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Tuesday Morning - March 12, 2013

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March 12, 2013

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

Senators Introduce Legislation to Eliminate Weekly Maximums on Grains and Meat and Meat Alternates
SNA Accepting Online Comments for Competitive Foods Task Force
SNA’s 41st Annual Legislative Action Conference Highlights
USDA FNS Releases Final Rule on Child Nutrition Programs
USDA Announces One Year Extension of Flexibility for Grains and Proteins

State Policy

Arkansas Senate Passes Bill Expanding Breakfast Program
Oregon Legislature Holds Hearing on Farm to School Program
Connecticut Governor Pushes for Expanding Breakfast in the Classroom
Michigan State Education Superintendent Issues Challenge on School Breakfast

Reports, Webinars, and Events

New Share Our Strength Analysis Shows Impact of School Breakfast on Academic Achievement

SNA Executive Team Events and Regional Meetings


Federal Policy

Senators Introduce Legislation to Eliminate Weekly Maximums on Grains and Meat and Meat Alternates

Recently, Senators John Hoeven (R-ND), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Jerry Moran (R-KS), James Inhofe (R-OK), John Thune (R-SD), Dan Coats (R-IN), and Pat Roberts (R-KS) introduced S. 427, the “Sensible School Lunch Act,” which would amend the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) by eliminating the weekly maximums for grains and meat/meat alternates. SNA staff worked with Senator Hoeven’s staff on drafting the legislation which would permanently resolve the first point on SNA’s 2013 Legislative Issue Paper. It is expected that a House companion bill will be introduced in the coming weeks. Senator Hoeven was one of the speakers at the Closing General Session at SNA’s Legislative Action Conference (LAC) last week. Additionally, on March 6th, the SNA Executive Team participated in a press conference with Senators Hoeven and Pryor at the U.S. Capitol.

SNA Accepting Online Comments for Competitive Foods Task Force

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently released a proposed rule to develop a national policy on the sale of competitive foods in schools. Click here to read the USDA press release, or you can read SNA’s press release here. To view the full text of the proposed rule, click here.

On February 21-22, 2013, the Competitive Foods Task Force met to begin drafting SNA’s comments on the Competitive Foods Proposed Rule. The Task Force is soliciting input from the SNA membership to ensure that the Association’s comments are reflective of the membership’s concerns. In an effort to collect as much input as possible, SNA has set up a web form for easy submission of comments. To access the form, click here or visit the Competitive Foods section of SchoolNutrition.org.

SNA’s 41st Annual Legislative Action Conference Highlights

More than 900 school nutrition professionals gathered in Washington, D.C., last week for SNA’s 41st annual Legislative Action Conference (LAC). In addition to the annual Charge to the Hill, the program featured an exciting line up of speakers and breakout sessions and the first ever Capitol Hill Reception. To read all about this year’s conference, click here. Many of the session presentations have already been posted on the SNA website and can be easily accessed here.

USDA FNS Release Final Rule on Child Nutrition Programs

This final rule implements several nondiscretionary provisions of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, including those related to categorical eligibility for foster children, removal of limits on private nonprofit sponsors, outreach to eligible families, simplification of area eligibility for day care homes, application of school food safety requirements, and permanent agreements for institutions and sponsors. These provisions will make it easier for children to get nutritious meals when they are away from home, while requiring state and local agencies to make relatively minor changes in the procedures they use to operate the National School Lunch Program, Special Milk Program, School Breakfast Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program, and Summer Food Service Program. This rule is effective April 1, 2013. To read the rule in its entirety, click here.

USDA Announces One Year Extension of Flexibility for Grains and Proteins

On February 25, 2013, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a one-year extension of the flexibility on meeting the weekly requirements for grains and meat/meat alternates through School Year (SY) 2013-14. This extension applies to both breakfast and lunch and states that schools must only meet the weekly minimum through SY 2013-14. USDA stated that they received a strong amount of feedback showing that the flexibility for this school year better allowed SFAs to create healthy nutritious meals while maintaining the integrity of the objectives of the meal pattern guidelines. USDA is open to the idea of a further extension in the future. Making the flexibility permanent is the first point of the SNA’s 2013 Legislative Issue Paper. SNA is pleased to see the one-year extension, but the Association remains committed to achieving a permanent elimination of the weekly limits on grains and meat/meat alternates served in the National School Lunch Program. The entire USDA memo can be found here.


State Policy

Arkansas Senate Passes Bill Expanding Breakfast Program

The Arkansas Senate passed legislation that would provide $1 million to expand the breakfast in the classroom program. The bill passed unanimously and now waits votes in the Senate. An article on the bill can be found here and more information on the language and votes can be found on the Arkansas General Assembly website.

Oregon Legislature Holds Hearing on Farm to School Program

The Oregon House Agriculture Committee recently held a hearing on expanding the Farm to School Program via a $5 million grant for two years. The bill was lauded as an excellent economic stimulator, creating upwards of 65 jobs, and paving the way for innovative partnerships between school districts and farmers to feed children healthy foods grown right within their home state. The bill received universal support from legislatures, food producers and processors, and school officials. More information can be found here.

Connecticut Governor Pushes for Expanding Breakfast in the Classroom

Governor Malloy recently pushed for expanding breakfast in the classroom through the State of Connecticut. While 64% of Connecticut schools do provide the service, the Governor’s office recently sent letters to all schools asking them to start up a program as schools are able to access federal funds to cover food costs. Schools were also encouraged to look at grants and other funding sources to cover the start-up costs of any program. More information can be found here.

Michigan State Education Superintendent Issues Challenge on School Breakfast

As part of National School Breakfast Week, State Education Superintendent Mike Flanagan is issuing a new challenge to Michigan schools to get more children a healthy breakfast every day. Flanagan announced the "First Fuel For School" challenge this week as part of National School Breakfast Week. The goal is for at least 60 percent of students in every Michigan school who get a federally reimbursable school lunch to also receive a school breakfast. Last year only about half of the students who qualified for free and reduced priced lunches also received a school breakfast.


Reports, Webinars, and Events

New Share Our Strength Analysis Shows Impact of School Breakfast on Academic Achievement

Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign has released a new analysis demonstrating the positive potential impact that school breakfast has on the academic, health and economic futures of America’s students. The study, developed in collaboration with Deloitte, finds that on average, students who eat school breakfast have the potential to achieve 17.5% higher scores on standardized math tests and attend 1.5 more days of school each year. Research also shows students who attend class more regularly are potentially 20% more likely to graduate from high school, and high school graduates typically earn $10,090 more a year while enjoying a 4% higher employment rate.

For complete details and an interactive map highlighting the benefits of school breakfast at the state and local levels, visit www.NoKidHungry.org/Breakfast.


SNA Executive Team Events and Regional Meetings

March 15-16, 2013, Oregon State Conference, Salem, OR
March 18-19, 2013, NFSMI Major City Training Symposium, Oxford, MS
March 21-24, 2013, Virginia State Conference, Virginia Beach, VA
March 22-24, 2013, West Virginia State Conference, Roanoke, WV


 
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