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Tuesday Morning - April 9, 2013

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April 9, 2013

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

Congresswoman Titus Introduces H.R. 1395, "Weekends Without Hunger Act"
Action Alert for Proposed Legislation in Senate and House
SNA Submits Comments on Proposed Competitive Foods Regulations
Representative Gwen Moore Seeking Cosigners for a Letter to the House Ag Approps Subcommittee
USDA Releases Guidance Document on Salad Bars in the National School Lunch Program
USDA Releases Guidance on the Seamless Summer Option with the National School Lunch Program
USDA Corrects Table on Income Eligibility in Child Nutrition Programs
Snapshot of Child Nutrition Programs
Agriculture Secretary Congratulates Connecticut for ‘Healthy Kids’ Work

State Policy

Maryland County Raises Prices on School Lunches
Montana Legislation Votes Down Funding of Farm to School Program
Minnesota Legislator Supports USDA Competitive Foods Rule

Reports, Webinars, and Events

First Lady Michelle Obama and Epicurious Host Second Recipe Challenge to Promote Healthy Eating Nationwide
USDA Releases Evaluation of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program

SNA Executive Team Events and Regional Meetings


Federal Policy

Congresswoman Titus Introduces H.R. 1395, "Weekends Without Hunger Act"

Congresswoman Dina Titus of Nevada has introduced H.R. 1395, the "Weekends Without Hunger Act," along with co-sponsors Reps. Marcia Fudge, Steve Cohen, John Conyers, Zoe Lofgren and Terri Sewell. The legislation would establish a five-year pilot program that provides commodities to eligible institutions, such as schools and food banks, to carry out projects that provide nutritious food to at-risk school children over the weekend and school holidays during the school year. Congresswoman Titus’s press release can be found by clicking here.

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 customizable form letter to send 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.

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, as well as information about the process SNA took to develop their comments, are available here.

Representative Gwen Moore Seeking Cosigners for a Letter to the House Ag Approps Subcommittee

Representative Moore is in support of providing the full $35 million for breakfast equipment grants in FY 2014. Current signatures include: Yvette D. Clarke, Frederica S. Wilson, Maxine Waters, John Conyers, David Cicilline, Jan Schakowsky and Tony Cardenas. She is circulating a Dear Colleague letter to gain support in providing $35 million in FY 2014 for competitive grants that help schools expand their school breakfast programs, including purchasing needed equipment.

In H.R. 933, Congress provided $10 million for the purchase of school breakfast equipment in FY 2013.

USDA Releases Guidance Document on Salad Bars in the National School Lunch Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a memorandum which supersedes the January 21, 2011, policy memo SP 02-2011, "Salad Bars in the National School Lunch Program." This revision includes updates based on the revised nutrition standards for school meals and includes questions and answers. This memorandum continues to provide state agencies with information on how salad bars can effectively be used in the service of reimbursable meals and includes information on portion size, point of service, nutrient analysis, and food safety for school meals. To read the memo in full, click here.

USDA Releases Guidance on the Seamless Summer Option with the National School Lunch Program

This memorandum consolidates the recent policy changes in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) that affect the implementation of the Seamless Summer Option (SSO). This memorandum supersedes SP-11-2009, Revised 2009 Edition of the Questions and Answers for the National School Lunch Program’s Seamless Summer Option. To read the memo in its entirety, 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.

Agriculture Secretary Congratulates Connecticut for ‘Healthy Kids’ Work

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack visited Wolcott Elementary School in West Hartford, Conn., on Friday to discuss several Department of Agriculture initiatives aimed at preventing both childhood hunger and obesity under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, representatives Joe Courtney and DeLauro, and West Hartford schools Superintendent Karen List all spoke about the importance of providing students with healthy food. Before Vilsack spoke, U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLaura congratulated him for "[renewing] the USDA's focus on the nutrition and well-being of our kids." She spoke of "the double-edged sword of hunger and obesity [that's] aimed right at our kids." To view the full story, click here.


State Policy

Maryland County Raises Prices on School Lunches

The school board in Washington County, Md., voted to raise prices on school meals for the third year in a row. The ten cent increase was due primarily to increases in food and labor costs. Prices increases will not impact schools that offer free breakfasts. More information can be found here.

Montana Legislation Votes Down Funding of Farm to School Program

A bill to promote local produce within Montana schools failed due to lack of funding. The Farm to School bill enjoyed strong support on the house floor, but once it reached the appropriation committee, legislators did not approve funding for the $300,000 grant. More information can be found here and includes information on other organizations working on providing bulk produce to local schools.

Minnesota Legislator Supports USDA Competitive Foods Rule

Kim Norton of the Minnesota House of Representatives published an editorial in support of the USDA Propose Rule on Competitive Foods. In the editorial, she praised USDA for addressing a driving force for unhealthy snacks in schools and mentioned how the rule is designed to be tailored for specific schools. Norton, who also founded the Minnesota Childhood Obesity Legislative Working Group, noted that Minnesota does not have any guidelines for competitive food sales.


Reports, Webinars, and Events

First Lady Michelle Obama and Epicurious Host Second Recipe Challenge to Promote Healthy Eating Nationwide

With the overwhelming success of the inaugural Healthy Lunchtime Challenge & Kids' "State Dinner" in 2012, First Lady Michelle Obama is again teaming up with Epicurious, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Department of Agriculture to host a nationwide recipe challenge to promote healthy eating among America's youth.

The Challenge invites parents or guardians and their children, ages 8-12, to create and submit an original lunch recipe that is healthy, affordable and tasty. Recipes can be submitted online now through May 12th at recipechallenge.epicurious.com, or via mail at "The Healthy Lunchtime Challenge c/o Epicurious.com," 1166 Avenue of the Americas, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10036. For more information and contest rules, visit recipechallenge.epicurious.com.

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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