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Tuesday Morning - January 25, 2011

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January 25, 2011

Table of Contents

Summer Food Service Programs

Introducing SNA’s New District Profiles

“What You Need to Know about Summer Food” Webinar

Alliance for a Healthier Generation Announces New School Meals Options

Wal-Mart Teams Up with the First Lady

Vilsack to Speak at LAC Closing Session

New Tray Talk Story Answers Questions about Meal Pattern Regulations

HR 207: School Food Recovery Act

In Every Issue

SNA Legislative Action Center

Legislative Toolkit

Summer Food Service Programs

In accordance with the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2010, the Secretary of Agriculture is to carry out demonstration projects to develop and test methods of providing access to food for children in urban and rural areas during the summer months when schools are not in regular session as to reduce or eliminate food insecurity and hunger, and improve the nutritional status of children.

The USDA has established the Home Delivery Demonstration and the Food Backpack Demonstration, to aid in hunger reduction among children over the summer months. The Home Delivery Demonstration will offer breakfast and lunch delivery to the homes of eligible children in rural areas. This demonstration will only operate in rural areas and only children identified by school districts as eligible for free and reduced-price school meals will be eligible to participate. The Food Backpack Demonstration is available to children 18 and under who are eligible to receive weekend and holiday meals during the regular school year. These two programs are to be evaluated by independent researchers to determine their effectiveness. This evaluation is intended to provide policymakers with clear, rigorous and timely findings to make decisions about potential changes to Federal summer feeding programs.

A lack of nutrition during the summer months may set up a cycle for poor performance once the new school year begins. Hunger may also make children more susceptible to illness and other health issues.

To learn more about SFSP, please visit: http://www.summerfood.usda.gov/

Introducing SNA’s New District Profiles  

The School Nutrition Association is pleased to announce the release of the District Profiles Database:  Profiles of School Nutrition Programs at Your Fingertips.  Over the course of the past year, SNA has been collecting school nutrition profiles from programs across the country. These profiles include information on: 

  • Programs Operated
  • District Demographics
  • Meal Prices
  • Participation
  • Menu Planning Methods
  • Purchasing 

This database can help school nutrition programs benchmark their programs and connect with districts that have similar characteristics.  

School nutrition programs can gain access to this exciting new resource by simply providing a school nutrition profile of their program.  Other SNA members can gain access by purchasing a yearly subscription.  A subscription for the introductory year cost only $199. 

Visit www.schoolnutrition.org/districtprofiles to learn more, subscribe, and submit a school nutrition profile. 

“What You Need to Know about Summer Food” Webinar

On Thursday, January 27 from 1-2 PM EST, FRAC will host a webinar entitled “What You Need to Know about Summer Food”. This webinar will discuss the improvements that have been made to Summer Food through the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. Speakers also will explore how the changes can be used to help increase the number of children served and the number of programs participating. The webinar is being co-sponsored by the Afterschool Alliance, the National Recreation and Park Association, National Summer Learning Association, and the YMCA.

To register, go to: https://frac.peachnewmedia.com/store/seminar/seminar.php?seminar=6865

Alliance for a Healthier Generation Announces New School Meals Options

Thirteen leading school meals manufacturers, group purchasing organizations and technology companies will join forces with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation to make school meals healthier. The new program will reach more than 30 million students – nearly half of whom receive free or reduced price meals. 

AdvancePierre Foods, Domino’s Pizza, JTM Food Group, McCain Foods USA, Rich Products Corporation, Schwan’s Food Service, Trident Seafoods, HPS, Premier Healthcare Alliance, Summa/Provista, Interflex, Dole Food Company, Inc., and the National Turkey Federation have joined the effort to combat childhood obesity by agreeing to increase the availability of products that can lead to healthy schools meals. Participants of the original agreements brokered by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, founded by the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation, have agreed to develop, market and competitively price products that will lead to healthier school meal options; streamline the ordering process; and make identifying healthy options easier. Additionally, prices for these new products are not allowed to cost more than their less healthy counterparts. The Alliance agreement helps minimize obstacles districts could face in serving healthier school meals, and will increase schools’ capacity to meet the updated USDA standards.

To learn more about the Alliance, visit: www.HealthierGeneration.org  

 
 

Wal-Mart Teams Up with the First Lady

Wal-Mart has announced that it is creating a five-year plan to make thousands of its Great Value packaged foods lower in salt, trans fats and added sugars, and will drop prices on fresh fruits and vegetables. The initiative came about through discussions with Michelle Obama. This is the first time a single company has been targeted in the First Lady’s campaign for healthier living. The process will follow a five-year plan to steadily lower sodium content by 25% and added sugars by 10% so consumers are not turned off by the changes. 

In addition to these changes, Wal-Mart will work to eliminate any extra cost to customers for healthy foods made with whole grains, said Leslie Dach, Wal-Mart’s executive vice president for corporate affairs. By lowering prices on fresh fruits and vegetables, Wal-Mart says it will cut into its own profits but hopes to make up for it in sales volume. “This is not about asking the farmers to accept less for their crops,” he said.  

Wal-Mart is not leading the pack in these voluntary changes, however, other companies, like ConAgra, have also pledged to reduce sodium content by 20% over the next four years. The main difference between Wal-Mart and other companies though is Wal-Mart sells more groceries than any other chain in the nation. Some nutrition experts say that this fact alone gives the super store nearly the same power as the FDA in pushing other organizations to create lower-priced, healthy options.

Vilsack to Speak at LAC Closing Session 

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack will be speaking at the LAC Closing General Session on Wednesday, March 9 at 7:30AM. The topic will be “The Realities and Implication of the new Child Nutrition law and the New Meal Pattern Requirements”. Tom Vilsack was appointed by President Obama as the 30th Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and sworn into office on January 21, 2009. Under Vilsack's leadership, USDA is working to improve the health of America's children, targeting child hunger and obesity with efforts to encourage balanced meals, nutritious eating and increased physical activity.

New Tray Talk Story Answers Questions about Meal Pattern Regulations

Do your parents have questions about the recently released proposed meal pattern regulations?  Tray Talk attempts to answer their questions in this month’s News on the Tray post.  The story discusses what is included in the meal pattern regulations.  The article also discusses how the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act (Public Law 111-296) will affect school nutrition programs, including setting nutrition guidelines for competitive foods.   

 

Also new to Tray Talk this month is a new success story from the Jefferson County School District in Kentucky.  The Jefferson County School District, which includes Louisville, is incorporating locally grown foods such as fresh strawberries, watermelon, asparagus, apples and zucchini, into school menus.  The district vacuum packs and freezes their locally grown produce so that it can be used in school meals year round.  Twenty new school gardens are also planned for next year, to teach students about agriculture and nutrition.

To read these articles, please visit www.TrayTalk.org.  

 

 
 
 

 
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