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Tuesday Morning - July 30, 2013

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July 30, 2013

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

USDA Announces Annual Adjustments to the National Rates for School Lunch and Breakfast
Deputy Under Secretary for USDA's Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, Dr. Janey Thornton Makes Important Announcement at ANC
USDA Memo – Certification of Compliance with New Meal Patterns
Farm Bill Update: Farm Bill on Hold While House Tries Again on Food Stamp Cuts
Upcoming Regulatory Actions to Expect
Representative Rodney Davis Mentions the School Lunch Program on the House Floor
SNA and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation Release Breakfast Materials
Competitive Foods Update: Interim Final Rule Published
Action Alert for Proposed Legislation in Senate and House

State Policy

Indiana State Audit Shows High Rate of Fraud in School Program
California Schools Adjust to New State and Federal Rules on Providing Water

Reports, Webinars, and Events

Opportunity to Submit Nominations for Nutrients of Interest for Dietary Reference Intake Reviews
Webinar – Findings from Hunger in our Schools: Teachers Report 2013

Upcoming Meetings and Events


Federal Policy

USDA Announces Annual Adjustments to the National Rates for School Lunch and Breakfast

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service has released a notice announcing the annual adjustments to the “national average payments,” the amount of money the Federal Government provides states for lunches, afterschool snacks and breakfasts served to children participating in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs.

For the contiguous states participating in the National School Lunch Program:

  • Less than 60% Free and Reduced: Paid - $.28; Reduced - $2.53; Free - $2.93
  • 60% or More Free and Reduced: Paid $.30; Reduced - $2.55; Free - $2.95
  • Note, if you have earned your $.06 certification, add $.06 to all categories

The payments and rates are prescribed on an annual basis each July. These rates are effective from July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014. Look here for further info on Lunch, Breakfast, and Milk Rates for SY 2013-2014.

Deputy Under Secretary for USDA's Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, Dr. Janey Thornton Makes Important Announcement at ANC

Earlier this month at SNA’s Annual National Conference (ANC) in Kansas City, Dr. Janey Thornton, SNS, announced during the second general session and Cindy Long reiterated in subsequent USDA listening sessions at the conference that there will be permanent removal of the grain and meat/meat alternate maximums “before the end of the year.” They both pointed out that these changes take time and there will be a forthcoming memo, but they were both clear that before the end of 2013 there would be a permanent change.

USDA Memo – Certification of Compliance with New Meal Patterns

On July 17, 2013, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a memo providing information and updated materials to support the certification process set forth in the interim rule. The lunch tools remain unchanged, and this addresses the breakfast meal pattern for SY 2013-14. State agencies are reminded to distribute this memorandum and attachments to program operators immediately. School food authorities should contact their state agencies for additional information. Click here to read the memorandum and here to review the new tools.

Farm Bill Update: Farm Bill on Hold While House Tries Again on Food Stamp Cuts

The House will try to cut billions of dollars from the food stamp program before negotiating an overall farm bill with the Senate, the House Majority Leader said on Thursday. The current farm law expires on Sept 30. Congress has 12 days of work scheduled before then, mostly because of a five-week summer recess. Without a new law, farm subsidies will revert to the levels dictated by a 1949 law and the price of milk at the grocery store could double.

Food stamps traditionally are part of farm bills. They are the largest hurdle to a new farm law, already nine months behind schedule. The new farm bill is expected to expand the taxpayer-subsidized crop insurance system.

Some are speculating that the current Farm Bill will likely undergo a 1 year extension by leaders as the August recess is approaching. To read more, visit this link.

Upcoming Regulatory Actions to Expect

According to the Unified Agenda released recently, and found here, we can expect several school related regulatory actions this fall and early 2014.

  • School wellness: proposed rule opens November 2013, ends January 2014
  • CACFP: proposed rule opens September 2013, comment period ends November 2013
  • Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program: final action: January 2014

Representative Rodney Davis Mentions the School Lunch Program on the House Floor

On Friday July 19, 2013, the Honorable Rodney Davis of Illinois made remarks pertaining to the Healthy, Hungry-Free Kids Act. Read below for his remarks:

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to highlight the problems created by the Healthy, Hungry-Free Kids Act. We are trying to balance the needs of hungry children against fighting childhood obesity in America. Kids, including my three children, Toryn, Griffin, and Clark, are not getting enough to eat because of athletic programs and physical education classes. I am concerned that the food only requirements of this program are creating excessive waste and have put a financial burden on already cash strapped schools across the country. Many kids are rejecting these new menus and throwing their food away and going home hungry. While we need to look at the nutritional content of school lunches, we must also not forget the importance of physical education classes. Illinois is currently the only state that requires students in kindergarten through high school to have PE every day. A combination of good nutrition and exercise is essential to the health of our children. That is why I would like to take this time to recognize and wish my children’s junior high teacher, Joe Champley, a Happy Birthday. Joe has been a long time PE teacher in my hometown at Taylorville Jr. High School. Happy Birthday Mr. Joe!

