Tuesday Morning - April 6, 2010



April 6, 2010

Table of Contents

In Memory of SNA Past President Vivian Pilant

National Journal Video Report Features School Meal Successes and Challenges

Action Alert: Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act

USDA to Highlight Obama Administration Efforts to Improve School Meals

Input Requested for 2011 Research and Evaluation Plan

Study Finds School Nutrition Programs Beneficial for Children’s Weight

Fill Your Boots with Education at ANC 2010

April: Global Child Nutrition Month

SNA Legislative Action Center

Legislative Toolkit

In Memory of SNA Past President Vivian Pilant

The School Nutrition Association regrets to announce that Vivian Pilant, PhD, RD, SNS, who served as SNA president in 1994-95, passed away March 29, 2010, at age 69. Dr. Pilant was the retired director of school food services for the State of South Carolina. She is survived by her husband, Tom, two daughters and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Funeral services were scheduled for Friday, April 2, in Columbia, Tenn.

Pilant’s first job in school nutrition was as director of school foodservices and nutrition education in Weakley County (Tenn.) Schools after receiving an undergraduate degree in vocational home economics from University of Tennessee-Martin. Early in her career, she joined what was then the American School Food Service Association (ASFSA). After receiving her master’s degree in institutional management (now called food systems administration) from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville in 1970 (with assistance from a scholarship from ASFSA’s School Food Service Foundation), she moved to Jacksonville, Fla., where she served as coordinator of foodservices for Duval County Schools until 1975.

National Journal Video Report Features School Meal Successes and Challenges

As legislation to reauthorize the Child Nutrition Act moves through Congress, National Journal has released a video news story featuring the financial challenges faced by school nutrition programs and their efforts to improve the quality and nutrition of school meals.

National Journal Group is a leading source of nonpartisan reporting on policy and politics. Their reports are read by decision makers and policy influencers, including Members of Congress, the Administration and their staff.
SNA members should consider sharing the video with other members of your community who need to know the importance of Child Nutrition Reauthorization to school meals programs.

To view the video and full article:

Action Alert: Support Child Nutrition Reauthorization 2010!

On March 17th, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) introduced the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, the draft Child Nutrition Reauthorization bill. SNA supports this legislation, which is a strong first step toward strengthening these programs and acknowledges the need to increase funding for school meals.

While the legislation would boost funding for the federal child nutrition programs by $450 million per year, including a performance-based 6 cent increase in the federal reimbursement rate for school lunches, additional efforts are needed to reach the $1 billion per year increase requested by President Barack Obama.

Please take a moment to send a letter to your Senators and Member of Congress, asking them to support adequate funding for the school nutrition programs. Visit the link below for a sample letter you can send.

Also, consider inviting your Senators or Member of Congress to visit your school nutrition program during Congress’ April recess, March 29 through April 9. Inviting your Congressional representatives to see your school nutrition program in action is a great way to showcase the good work you are doing and to illustrate the need for the practical changes included in Chairman Lincoln’s bill. For information and tips on hosting a cafeteria site visit, please visit the link below.

Tell Congress: Support Child Nutrition Reauthorization!
Cafeteria Site Visits 101 (pdf)

USDA to Highlight Obama Administration Efforts to Improve School Meals

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced on March 23, 2010 the USDA’s decision to hold a series of school nutrition events across the country this spring. This timely series will highlight the Obama Administration’s efforts to improve school meals while the Child Nutrition Act is still under consideration by Congress. USDA leaders will use this series to educate participants about the steps taken to reduce hunger and improve the nutrition of children in the United States. Participants will include school nutrition professionals, school officials, community and advocacy members, federal, state and local officials, as well as parents and students.

The first stop in the series will be during the week of April 5th. Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Undersecretary Dr. Janey Thornton will visit Little Rock, Arkansas. The next location for the school nutrition event will be South Carolina on April 13, 2010 by Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) Administrator Julie Paradis.

SNA will notify members as more information on USDA school nutrition events is released. To see the full list of dates and locations for the school nutrition events, please follow this link:!ut/p/_s.7_0_A/7_0_1OB?contentidonly=true&contentid=2010/03/0144.xml

Input Requested for 2011 Research and Evaluation Plan

The USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) requests stakeholder input as the Agency works to develop its Research and Evaluation Plan for 2011. This is a good opportunity to select questions you wish to have addressed related to the National School Lunch Program.

FNS has the following priorities that currently guide FNS initiatives:

  • End Childhood Hunger by 2015
  • Develop a Comprehensive National Effort to Reduce Obesity
  • Make Nutrition Education More Effective
  • Expand the Farm-Food Connection in FNS Programs
  • Continue Modernizing FNS Programs

Please send your response no later than Friday, April 23 to Include the three questions of most importance along with the associated FNS program, your name, affiliation, work e-mail and phone number.

Study Finds School Nutrition Programs Beneficial for Children’s Weight

A study published in the March 2010 issue of Health Affairs found that the federal school nutrition programs are beneficial for a child’s weight status. The study, conducted by researchers at Rice University and the University of Houston, found that participation in the federal food assistance programs can affect the BMI of young children. The study looked at participation by children ages 3-5 in 20 cities across the country. Children who participated in either the National School Lunch Program or the Child and Adult Care Food Program were more likely to have a lower BMI than children who participated in other food assistance programs. Children who live in cities with a high cost of food were especially more likely to have a higher BMI when participating in other food assistance programs. The study authors argue that expanding access to subsidized school meals may be the most effective tool in fighting childhood obesity.

This issue of Health Affairs focused on childhood obesity and steps that communities, schools, and government organizations are taking to combat the problem. Other articles included in a study on competitive food sales and the effectiveness of local school wellness policies in Pennsylvania.

Fill Your Boots with Education at ANC 2010

Hurry, the Early Bird registration deadline is fast approaching for SNA’s 2010 Annual National Conference (ANC)—April 16th! If you don’t want to miss this unique opportunity to focus on key areas of essential training and education, then get your whole team together and start making plans today to scoot your boots on down to Dallas, July 11-14, 2010.

Whether you’re a director or manager, cook or server, SNA understands that each and every member of your school nutrition team plays a part in making your operation more profitable and productive. That's why this year’s conference was designed to meet the needs of school nutrition professionals at every level by providing invaluable tools and training. You will walk away with hundreds of practical ideas, solutions and strategies to help you meet the challenges and seize the opportunities of a new school year.

To read the full article:

April: Global Child Nutrition Month

In remarks submitted to the Congressional Record, Representative Emerson thanked the GCNF and the School Nutrition Association (SNA) for “their work in increasing awareness of the problem global hunger presents and for raising funds to help feed hungry children.” She noted that both GCNF and SNA work with school nutrition professionals across the United States to educate students and teachers about childhood hunger. The Global Child Nutrition Foundation (GCNF) is pleased that Representative Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO) introduced a resolution dedicating April as Global Child Nutrition Month on March 19, 2010.

Please support Global Child Nutrition Month this April! The Change Our World Campaign is one way you can support Global Child Nutrition Month in your community. The Change Our World campaign helps to raise awareness of global hunger, while generating financial support for GCNF’s efforts to build sustainable school feeding programs. Change Our World is a vital campaign for GCNF that aims to activate the community to address child hunger and is fueled by the innovative fundraising strategies of industry, individuals and many School Nutrition Association (SNA) members. Every nickel, dime and quarter raised is an important source of funding for local and global hunger efforts.

Please visit  or contact GCNF at  if you would like to support GCNF during Global Child Nutrition Month.

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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