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Tuesday Morning - February 15, 2011

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February 15, 2011

Table of Contents

LAC Updates

Budget Presented to Congress

SNA Celebrates Let’s Move!

SNF District of Excellence Winners

FoodCorps Recruiting First Class Service

USDA’s New Publication: How to Get Food Help

Colorado State Panel Restores Breakfast Funding

Stabenow Schedules First Senate Ag Hearing

In Every Issue

SNA Legislative Action Center

Legislative Toolkit

LAC Updates

SNA is delighted to announce Former President Bill Clinton will speak on Monday, March 7 during LAC. President Clinton has been a strong advocate in child nutrition issues and is a welcome addition to our stellar program. Please check the SNA website regularly for more information as it becomes available.

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack will address LAC attendees during the closing general session on Wednesday, March 9, 2011. Almost three hours will be devoted to discussing the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (P.L. 111-296) and the recently released proposed meal pattern regulations. Secretary Vilsack will kick off the discussion and USDA staff will be present to listen to comments and answer questions in this lively and interactive exchange. SNA will also be collecting attendees’ thoughts for use in comments on the new meal pattern regulations. Please be sure to stay through this important Wednesday morning session!

For further information about this year’s exciting LAC schedule and to register, please visit http://www.schoolnutrition.org/LAC.

Budget Presented to Congress  

President Obama has presented the new 2011-2012 budget to Congress. The budget includes full funding for the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Law, as well as, proposed SNAP (food stamps) reinstatement which was previously cut. The budget also includes new funding for school breakfast expansion grants as a key part of the effort to meet the President’s goal of ending childhood hunger by 2015.

The budget will authorize Child Nutrition programs, beginning in 2012, with sufficient funding which reflects food costs and program participation. An additional $2 million is sought for USDA’s Farm to School Tactical Team. This would help cultivate a relationship between schools and local food producers. An $8 million increase is proposed for the study of school meal programs and to determine the progress made for erroneous payments. Another $8 million is also sought to study school meal costs, this study is performed every few years to determine the correct level of reimbursement.

Under section 4405 of the Farm Bill, the $5 million Hunger-Free Communities grants will continue through 2012. The focus of these projects is to prevent hunger, mainly among children, through promotion, outreach, technical assistance and demonstration projects.

This budget will improve access to healthy foods for children through the School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, as they become effective in 2012. All children will be able to benefit from the funding of healthy meal programs, especially those served free or reduced price meals.

SNA Celebrates Let’s Move!

This week, School Nutrition Association (SNA) members will join First Lady Michelle Obama in celebrating the first anniversary of her Let’s Move! campaign. As a Let’s Move! partner, SNA has been promoting healthy school meals and advancing nutrition education for America’s children.

School cafeterias nationwide are providing more fresh produce, whole grains and low fat dairy products, and they are finding unique ways to inspire kids to make healthier choices through initiatives like kids cooking competitions, school gardens and fruit and vegetable tastings.

To build on this success, SNA has bolstered education and training opportunities for school nutrition professionals to assist them in meeting Let’s Move! goals and to raise the bar for school meals and nutrition education in the school setting.

Over the last year, SNA, working in close partnership with the US Department of Agriculture, has offered or planned numerous educational sessions on topics like: meeting HealthierUS School Challenge guidelines; implementing Farm to School programs; increasing vegetable consumption; participating in the Fuel Up to Play 60 program; starting a Coordinated School Health Program; implementing cooking from scratch programs; starting school gardens; helping children make healthy choices, and more. SNA has also developed webinars on issues ranging from getting more whole grains and vegetarian options in cafeterias to reducing sodium in school meals.

“Let’s Move! has inspired the best in all of us!” said School Nutrition Association President Nancy Rice, M.Ed., RD, LD, SNS, State Director of the Georgia Department of Education, School Nutrition Division. “Let’s Move! recognizes that whether we are parents, teachers, coaches or school nutrition professionals, we are all role models for our children, and we all have a responsibility to teach kids about healthy lifestyles. School nutrition programs are working hard to give students our very best by providing more nutritious choices in the cafeteria. We look forward to continuing our work with the First Lady and with parents in communities across the nation.”

SNF District of Excellence Winners

The School Nutrition Foundation is excited to announce the December 2010 District of Excellence Award winners: Chesapeake Public Schools, VA and Miami-Dade County Public Schools, FL!

Joanne Kinsey, Director of School Nutrition Services, submitted the winning application for Chesapeake Public Schools. Penny Parham, Administrative Director of the Department of Food & Nutrition, submitted the winning application for Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Congratulations to both districts for winning this distinguished award!

The areas of achievement are derived from the School Nutrition Association’s foundation for education called Keys to Excellence encompassing four distinct areas:

  • Nutrition and nutrition education
  • Communications and marketing
  • Administration
  • Operations

Think your district has what it takes to be a District of Excellence? Applications for the spring 2011 District of Excellence Award are now being accepted. Intent to apply must be made by March 1, 2011. All applications must be submitted online by March 31, 2011.

For more information about the District of Excellence award visit: http://www.schoolnutrition.org/Content.aspx?id=2406   

 
 

FoodCorps Recruiting First Class Service

FoodCorps, a new and much anticipated national service program, recently opened applications for its first class of service members. Those selected will dedicate one year of full-time public service in school food systems – sourcing healthful local food for school cafeterias, expanding nutrition education programs, and building and tending school gardens.

“We’re on the lookout for hard-working young leaders who believe healthy food should be available to every child,” said Executive Director Curt Ellis. “Being part of FoodCorps is a chance to make that vision a reality for kids in this country—and to have fun in the process.”

FoodCorps is seeking out up to 80 young men and women with a passion for serving their country by building healthy communities.  Beginning in August 2011, service members will get their hands dirty in one of 10 states: Arizona, Arkansas, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina or Oregon

Since 1980, the rate of obesity and overweight among children has doubled. Moreover, one in four children in the US is going hungry while one in three is overweight or obese. FoodCorps sees one solution to both problems – access to healthy foods. 

Applications and more information can be found at www.foodcorps.org

USDA’s New Publication: How to Get Food Help 

USDA has produced a guide entitled How To Get Food Help. It is a clear language brochure targeted at consumers who may be new to navigating social services and assistance applications. The brochure explains all Food Nutrition Service (FNS) programs that consumers apply to directly, and it gives them basic information to identify which programs might be right for them. It also gives basic steps to get users started in the application process, as well as links and toll-free numbers for more information. How To Get Food Help could be a useful addition to your outreach strategy. 

How To Get Food Help is organized and color coded by groups of people, such as seniors (60+), school-age children, and pregnant and nursing women.  This allows consumers to self-identify for which programs they may be eligible. The brochure also covers common questions about whether or not consumers may receive benefits from multiple FNS programs or if they automatically qualify for a program if they already receive benefits from another program. 

Click here to download How To Get Food Help or visit: http://www.fns.usda.gov/cga/Publications/food_help.htm.

Colorado State Panel Restores Breakfast Funding

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) announced her first hearing has been scheduled for February 17 on the topic “Agriculture: Growing America’s Economy.” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and other witnesses will testify on agriculture’s impact on the U.S. economy.  

  
 

 
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