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Tuesday Morning - April 27, 2010

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April 27, 2010

Table of Contents

SNA Commends Military Leaders for Supporting Increased Funds for School MealsHouse Agriculture Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Access to Federal Nutrition Programs

USDA Child Nutrition Officials Plan Visits across the United States

Support the Healthy Start Act

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

Tell Congress: Support Increased Funding for Child Nutrition Programs!

States Take a Hard Look at School Nutrition Funding

April is Global Child Nutrition Month. Participate! It’s Not Too Late

USDA Calls for Comments on Geographic Preference Option for School Nutrition Procurement

USDA and HHS Announce Sixth and Final Meeting of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee

School Programs USDA Foods Update Newsletter

The Future of Grains in Schools: Tipping the Scales toward a Healthier Food Supply

  

SNA Legislative Action Center

Legislative Toolkit

SNA Commends Military Leaders for Supporting Increased Funds for School Meals

School Nutrition Association (SNA) commends a group of decorated military leaders, Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack for their support for increased funding for school nutrition programs.

As a first step in addressing the childhood obesity crisis, the retired military leaders are calling on Congress to:
• Support the Administration’s proposal of an increase of $1 billion per year for ten years for child nutrition programs that would improve nutrition standards, upgrade the quality of meals served in schools and enable more children to have access to these programs;
• Allow the Secretary of Agriculture to adopt the Institute of Medicine standards for what foods and beverages can be served or marketed in schools; and
• Help develop new school-based strategies, based on research, that help parents and children adopt healthier life-long eating and exercise habits.

SNA’s Press Release

Military Leaders Issue Report Calling for Strong School Nutrition Programs

USDA Child Nutrition Officials Plan Visits Across the United States

USDA officials are visiting communities across the United States to talk about the Department’s initiatives to improve the health and nutrition of the nation’s children. USDA Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services Kevin Concannon, recently celebrated the 5th anniversary of Riverside Unified School District’s Farmers’ Market Salad Bar Program in Riverside, California. Since the inception of the program, lunch participation has increased from 47 to 65 percent, ensuring that more students are accessing healthy foods. Additionally, students are educated by a registered dietician about the health benefits of eating fruits and vegetables. USDA’s Farm to School Team will visit Riverside Unified School District to learn about the obstacles, benefits of activities, and the relationship between growers and the school district.
http://www.letsmove.gov/blog/blog20100421_1.html

USDA Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services Deputy Under Secretary Janey Thornton addressed local and state nutrition officials at Central Avenue Elementary School in Kissimmee, Florida on April 22. Thornton emphasized at the roundtable discussion the necessity of renewing the Child Nutrition Act and encouraged a strong reauthorization bill in order to improve the health and nutrition of children in the United States, while reducing hunger.

http://tinyurl.com/2axgnve

USDA's ’Food and Nutrition Service Deputy Administrator for Special Nutrition Programs, Audrey Rowe, visited Reynaldo Martinez Elementary School in the Clark County School District in Las Vegas, Nevada on Monday, April 26, 2010. She met with school officials to discuss the Obama Administration’s priorities for improving the health of children across the United States and the school meals they are consuming. Rowe observed the school’s afterschool meal program as well. Through the USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), Nevada is authorized to serve meals in afterschool programs, such as the one at Martinez Elementary. The USDA visits are supported by the First Lady’s Let’s Move initiative. To learn more about the initiative, visit www.LetsMove.gov.

 

Support the Healthy Start Act

In March, Representative Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-S.D.) introduced the Healthy Start Act (H.R. 4638).  This bipartisan bill would help to increase access to and participation in the School Breakfast Program by providing 5 cents in breakfast commodity assistance.  Currently, the school nutrition programs do not receive commodity assistance for the school breakfasts they serve.  The School Nutrition Association, along with the American Commodity Distribution Association, supports this bill.
 
Please take a moment to contact your Member of Congress and ask them to support H.R. 4638.  Please click on the link below for a sample letter you can send to your Member of Congress.

Support the Healthy Start Act

Tell Congress: Support Increased Funding for Child Nutrition Programs!

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 cents 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.
 
