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Tuesday Morning - March 16, 2010

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March 16, 2010

Table of Contents

“School Breakfast – Ready Set Go!” National School Breakfast Week Wrapped Up

National Child Hunger Relief Act Introduced in Senate

USDA and First Lady Launch Apps for Healthy Kids Competition as part of the Let’s Move! Campaign

States Vote on School Nutrition Legislation

Stay Current on Recall Information – Sign Up for www.recalls.gov!

Urge Congress to Support a Strong Child Nutrition Reauthorization Bill

Study: Farm to School Participation Expands in Minnesota

SNA Responds to USA Today Report on Huntington Meat Packing Recall

Overweight Preteens More Likely to Eat School-Provided Lunches

ADA to Hold Healthcare Caucus Today

SNA Legislative Action Center

Legislative Toolkit

“School Breakfast – Ready Set Go!” National School Breakfast Week Wrapped Up

The School Nutrition Association is proud to wrap up another successful National School Breakfast Week. A healthy breakfast is an integral part of a student’s day, and sound nutrition helps them to focus while contributing to their academic success. Numerous studies have shown that breakfast can improve a student’s memory, test scores, school attendance and cut down on visits to the school nurse. Research has also shown that children who eat breakfast each day have a higher intake of vitamins and minerals and maintain a healthier weight than those who skip.

This year, “School Breakfast – Ready Set Go!,” was a campaign that introduced students to the importance of school breakfast and demonstrated how eating a school breakfast prepares you for a busy day at school. The campaign, created by SNA with support from General Mills Foodservice, culminated during National School Breakfast Week, March 8 to 12, 2010.

To view nutrition programs that made the news during National School Breakfast week, click here: http://www.schoolnutrition.org/Blog.aspx?id=13698&blogid=622

National Child Hunger Relief Act Introduced in Senate

On March 9, 2010 Senator Robert Casey (D-PA) introduced bill S.3093, the National Child Nutrition Hunger Relief Act, in the Senate which will require semiannual indexing of certain federal child nutrition programs. The legislation would allow schools to better cover the costs of purchasing healthy, nutritious foods. If passed, the bill would require the reimbursement rates to be adjusted for inflation each January, in addition to the current annual index update in July. Moving to semi-annual indexing would better reflect the actual cost of preparing meals.

SNA worked with Senator Casey when he originally introduced the legislation on September 26, 2008.

To read the press release: http://casey.senate.gov/newsroom/press/release/?id=B1C0D8A2-0DD9-499E-B9D0-881EABB37A00

USDA and First Lady Launch Apps for Healthy Kids Competition as part of the Let’s Move! Campaign

First Lady Michelle Obama and the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced on March 11, 2010 a competition that is part of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative. The Apps for Healthy Kids Competition allows contestants to compete for $40,000 in prizes as they develop new tools to help raise a generation of healthier kids. The Apps for Healthy Kids Competition encourages students, game designers, software developers, and other innovators to design engaging and entertaining tools and games with the goal of helping kids and their parents to eat healthier foods and incorporate more physical activity into their daily schedule. Entrants will have the opportunity to be awarded prizes for their creativity. All winners will be honored at a White House event to be held in Washington, DC.

SNA has been supportive of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative since her announcement of the initiative in February. SNA believes that the competition launched by USDA and the First Lady is an encouraging activity that will motivate students and families to become more health savvy. The Apps for Healthy Kids gives innovators the chance to help give kids the healthy lives they deserve.

In her address to the SNA members at the Legislative Action Conference on March 1, 2010, the First Lady affirmed her understanding and support of many of SNA’s top priorities, including the need for adequate funding, reducing paperwork that presents obstacles to participation, improving the quality of foods served, providing equipment support and ensuring training for school nutrition professionals.

Please view the article on SNA’s website:
http://www.schoolnutrition.org/Blog.aspx?id=13692&blogid=622

States Vote on School Nutrition Legislation

Several states voted on school nutrition-related bills last week. In Massachusetts, the state Senate voted on legislation that would require the Department of Public Health to work with the state Department of Education to develop nutrition guidelines for all food sold in schools by the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year. Schools would also be required to sell fresh fruits and vegetables, ban the sale of deep fried foods, provide nutrition and physical education, and purchase locally grown products. The measure passed the state Senate unanimously on Thursday. In January, the bill passed the state House.

