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Tuesday Morning - April 2, 2013

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April 2, 2013

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

Action Alert for Proposed Legislation in Senate and House
House Bill Sensible School Meals Act Introduced
Senators Introduce Legislation to Eliminate Weekly Maximums on Grains and Meat and Meat Alternates
SNA Submits Comments on Proposed Competitive Foods Regulations
Congresswoman Titus Introduces Weekends Without Hunger Act
USDA Corrects Table on Income Eligibility in Child Nutrition Programs
Snapshot of Child Nutrition Programs

State Policy

West Virginia Senate Bill Looks to Provide Universal Meals in Schools
Illinois School Looks to Expand School Lunch Period

Reports, Webinars, and Events

New Share Our Strength Analysis Shows Impact of School Breakfast on Academic Achievement
USDA Releases Evaluation of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program

SNA Executive Team Events and Regional Meetings


Federal Policy

Action Alert for Proposed Legislation in Senate and House

Please help us in providing healthy school meals each day. Contact your Senators and Member of Congress and ask them to co-sponsor S. 427 H.R. 1303. For a form letter to your House Members and Senators, visit http://capwiz.com/asfsa/issues/alert/?alertid=62541546. Read the stories below for more background on the introduced legislation.

House Bill Sensible School Meals Act Introduced

Members of Congress Steve Stivers (R-OH), Marcia Fudge (D-OH), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Frederica Wilson (D-FL), Larry Bucshon (R-IN), Bob Gibbs (R-OH), Trent Franks (R-AZ), Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM), Rodney Davis (R-IL), and Patrick Tiberi (R-OH) have introduced a bill that will makes the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) revisions to grains and protein permanent similar to the Senate Bill. The House Bill also includes an amendment allowing local schools to set the price for a "paid" meal where the program is well managed. Ask your Members of Congress to add their name this week to this important sign-on letter, before the recess. The sign-on letter is endorsed by SNA and came about during conversations that happened during LAC 2013. Click here for the sign-on letter to share with your House member.

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

Recently, Senators John Hoeven (R-ND), Dan Coats (R-IN), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), James Inhofe (R-OK), Tim Johnson (D-SD), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Pat Roberts (R-KS), John Thune (R-SD), and Roger Wicker (R-MS) 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. The SNA Executive Team participated in a press conference with Senators Hoeven and Pryor on March 6 at the U.S. Capitol. The full text of the legislation can be found here

SNA Submits Comments on Proposed Competitive Foods Regulations

The proposed regulations govern items sold in school a la carte lines, vending machines and snack bars during the school day, excluding food brought from home, served in classroom parties, sold through occasional fundraisers, or at after school events. SNA’s comments are available here. SNA is also holding a “Competitive Foods Sweepstakes” to encourage SNA members to submit their own comments to USDA sharing insight on how the proposed rule will impact your program. Two randomly selected SNA members will win a trip for two to SNA’s 2014 Legislative Action Conference (LAC) in Washington, D.C., with winners enjoying free registration, hotel stay and flights, as well as recognition. For more information on the sweepstakes, click here. To submit your own comments to USDA, visit regulations.gov.

Congresswoman Titus Introduces Weekends Without Hunger Act

Congresswoman Dina Titus of Nevada’s First District announced today that she has introduced the Weekends Without Hunger Act, legislation to help prevent high-risk children from going hungry when they are not in school. Titus joined Brian Burton, President and CEO of Three Square, and Chef Rick Moonen, Chef/Owner of Rick Moonen’s RM Seafood and one of Bravo’s Top Chef Masters, at the Boys and Girls Club of Las Vegas to highlight the importance of the bill. To read more about the bill, click here.

USDA Corrects Table on Income Eligibility in Child Nutrition Programs

USDA has released a correction to income eligibility guidelines in child nutrition programs. In notice document 2013-6544 appearing on pages 17628-17631 in the issue of March 22, 2013, here is the corrected table. The guidelines are used by schools, institutions and facilities participating in the National School Lunch Program (and Commodity School Program), School Breakfast Program, Special Milk Program for Children, Child and Adult Care Food Program and Summer Food Service Program. The annual adjustments are required by Section 9 of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act. The guidelines are intended to direct benefits to those children most in need and are revised annually to account for changes in the Consumer Price Index. Click here to read the notice.

Snapshot of Child Nutrition Programs

Under current law, total funding for child nutrition programs will grow from $20 billion in 2013 to $29 billion in 2023, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects. That rise largely reflects projected increases in food prices and thus the cost per meal, although the number of meals served by those programs is also expected to grow. The School Breakfast Program is projected to see the fastest growth, because CBO expects that more schools will participate and will implement policies that make it easier for eligible children to take part in the program. Click here for more information.


State Policy

West Virginia Senate Bill Looks to Provide Universal Meals in Schools

A bill introduced and passed last week looks to provide universal free meals for both lunch and breakfast in West Virginia schools. The West Virginia Senate unanimously passed the legislation that would allow the state’s Department of Education and county school boards to set up nonprofit foundations to raise money to help fund the free breakfast and lunch programs. The nonprofit foundations established under the “Feed to Achieve” program must use donations strictly to fund meals. None of the money could be spent on administrative or personnel costs. County school boards would establish "public/private partnerships" to provide free meals for all students in pre-kindergarten through the 12th grade. Businesses and individuals would donate money to support the universal free-meal program.

Illinois School Looks to Expand School Lunch Period

A district in Illinois is looking to expand the time for school lunch to 48 minutes. The longer lunch period would allow them to get help with homework, complete tests, participate in study groups, meet with guidance counselors or take part in study-skills sessions, officials said. The extended period would also ease the workload for school cafeteria workers. Click here for more information.


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.

USDA Releases Evaluation of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program

USDA has released a summary of results of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program which aims to increase fruit and vegetable consumption among students in the nation’s poorest elementary schools by providing free fresh fruits and vegetables to students outside of regular school meals. The report found that students participating in the program consumed more fruits and vegetables than nonparticipating students. To read more about the summary, click here.


SNA Executive Team Events and Regional Meetings

April 2-6, 2013, Florida State Conference, Orlando, FL
April 8-10, 2013, American Commodity Distribution Association's Annual National Conference, Nashville, TN
April 11-13, 2013, Georgia State Conference, Savannah, GA
April 15-20, 2013, National Leadership Conference, Savannah, GA
April 26-27, 2013, Kids Healthy Recipe Challenge, Baltimore, MD


 
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