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Tuesday Morning - November 5, 2013

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November 5, 2013

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

Federal Register: NSLP and SBP: Eliminating Applications Through Community Eligibility as Required by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010
Federal Register: FNS Publishes Direct Certification Rule – Seeks Information
Are Students Skipping Out on Healthy School Lunches?
Michelle Obama Policy Initiatives are a Big Deal for Big Business
USDA Farm to School Census Released – Districts Can Update Data Until November 30th
USDA FNS Requests Information Related to School Nutrition and Meal Cost

State Policy

Michigan School Nutrition Program Unable to Purchase Nutrition Tracking Software
Louisiana Non-Profit Assists Schools with Provision 2 and Community Eligibility Provision
Utah Schools Combine Nutrition Education With New Meals
SNA-VT Supported Cookbook Released

Reports, Webinars, and Events

Twitter Chat: USDA Hosts a Twitter Chat on Farmers Markets
Webinar: Farm to Food Bank to School: An Emerging Model in Communities Across the Country
Webinar: Menuing Mushrooms: Strategies to Extend Meat Entrées, Add Veggies and Gain Student Approval
CDC Data on Prevalence of Obesity Among Adults
Submit Proposals for the 7th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference: Powering Up

Upcoming Meetings and Events


Federal Policy

Federal Register: NSLP and SBP: Eliminating Applications Through Community Eligibility as Required by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010

This rule proposes to amend the eligibility regulations for free and reduced price meals under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) to codify the statutory provision that establishes the community eligibility provision, a reimbursement option for eligible local educational agencies and schools that wish to offer free school meals to all children in high poverty schools without collecting household applications. This proposed rule reflects statutory requirements that were implemented through policy guidance following enactment of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA). Implementation of this proposed rule would align the regulations with the statutory provision that establishes administrative and operational requirements for state agencies, local educational agencies, and schools. To be assured of consideration, comments on this proposed rule must be received by January 3, 2014. To read the rule in its entirety, click here.

Federal Register: FNS Publishes Direct Certification Rule – Seeks Information

The interim rule entitled Direct Certification and Certification of Homeless, Migrant and Runaway Children for Free School Meals was published on April 25, 2011. The Information Collection Request for this rule revised an existing information collection, OMB Control Number 0584-0026, and created a new collection OMB Control Number 0584-0585.The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) cleared the associated Information Collection Requests on April 19, 2013, and August 14, 2013, respectively. This document announces the approval of the request. For more information, click here.

Are Students Skipping Out on Healthy School Lunches?

An editorial from a Superintendent in Nebraska says: “I urge fellow parents, teachers, and school administrators to not believe negative hype around the updated USDA standards, but instead simply give the new healthier lunches a chance.” To read more, click here.

Michelle Obama Policy Initiatives are a Big Deal for Big Business

On Wednesday, First Lady Michelle Obama will be joined by Sesame Street’s Elmo and Rosita to unveil a new marketing effort aimed at making healthier foods more appealing to children. To read more, click here.

USDA Farm to School Census Released – Districts Can Update Data Until November 30th

USDA has released its first-ever Farm to School Census, revealing that in school year 2011-12, over 38,000 schools across the country served over $350 million in local food in their school cafeterias. Visitors to USDA’s Farm to School Census website ( www.fns.usda.gov/FarmtoSchool/census) can access the results at the national, state and district levels.

School districts that missed the opportunity to participate in the survey can submit information regarding farm to school practices through November 30, 2013. Districts that did participate are encouraged to visit the site to check their responses. USDA will accept updated responses from school districts through November 30, 2013. To update data for your school district or to complete the questionnaire, contact Matt Benson with the USDA Farm to School Program at matthew.benson@fns.usda.gov.

USDA FNS Requests Information Related to School Nutrition and Meal Cost

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.


State Policy

Michigan School Nutrition Program Unable to Purchase Nutrition Tracking Software

Howell Public Schools in Michigan requested to add laptops to a school nutrition program that allows students to track what they are eating as well as their body-mass index. However, the State Department of Education denied the request to use surplus food funds to cover the cost of the laptops. The goal was to allow students who have no other way to access nutrition information an option within the cafeterias. The state education department had to sign off on the proposal because it oversees food-service spending in Michigan's public school districts. It refused, saying the use of federal money to buy laptops would violate U.S. Department of Agriculture regulations. To learn more, visit this link.

Louisiana Non-Profit Assists Schools with Provision 2 and Community Eligibility Provision

The Louisiana Appleseed Foundation is assisting schools interested in exploring the Provision 2 and Community Eligibility Provision. The legal non-profit is working with the Louisiana Department of Education on adjusting policies to better allow more schools to apply. It has also provided an excellent guide to both programs with pros and cons listed for each. The report can be found here. To learn more, visit this link.

Utah Schools Combine Nutrition Education With New Meals

In an effort to increase participation, schools in Utah are looking at various options to entice students. One element is increasing nutrition education for students in all grades to better understand why some foods are better than others. Some schools are also running pilot taste testing programs to see what new meals receive better ratings than others. To learn more, visit this link.

SNA-VT Supported Cookbook Released

Vermont (Food Education Every Day) FEED, the Vermont Agency of Education, and the School Nutrition Association of Vermont (SNA-VT) developed a cookbook focused on local produce and other food items for use in schools. Copies can be downloaded via this link. Schools from across the state contributed to the cookbook.


Reports, Webinars, and Events

Twitter Chat: USDA Hosts a Twitter Chat on Farmers Markets

Wednesday, November 6, 3:00 pm EST
Join the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) this Wednesday, November 6 at 3:00 ET to discuss how farmers’ markets help build healthier communities. To join the discussion, follow #HealthierNextGen, where you can share your tips, experiences and pics. The School Day Just Got Healthier: http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/healthierschoolday/default.htm.

Webinar: Farm to Food Bank to School: An Emerging Model in Communities Across the Country

Tuesday, November 12, 1:00-1:20 pm EST
In many communities across the country, food banks are emerging as community food hubs, connecting local farms to other markets, including schools. Some food banks are engaged in other farm to school activities including experiential farm education. Join in for the November LunchBites webinar to hear from individuals who are leading this model at their local food banks. To register, visit https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/371413151.

Webinar: Menuing Mushrooms: Strategies to Extend Meat Entrées, Add Veggies and Gain Student Approval

Wednesday, November 13, 2:00-3:15 pm EST
The School Nutrition Foundation (SNF), in partnership with the Mushroom Council, will host a free webinar entitled “Menuing Mushrooms: Strategies to Extend Meat Entrées, Add Veggies and Gain Student Approval.” Learn from a panel of school nutrition professionals about creative ways of using mushrooms to enhance your recipes, manage food costs and procure through the USDA Foods Program. To register, visit https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/855403754.

CDC Data on Prevalence of Obesity Among Adults

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics reports that according to data from the most recent National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, there was "no significant change in obesity prevalence between 2009-10 and 2011-12 among either men or women."

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

November 5-7, 2013, Arkansas State Conference, Hot Springs, AR
November 8-10, 2013, Michigan State Conference, Acme, MI
November 8-10, 2013, Missouri State Conference, Chesterfield, MO
November 8-10, 2013, New York State Conference, Rochester, NY
November 14-17, 2013, California State Conference, Palm Springs, CA


 
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