Representative Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) and Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.) are asking Members of Congress to sign onto a letter encouraging Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to identify potential funding to meet the President's $1 billion per year request. Please take a moment to contact your Member of Congress and ask them to sign onto this important letter. The deadline has been extended to April 30. SNA is coordinating with its members on this initiative. Click on the following link for an action alert with a suggested letter you can send to your Member of Congress.

http://www.schoolnutrition.org/Blog.aspx?id=13892&blogid=622

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. Games and tools are to be created using a USDA nutrition dataset made available to the public through the Open Government Initiative. The dataset provides total calories, calories from “extras” (including solid fats and added sugars), and MyPyramid food groups for over 1,000 commonly eaten foods. 

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.

Be sure to spread the word about this competition and let the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion know what you are doing.  Your efforts may be highlighted in the MyPyramid e-Post.

For more information on how you can get involved and to sign on as a supporter, be sure to visit www.AppsforHealthyKids.com

States Take a Hard Look at School Nutrition Funding

New Jersey school nutrition programs took a significant funding cut last week.  To solve a deepening budget crisis, the state cut a 10 cent per meal subsidy for school breakfast and announced that it will no longer provide funding for private and parochial schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program.  By cutting the school breakfast subsidy, the state estimates that it will save approximately $3 million.  The programs will still be funded through federal reimbursements.

State funds to school nutrition programs have become a target this year as many states look to solve their growing budget problems.  In Colorado, Connecticut and Wyoming, state legislatures have threatened to cut school nutrition program funding. In Ohio, school breakfast appropriations were cut from the 2010 state budget.

April is Global Child Nutrition Month. Participate! It’s Not Too Late.

Do you want to do something creative during Global Child Nutrition Month, but worry because you have not started a campaign yet? The Global Child Nutrition Foundation (GCNF) has good news for you! GCNF encourages year-round campaigns aimed at increasing awareness of global hunger and raising essential funds to support sustainable school feeding programs. April is simply a great month to begin your efforts to Change Our World.

Schools have the power to raise awareness and funds to support anti-hunger initiatives. GCNF has prepared a list of “Top 10 Fundraising Ideas for Schools to Change Our World,” which you can view here (pdf). Please tell us what you are doing in your district to support global school feeding programs. Submit your fundraising stories to GCNF at gcnf@schoolnutrition.org. We would love to hear from you!
http://www.schoolnutrition.org/Blog.aspx?id=13938&blogid=622


USDA Calls for Comments on Geographic Preference Option for School Nutrition Procurement

The USDA’s Food and Nutrition Services has proposed a rule to address the geographic preference option for the procurement of unprocessed agricultural products in child nutrition programs. This rule was published in the Federal Register on Monday April, 10, 2010 as a Proposed Rule. Comments are due to USDA on June 14. SNA would appreciate your input on this proposed rule as it formulates the Association’s comments. Please provide your thoughts to Cathy Schuchart at cschuchart@schoolnutrition.org by close of business May 7.

http://www.fns.usda.gov/cga/Federal-Register/2010/04-19-10_CN.pdf

USDA and HHS Announce Sixth and Final Meeting of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee

 
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the final meeting of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Committee (DGAC) to be held on May 12, 2010. The meeting will be held via webinar format and there will not be an opportunity for public comments during the meeting. Therefore, USDA and HHS request that comments relevant to the work of the DGAC be received prior to the meeting. Comments must be received no later than April 29, 2010. The draft report, as well as the draft agenda for the meeting will be made available at http://www.DietaryGuidelines.gov prior to the meeting. In addition, the previous link should be used to register for the webinar. Because capacity is limited, it is important to register as soon as possible.

School Programs USDA Foods Update Newsletter


USDA recently announced the end of school year edition of the School Programs USDA Foods Update Newsletter. USDA has provided links to the most recent School Programs Commodity Update newsletters that are published by the FNS Food Distribution Division. An updated newsletter will be posted soon.  To review past issues, please visit the link below.

The link to the Web site is http://www.fns.usda.gov/fdd/news/schupdates.htm


The Future of Grains in Schools: Tipping the Scales toward a Healthier Food Supply


Approximately 200 experts and meeting participants from government, industry, academia, and health organizations will meet in Minneapolis from June 2-3, 2010 for a discussion centered on the future of grains in the school food supply. A gradual modification of the grain food supply chain related to school meals can be integrated into the attack on childhood obesity. Keynote speakers include: Dr. Virginia Stallings, Chair of the Institute of Medicine Committee that wrote School Meals: Building Blocks for Healthy Children and Dr. William Dietz, Director of the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity at the CDC. Registration is open.
Register Here: https://interactive.aaccnet.org/source/Meetings/cMeetingProcessSearch.cfm

 

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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