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Tuesday Morning - October 8, 2013

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October 8, 2013

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

USDA FNS Requests Information Related to School Nutrition and Meal Cost
School Nutrition Magazine Explores Unique Serving Sites
Competitive Foods Update: SNA Submits Comments to Interim Final Rule
October is National Farm to School Month!
Apply for the HealthierUS School Challenge Today
SNA and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation Breakfast Materials Still Available

State Policy

Maryland Receives Grant From USDA to Focus on School Nutrition
Kansas Students Feed State Officials Meals from Garden
Dallas Announces Free Meals for Students
South Dakota Schools Adjust to New School Regulations
Washington State Rep Eats Lunch with Local Students
Summit in Washington State Focuses on Feeding Low Income Students on Weekends

Reports, Webinars, and Events

Serving Healthy School Meals: Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods Project Released a Report
SNF’s Breakfast Learning Series: A New Way to Interact with Your Peers
SNF and the Walmart Foundation Host Webinar on Breakfast in the Classroom
USDA Farm to School Program and eXtension Hosting a Webinar
Submit Proposals for the 7th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference: Powering Up

Upcoming Meetings and Events


Federal Policy

USDA FNS Requests Information Related to School Nutrition and Meal Cost

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has released a request for information in the Federal Register. Comments are invited for their School Nutrition and Meal Cost Study. The study comes at a time of unprecedented change for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP). The new requirements are intended to better align USDA meals and snacks with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and to improve participating students' food and nutrient intake. Complying with the new requirements might affect the costs of producing school lunches and breakfasts. Conducting this study at this historic juncture will provide FNS with crucial information about the effects of the new meal standards on nutritional quality and the cost of school meals. No national study has concurrently examined the cost of producing school meals, the nutritional profile of school meals and the amount of plate waste in school meals. For more details and instructions for submitting information, click here.

School Nutrition Magazine Explores Unique Serving Sites

What types of unique operational and administrative challenges do K-12 serving sites on Native American reservations, military bases and other locations geared toward special populations face? The October issue of School Nutrition, SNA’s award-winning flagship publication, showcases the operational differences—and similarities—experienced by school nutrition operations on unique serving sites. Also included are a round-up of the best and brightest Exhibit Hall offerings at SNA’s Annual National Conference that were identified by School Nutrition’s team of Secret Shoppers and a focus on creative ways to menu beef. To learn more about this month’s issue of School Nutrition, click here.

Competitive Foods Update: SNA Submits Comments to Interim Final Rule

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. 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. To review SNA’s comments on the rule, click here.

SNA reconvened the Competitive Foods Task Force to review and analyze the rule, as well as to develop a position in response to the rule, which was submitted to USDA following Board approval. SNA strongly encourages members to review the comments and utilize them to develop your own, your district’s, or your state’s position and submit. Written comments on the rule are accepted at Regulations.gov until October 28, 2013.

To view more details and supporting documents on the process SNA took in development of its position, visit www.schoolnutrition.org/competitivefoods.

October is National Farm to School Month!

The National Farm to School Network invites you to partner in promoting Farm to School Month throughout October. Visit www.farmtoschoolmonth.org for more details and to access a host of resources available to help you plan your celebration. Also, don’t forget to use #F2SMonth when you talk about Farm to School Month on social media.

Apply for the HealthierUS School Challenge Today

Highlight the efforts your staff and school community are making to ensure that students will be eating nutritious meals and engaging in nutrition education, physical education, and physical activity this school year. Download the HealthierUS School Challenge Criteria Application at teamnutrition.usda.gov/HealthierUS/application.html. If you have any questions, you can always contact your State Child Nutrition Agency for more information.

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 President 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.

SNA and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation Breakfast Materials Still Available

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 at the Association’s Annual National Conference (ANC) in Kansas City. To access this resource, click here.


State Policy

Maryland Receives Grant From USDA to Focus on School Nutrition

The Maryland Department of Education (MSDE) received a $30,000 grant from Team Nutrition at USDA. MSDE will issue sub-grants to three Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) to support their application for the HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC). The grant will assist the schools in: modifying menus to meet HUSSC standards; evaluating a la carte offerings; involving principals and committees to develop wellness policies that meet HUSSC requirements; implementing nutrition and physical education requirements; and, designating staff time for training and completion of the HUSSC applications. To learn more, visit this link.

Kansas Students Feed State Officials Meals from Garden

Middle school students in Kansas provided meals to Agriculture Secretary Dale Rodman and Education Commissioner Diane DeBacker with produce from their own gardens. Since 2010 when the program began, the school's garden has produced over 10,000 pounds of food. Of that, he said, 1,650 pounds have gone straight to the school cafeteria. By bringing the officials into the schools, administrators were better able to highlight the importance of this program. To learn more, visit this link.