The Virginia legislature also voted on school nutrition standards legislation. Senate Bill 414 requires the state Department of Education to develop nutrition guidelines for competitive foods sold during the school day. The state is required to develop the guidelines by the end of 2011. School districts would be required to implement them by the start of the 2012-2013 school year. The legislation passed both the state Senate and the state House of Delegates. Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell (R) is expected to sign the bill.

Stay Current on Recall Information – Sign Up for www.recalls.gov!

In order to stay current about U.S. Government recalls, please sign up for free email updates from www.recalls.gov. This is a consolidated site that will allow you to be aware of any U.S. Government recalls that may affect school food service. Follow the few steps below to subscribe to the Department of Health and Human Services in order to receive recall updates:

  1.  Log on to www.recalls.gov
  2. Click on the Food tab at the top.
  3. Click on “Sign Up for Free Recall Updates by E-Mail” (in red toward top of page)
  4. This takes you to the Dept. of Health and Human Services signup page, where you will:
    1.  Enter your email address and confirm same; and
    2. Check the box titled FoodSafety.gov Recalls and Alerts under the FoodSafety.gov Updates section.

Urge Congress to Support a Strong Child Nutrition Reauthorization Bill

President Obama has included $1 billion in his FY2010 budget for Child Nutrition Reauthorization. SNA is asking its members to urge their member of Congress to support a strong Child Nutrition Reauthorization bill. To do so, please 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 nutrition standards based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans; and,
  • 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

Study: Farm to School Participation Expands in Minnesota

More school nutrition programs are participating in farm to school programs, according to a study released last week by the Minnesota School Nutrition Association and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP). According to the study, 69 percent of districts reported purchasing Minnesota-grown products in 2009. That figure more than doubled from 2008. The study also found that 77 percent of school districts involved with farm to school programs expected to expand their participation during the upcoming school year. The most commonly purchased items included apples, potatoes, peppers, winter squash, sweet corn, and tomatoes. Many schools also purchased Minnesota-grown bison, wild rice, dried beans, and grains.

Attention is increasing on farm to school programs. The USDA recently launched the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative, which helps to link communities and farmers. A major component of the initiative is linking school nutrition programs with local farms through farm to school programs. The initiative has created “Farm to School Tactical Teams” that will visit several school districts nationwide to provide guidance and support for develop a farm to school program. The initiative also held a webinar last week on developing farm to school programs. In the U.S. Congress, Representative Rush Holt (D-N.J.) recently introduced legislation (H.R. 4710) that would award grants to school nutrition programs that participate in farm to school programs.

SNA Responds to USA Today Report on Huntington Meat Packing Recal

USA Today’s article “Lag time in tracing tainted food puts schoolkids at risk” reports on a recent Huntington Meat Packing recall.
Although USDA Foods, the school commodity program, did not purchase any of the beef and veal products included in the recall, some school nutrition programs, as well as restaurants and hotels, purchased recalled products through the commercial market.

“School nutrition professionals know the safety of school meals is our most important responsibility, and we are constantly working, through strict food safety procedures and staff training, to ensure the 31 million meals we serve to children each day are safe and nutritious,” said SNA President Dora Rivas, MS, RD, SNS, executive director of Food and Child Nutrition Services for the Dallas Independent School District in Texas. “Members of the School Nutrition Association support strong food safety standards and endorse efforts to ensure recall information is quickly disseminated to consumers in the grocery store and the school cafeteria alike.”

Please view the full article here: http://www.schoolnutrition.org/Blog.aspx?id=13676&blogid=622

Overweight Preteens More Likely to Eat School-Provided Lunches

Business Week reported that students who often eat school lunch are more likely to be overweight and have higher levels of cholesterol than those who pack meals from home. The study was completed by researchers from the University of Michigan Health Systems in Ann Arbor, who presented the results to heart specialists during a meeting in Atlanta, GA.

Although the researchers did not directly draw the link between school lunches and overweight, the findings correlated with evidence that schools do very little to combat the obesity epidemic prevalent among American youth. The researchers are also working to study the link to heart health and poverty.

To read the Business Week article: http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-03-13/overweight-preteens-more-likely-to-eat-school-provided-lunches.html

ADA to Hold Healthcare Caucus Today

The American Dietetic Association (ADA) and the Congressional Children’s
Healthcare Caucus will hold a briefing in conjunction with National Nutrition Month. The event will be held on Tuesday, March 16 from 3-4pm in 1310 Longworth House Building.

An expert panel will discuss the following:

  • Infant nutrition in Hispanic populations
  • Impact of child obesity: A practitioner’s perspective
  • The success of the ADA Foundation’s RD Coach program

 

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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