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Tuesday Morning - September 25, 2012

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September 25, 2012

Table of Contents

SNA Leaders Meet with USDA Officials on Meal Pattern Challenges

Congressman King Introduces No Kid Hungry Bill

F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future 2012 Released

USDA FNS is Seeking Comments - Request for Information: Research on the Causes, Characteristics, and Consequences of Childhood Hunger and Food Insecurity

USDA FNS is Seeking Comments - Independent Review of Applications Required by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010

National Farm to School Month

National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month Proclamation

SNF Webinar Wednesdays Archive: “Back to School with the New Meal Pattern – Commonly Asked Questions and Answers”

Pew and the National PTA Virtual Back to School Night

USDA Launches The School Day Just Got Healthier

USDA Announced Support for Schools in Meeting New School Meal Requirements

USDA: “Together We Can” Feed Kids During the Summer

Resources on SNA’s Meal Pattern Web Page

In Every Issue

SNA Legislative Action Center

Legislative Toolkit

SNA Leaders Meet with USDA Officials on Meal Pattern Challenges

Today, SNA leaders met with representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to discuss the implementation of the new nutrition standards and to share input from SNA members, including successes, suggestions and creative ideas for overcoming challenges of the new meal pattern regulation. Background information was gathered from an SNA web article created to gather more information about the challenges facing SNA members as the implementation phase began this school year.

In just one week, more than 85 comments were received. Highlights of those comments included: Challenges meeting calorie minimums and maximums; grain and protein restrictions and their impact on calorie totals; fruit and vegetable acceptance and plate waste; highly athletic students being hungry; students from food insecure households being hungry; challenges with procurement and existing excess inventory; increased costs; and drastic drops in participation.

SNA has vowed to maintain the dialogue with USDA and encourages SNA members to continue to share their comments on the article.

Those attending the meeting from SNA included: SNA President Sandra Ford, SNA CEO Frank DiPasquale, SNA Industry Representative Gary Vonck, Montgomery County Maryland Food Director Marla Caplon, and SNA Vice President of Child Nutrition & Policy Cathy Schuchart. Those participating on behalf of USDA included: Under Secretary Kevin Concannon, Chief of Staff Dan Christensen, Associate Administrator Tim O’Connor, Child Nutrition Division Director Cindy Long, and Brenda Lisi and Laura Griffin, who are two Special Assistants to the Deputy Under Secretary and Administrator, respectively.

USDA FNS has released a revised Questions and Answers earlier this month. The Q&A now includes a table of contents and is organized topically, among other revisions.

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Congressman King Introduces No Kid Hungry Bill

On September 14, 2012, Representative Steve King (R-IA) introduced a bill (H.R. 6418) with the goals of repealing the meal pattern rule and amends the Richard B. Russell Act to prohibit the imposition of calorie maximums. The legislation, “No Hungry Kids Act,” has one cosponsor. To read the text of the bill, click here.

F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future 2012 Released

Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future 2012, earlier this month. The report finds that the number of obese adults, along with related disease rates and health care costs, are on course to increase dramatically in every state in the country over the next 20 years. For the first time, the annual report includes an analysis that forecasts 2030 adult obesity rates in each state and the likely resulting rise in obesity-related disease rates and health care costs. The report recommendations include: Fully implement the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, by implementing the new school meal standards and updating nutrition standards for snack foods and beverages in schools; Make physical education and physical activity a priority in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act; Finalize the Interagency Working Group on Food Marketed to Children Guidelines; and, Fully support healthy nutrition in federal food programs; among other recommendations. Visit http://healthyamericans.org/report/100/ to find the press release and report.

USDA FNS is Seeking Comments - Request for Information: Research on the Causes, Characteristics, and Consequences of Childhood Hunger and Food Insecurity

Section 141 of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 provides $10 million to USDA for research on the causes, characteristics and consequences of childhood hunger and food insecurity. This notice announces a request for public comments to assist the Food and Nutrition Service in determining how best to focus these funds on areas and methods with the greatest research potential to maximize the return on this investment.

To read the federal register notice in full, click here. SNA would like to submit comments based on members’ experiences with hunger in school children. Please review the notice and share your comments with Cathy Schuchart, SNA Staff Vice President of Child Nutrition & Policy, at cschuchart@schoolnutrition.org by October 1, 2012.