Dallas Announces Free Meals for Students

Beginning October 1, students in Dallas, Texas, will receive free breakfast and lunch utilizing the Provision Two program from USDA. The state of Texas will not be providing any additional funds to supplement the switch, but the school district hopes to make up additional revenue by snack sales. To learn more, visit this link.

South Dakota Schools Adjust to New School Regulations

Schools in South Dakota are adjusting menus in light of participation drops following implementation of the new school menu requirements. The schools are reworking their menus, demanding better products from suppliers and even considering fresh marketing tactics to persuade students to buy and eat school lunch. To learn more, visit this link.

Washington State Rep Eats Lunch with Local Students

State Rep. J.T. Wilcox joined students at a local elementary school last week to celebrate a program that brings Washington-grown produce to school lunchrooms. Tracine Farrow, a member of the Washington SNA, invited Wilcox for lunch to celebrate Taste Washington Day 2013. To learn more, visit this link.

Summit in Washington State Focuses on Feeding Low Income Students on Weekend

Local non-profits in Seattle, Washington gathered to discuss how to address feeding low-income students during the weekend. At the summit, food banks, parent volunteers, and school administrators will figure out ways to replicate the programs in even more buildings. Some schools have set aside space in their buildings for food pantries. One of the current popular policies is backpack programs hosted by schools and food banks. To learn more, visit this link.


Reports, Webinars, and Events

Serving Healthy School Meals: Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods Project Released a Report

The Kids' Safe and Healthful Foods Project, a collaboration between The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, released a report last week, Serving Healthy School Meals, that found that, "despite some challenges, 94 percent of school districts expected to meet the updated nutrition standards by the end of the 2012-2013 academic year."

SNF’s Breakfast Learning Series: A New Way to Interact with Your Peers

Learn about tools available to assist in breakfast planning. SNF’s Breakfast Learning Series will assist by helping you to identify your stakeholders and understand their needs. You will be able to refine your message and help foster a relationship built for success. You can learn more through SNF's new interactive Breakfast Learning Series, where you will help a fictitious district navigate its way to Breakfast in the Classroom (BIC) success by interacting with other child nutrition professionals and school matter experts.

Segment 2: Engaging School Administration, Principals and Teachers begins this Thursday, October 3. Don’t miss this opportunity, register at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/bslsegment2.

SNF and the Walmart Foundation Host Webinar on Breakfast in the Classroom

The School Nutrition Foundation (SNF), in partnership with the Walmart Foundation, will host a FREE webinar entitled “Sustainable Breakfast in the Classroom Programs Start with Effective Assessments” on October 16th from 2:00-3:15 pm EST (1:00 pm Central, 12:00 pm Mountain, 11:00 am Pacific). Join this webinar to learn about making the most of the assessment process, best practices, and lessons learned from foodservice directors and operators who have successfully integrated breakfast in the classroom (BIC) into their school nutrition programs. Whether you are considering BIC or you are in the process of implementing BIC, this webinar is for you.

Time will be devoted to Q&A, so please come with your questions. For the first time ever, you can also submit your questions early. Just email them to snf@schoolnutrition.org. These questions will be the first to be answered by our panelists. Participation in this webinar is worth 1 SNA CEU. To register, visit https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/307869346.

USDA Farm to School Program and eXtension Hosting a Webinar

The USDA Farm to School Program and the eXtension Community of Practice in Community, Local, and Regional Food Systems will host a webinar to explore Cooperative Extension professionals’ role in supporting farm to school programs.

  • Wednesday, October 9, 1:00-2:00 pm (EDT), Julia Govis from University of Illinois Extension and Morgan Taggart from Ohio State University Extension will discuss the many ways they are supporting farm to school through the development of educational resources and curriculum.

To view the webinar via LiveMeeting, click here. To hear the webinar, dial 1-800-988-0278 and use the passcode 91613#.

Submit Proposals for the 7th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference: Powering Up

The National Farm to Cafeteria Conference will convene more than 1,000 diverse stakeholders from across the farm to cafeteria movement who are working to source local food for institutional cafeterias and foster a culture of food and agricultural literacy across America. The conference will take place April 15-18, 2014, in Austin, Texas. Submit your proposal for a workshop, poster or lightning talk by November 8. For full details and information, you can download the official request for proposals here. For more information, visit farmtocafeteriaconference.org. Registration opens in January 2014.


Upcoming Meetings and Events

October 11-12, 2013, Maryland State Conference, Ocean City, MD
October 16-20, 2013, SNA Fall Committee Days, Crystal City, VA
October 17-20, 2013, South Carolina State Conference, Myrtle Beach, SC
October 25, 2013, Vermont Annual Meeting, Shelburne, VT
October 29-30, 2013, Massachusetts State Conference, Worcester, MA


 
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