SNA and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation Release Breakfast Materials

In collaboration with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, SNA’s Nutrition Committee created materials with examples of breakfast menus that meet the new meal pattern standards for school breakfast. SNA and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation released this guide earlier this month at the Association’s Annual National Conference (ANC) in Kansas City. To access this resource, click here.

Competitive Foods Update: Interim Final Rule Published

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has published an interim final rule for Competitive Foods entitled, National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program: Nutrition Standards for All Foods Sold in School as Required by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. SNA is in the process of reviewing and analyzing the rule, as well as determining next steps in response to the rule. This interim final rule amends the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program regulations to establish nutrition standards for all foods sold in schools. There is a 120 day comment period for the interim final rule and written comments on the rule are accepted at Regulations.gov until October 28, 2013. Key changes in the rule are:

  • Increasing the proposed rule’s sodium limit on snacks and non-program side dishes from 200 mg per portion as packaged to 230 mg (through June 2016);
  • Exempting nuts/seeds and nut/seed butters from the rule’s total and saturated fat standards;
  • Exempting part skim mozzarella cheese from the total and saturated fat standards;
  • Allowing full strength juice diluted with added water (or carbonated water);
  • Allowing fruit packed in light syrup; and
  • Adopting the 35 percent by weight standard for sugar over the alternate 35 percent of calories standard.

See www.schoolnutrition.org/competitivefoods for the Interim Final Rule, SNA’s Press Release, and a list of a number of news articles on the topic quoting then SNA resident Sandra Ford, SNS. Other resources include the OFW Memo on the Interim Final Rule and a side-by-side comparison (in Excel) of SNA’s recommendations (view comments) and the Interim Final Rule.

Action Alert for Proposed Legislation in Senate and House

USDA has stated they are working to make permanent the relaxation of the grain and protein maximums. However, SNA is still asking for help in advancing legislation which would permanently eliminate weekly maximums on grains and proteins. Contact your Senators and Member of Congress and ask them to cosponsor 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.


State Policy

Indiana State Audit Shows High Rate of Fraud in School Program

According to a recent audit of the school meals program administered by the Indiana Department of Education, roughly a third of the students who received meals either did not qualify or families failed to verify information. That number has increased since lawmakers changed the formula that determines school funding to give more to schools with higher numbers of free- and reduced-lunch students. To learn more, visit this link.

California Schools Adjust to New State and Federal Rules on Providing Water

With the release of the new “Smart Snack” rules, schools in California are preparing to adjust to the requirement of providing free, unlimited water to students during meal times. The state currently has a similar law on the books, but provides no enforcement mechanism. The article also addresses some of the issues schools will face to comply with the new regulation such as lack of water fountains in the cafeterias, cost of bottles, and if the tap water is safe to consume in some schools. To learn more, visit this link.


Reports, Webinars, and Events

Opportunity to Submit Nominations for Nutrients of Interest for Dietary Reference Intake Reviews

The US and Canadian governments are offering the opportunity to nominate nutrients for which Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) values may need to be reviewed. These will be considered by the Federal DRI Committees of both countries as they undertake the task of prioritizing nutrients for future review. Nomination requirements will be specified on the Dietary Reference Intakes web page, available at www.health.gov/DRI. The nomination consists of a cover letter and a literature search. The DRI Committees will accept nominations for consideration through 11:59 pm EDT on July 31, 2013.

Webinar – Findings from Hunger in our Schools: Teachers Report 2013

On Wednesday, August 7th, join Share Our Strength for an advanced look at the findings from their annual survey of teachers and their perspective on hunger and its impact on students.  For this year’s report, they’ve added principals to the survey as well as an oversample of schools with innovative breakfast models, such as breakfast in the classroom.

Wednesday, August 7th, 1:00 pm (EDT)
To register for the webinar through ReadyTalk, here
Sponsored by No Kid Hungry - Share our Strength


Upcoming Meetings and Events

July 30-August 2, 2013, South Dakota State Conference, Aberdeen, SD
August 4-7, 2013, Minnesota State Conference, Rochester, MN
August 6-7, 2013, Washington State Conference, Yakima, WA
August 13-14, 2013, New Jersey State Conference, East Brunswick, NJ


 
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