USDA FNS is Seeking Comments - Independent Review of Applications Required by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010

In accordance with Section 304 of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, a proposed rule was released which would require local education agencies participating in the National School Lunch Program and demonstrating high levels of, or a high risk for administrative error associated with certification, verification, and other administrative processes to conduct an independent review of the initial eligibility determinations for free and reduced price school meals for accuracy prior to notifying households of eligibility or ineligibility.

This proposed rule is expected to reduce administrative errors in eligibility. To read the full posting, click here. Please review the notice and share your comments with Cathy Schuchart, SNA Staff Vice President of Child Nutrition & Policy, at cschuchart@schoolnutrition.org by October 30, 2012.

National Farm to School Month

October is National Farm to School Month, a time to celebrate the connections that are happening all over the country between schools and local food. For resources and tools regarding Farm to School Month, visit www.farmtoschoolmonth.org/resources.

National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month Proclamation

On August 31, 2012, President Obama released a proclamation declaring September 2012 as National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month to rededicate the country to the critical nature of childhood obesity. In the proclamation, President Obama recognizes the First Lady’s work with the Let’s Move! initiative, as well as the 4,000 schools that have met the HealthierUS School Challenge. To read the proclamation, click here.

SNF Webinar Wednesdays Archive: “Back to School with the New Meal Pattern – Commonly Asked Questions and Answers”

The School Nutrition Foundation (SNF) hosted a webinar on Wednesday, September 12, entitled: “Back to School with the New Meal Pattern – Commonly Asked Questions and Answers." The webinar provided further opportunity to explore the questions and concerns members have in order to implement the new meal pattern successfully. To access the archive of the presentation and audio, click here.

Pew and the National PTA Virtual Back to School Night

Did you miss the National PTA and the Pew Kids' Safe and Healthful Foods Project for Virtual Back to School Night? The event was organized to share information about the new school lunch with parents. National PTA President Betsy Landers, White House Chef Sam Kass, the Kids' Safe and Healthful Foods Project and USDA, were all part of the live discussion about the exciting new meals in school cafeterias. The webcast is available here. SNA staff attended the event at Pew’s office to live tweet from @schoollunch. To follow us on Twitter, visit www.twitter.com/schoollunch.

USDA Launches The School Day Just Got Healthier

USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) recently launched a back to school campaign to help raise awareness about the changes to school meals. The toolkit is a collection of resources including brochures, fact sheets, FAQs, fliers, school lessons, templates and much more, to help prepare everyone for the changes to school meals this school year. For more information, as well as resources that you can use to promote the initiative, visit the Healthier School Day website.

USDA Announced Support for Schools in Meeting New School Meal Requirements

On September 13, 2012, Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan and Agriculture Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Janey Thornton, PhD, SNS, hosted a media conference call to announce new grants to support schools as they strive to serve healthy food, provide nutrition education, and create an environment focused on healthy eating and physical activity. For more information, click here.

USDA: “Together We Can” Feed Kids During the Summer

USDA’s “Together We Can” Partnership Series for community and faith-based organizations webinar program shares opportunities to collaborate with USDA to help those in need in your community. These sessions will be available via Microsoft Office LiveMeeting (Webinar) and are free of charge for all participants. You will need access to a phone line and a computer with internet access to participate. Please note that you must register for the webinar to receive additional information. To learn more about the series or to register, click here.

Webinar Schedule:

  • Wednesday, September 26th (2:00 pm EDT): Together We Can Feed Kids After School
  • Wednesday, October 31st (2:00 pm EDT): Together We Can Build our Partnership: More Opportunities to work with USDA

Resources on SNA’s Meal Pattern Web Page

You can download helpful resources and tools to navigate the new meal pattern at www.schoolnutrition.org/mealpattern. This includes USDA memos, the revised Meal Pattern Implementation Guide, executive summaries from SNA’s Annual National Conference, press release templates and more!

SNA Executive Team and Regional Director State Visits for September

September 7-13, NFSMI Annual National Advisory Council Meeting, Oxford, MS
September 18, NAFEM’s End-User Allied Leadership Summit, Chicago, IL
September 18-19, Nutrition & Physical Activity Learning Connection Summit, Arlington, VA
September 27-29, Arizona State Conference, Glendale, AZ
September 28-29, Colorado State Conference, Colorado Springs, CO


 
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