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Tuesday Morning - November 19, 2013

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November 19, 2013

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

SNA Hosts Briefing on Capitol Hill
USDA Releases Nine Memos on Summer Meals
SNA Announces 2013 Election Results for the Association Leadership
Article on Schools with Healthy Options having Healthy Students
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
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

Connecticut Agencies Pushing Breakfast Participation
California District Polls Students on Their Favorite Foods
Colorado Expanding Farm to School Programs Across State
Virginia and Maryland Schools Increasing Local Produce
“Food Lab” Program in California Inspires Fifth Graders While Teaching Them to Cook

Reports, Webinars, and Events

SNF Hosting a Peer2Peer Connect on November 20th

Upcoming Meetings and Events


Federal Policy

SNA Hosts Briefing on Capitol Hill

On Monday, November 18, 2013, SNA hosted a briefing on Capitol Hill regarding school meals. Marla Caplon, Director of Food and Nutrition Services at Montgomery County (Md.) Public Schools and Joan Shorter, Director of Food and Nutrition Services at Prince George’s County (Md.) Public Schools, provided their unique perspective to hill staff, walking them through the intricacies of their programs. This was an opportunity to connect with congressional staffers who will be involved in drafting the next Child Nutrition Reauthorization and provide them an overview of school meal program operations and challenges.

USDA Releases Nine Memos on Summer Meals

On November 12, 2013, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released nine memos on the summer meals programs on topics such as: Sponsors Operating in Multiple States, Mobile Feeding Options, Census Data Release, Promoting Nutrition in Summer Meals, Use of School and Census Data, Available Flexibilities, Expanding Awareness, Meal Service Requirements, and a Q&A document. To access the memos, click here. USDA worked hard to have this guidance released in a timely fashion as districts are planning summer meals now. These memos preceded a Summit on Summer Meals hosted by Share Our Strength, November 13-14, 2013. SNA assisted Share Our Strength throughout the planning of this summit targeted for state agencies and provided suggestions for speakers.

SNA Announces 2013 Election Results for the Association Leadership

SNA members have spoken, casting their ballots in the annual election for the Association’s top leadership positions. Nine new members to the Board of Directors will be installed in July 2014 and four members, representing different SNA regions, will join the Nominating Committee.

SNA congratulates the candidates for their election to the Association’s Board of Directors and Nominating Committee, and thanks all the candidates for their enthusiasm and commitment to serve the national Association. Click here for the results.

Article on Schools with Healthy Options having Healthy Students

Picking healthy snacks over junk food may not always be so easy, especially when peers enjoy candy bars and soda instead of apples and oranges. However, a recent study led by Michigan State University shows that when schools adopt healthful nutrition policies and practices, kids are more likely to pick up on the trend. To read more, click here.

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). To be assured of consideration, comments on this proposed rule must be received by January 3, 2014. Click here to read the rule in its entirety. SNA has reviewed and has determined to not submit comments, as the proposed rule is providing clarifying language and not substantive changes or rulemaking.

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.

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

Connecticut Agencies Pushing Breakfast Participation

Agencies and organizations are jointly pushing for the expansion of school breakfast programs in Connecticut. Last year, the Breakfast Expansion Team helped 68 schools set up breakfast programs and this year, the number is 57 and rising. As breakfast has been implemented, many schools are seeing drops in students acting out with a school in Hartford seeing referrals to the office drop from 336 at this time last year to 32 this year. To learn more, click here.

California District Polls Students on Their Favorite Foods

The child nutrition staff for the Corona-Norco Unified School District in California recently held a taste test for 100 students from 11 schools, plus two parent teacher groups and district staff members. Students tasted food from twelve vendors and then rated the items on an iPad. New menus in January will reflect the students’ favorites. To learn more, visit this link.

Colorado Expanding Farm to School Programs Across State

Almost half the school districts in Colorado are operating farm to school programs and feeding students with local grown produce. Sixteen percent of Colorado school districts' food budgets are spent locally, and 12 percent of districts have schools with edible gardens. In Bolder, local foods include produce from Isabelle Farm, local pears and apples, Colorado milk from Organic Valley, tortillas from the Colorado Tortilla Co., tamales from Denver's LaCasita, breads from the Whole Foods bake shop, muffins from Udi's, bagels from Moe's Bagels, dumplings from Sisters' Pantry in Lyons and bratwurst from the Louisville Sausage Co. To learn more, visit this link.

Virginia and Maryland Schools Increasing Local Produce

Schools in Virginia and Maryland increasingly are working to serve more locally produced food. Virginia launched a farm-to-school program in 2007 and began celebrating farm-to-school week two years later. In November, Virginia hosted Farm to School Week. So far, officials say, about 80% of schools have participated in the event. All public schools in Maryland participate in the state's farm-to-school program, which launched in 2008. To learn more, visit this link.

“Food Lab” Program in California Inspires Fifth Graders While Teaching Them to Cook

Thanks to a recent grant, more fifth graders in the La Honda-Pescadero Unified School District are participating in the popular “Food Lab.” The program allows students to prepare meals based on recipes that are then served to their classmates. Students in the program learn cooking skills and develop a working knowledge about nutrition and healthy eating. To learn more, visit this link.


Reports, Webinars, and Events

SNF Hosting a Peer2Peer Connect on November 20th

The School Nutrition Foundation (SNF) will be hosting a Peer2Peer Connect session on Wednesday, November 20th at 2:00-3:00 pm EST. The topic will be “Menuing Mushrooms,” and is intended for school nutrition professionals who are interested in learning more about effective strategies to menu mushrooms, recipe development and how to include mushrooms in commodity purchases next year. SNF’s peer panel will be available to answer questions around strategies to extend meat entrees, add veggies and gain student approval. Participants can "chat" in questions electronically or live via phone during the call. To register, visit https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/640739370. Please note, this event is not worth an SNA CEU.


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
December 5-6, 2013, SNA Public Policy & Legislation Committee Drafting Issue Paper, Crystal City, VA


 
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