child nutrition programs
  • FSA is strengthening requirements to comply with Good Manufacturing Practices and use of a verified Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points program

To read the full press release click here

USDA to Purchase Blueberries, Pears, Peaches and Potatoes for Nutrition Programs

On January 29th, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced the USDA’s decision to purchase $29.1 million in fruit products for the federal food nutrition assistance programs. The purchases will help stabilize markets and prices and stimulate the economy while providing high quality and nutritious foods to schools and food banks. Additionally, these purchases will assist blueberry, pear, potato, peach and mixed fruit producers. The healthy food purchases will be dispersed through several programs that often provide food to children in need including; the National School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program, the Summer Food Service Program, the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations, the Commodity Supplemental Food Program and the Emergency Food Assistance Program. The commodities are required to meet requirements specified by the USDA to ensure that they meet government standards.  

For the full USDA News Release, please click this link:

http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/!ut/p/_s.7_0_A/7_0_1OB?contentidonly=true&contentid=2010/01/0040.xml

Feeding America: Landmark New Study Reveals Unprecedented Number of Americans Seeking Food

Last week, Feeding America released a major study showing that an unprecedented number of Americans are seeking food assistance. The study, Hunger in America 2010, revealed a 46 percent increase in U.S. citizens receiving emergency food. According to the study, more than 37 million people, including 14 million children, receive emergency food each year through a network of food banks and agencies at work to provide emergency food assistance. Approximately 5.7 million people receive emergency food assistance each week. Since the release in 2006 of Feeding America’s report, the most recent 2010 results show a 46 percent increase. This is one of the first reports to tie the current economic downturn to the increase in emergency food assistance participation.

To view the press release: http://feedingamerica.org/newsroom/press-release-archive/hunger-in-america-2010.aspx 

To read the report: http://feedingamerica.org/faces-of-hunger/hunger-in-america-2010.aspx

 

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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