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Tuesday Morning March 11, 2008

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March 11, 2008

Table of Contents

House Committee on Education and Labor Holds Hearing during LAC
LAC 2008 Wrap Up
National School Breakfast Week A Success!
House of Representatives Passes School Breakfast Resolution
New CACFP Rule to be Released
USDA Issues Memo on Vending, First Fact Sheet on DGAs
Updated USDA Eligibility Manual Released 
Study Finds Teens Who Eat Breakfast Daily Eat Healthier Diets
Benefits of Physical Activity Shown in Several Studies

In Every Issue

Legislative Action Center
Legislative Toolkit
PR Toolkit
State Policy Index
State and Federal Legislation

House Committee on Education and Labor Holds Hearing during LAC

hearing

School Nutrition Association members packed the halls of Congress, Tuesday March 5th after several SNA members were invited by House Education and Labor Committee chairman George Miller to testify at a hearing to examine ways to improve school nutrition and safety in the school food supply.

Major issues discussed at the hearing were nutrition standards, meal reimbursement rates and the Westland Hallmark beef recall.   Members testifying included, SNA President, Mary Hill, SNA Vice President, Dora Rivas, Director of Food and Nutrition Services from Mt. Diablo Unified School District Kathleen Corrigan and Administrative Director for the Department of Food and Nutrition for Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Penny Parham.  Additional witnesses included Kate Houston, Deputy Under Secretary, Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, U.S. Department of Agriculture and Kenneth Hecht, Executive Director, California Food Policy Advocates, San Francisco, California. For additional information, please visit Related Links.

LAC 2008 Wrap Up

Last  week, more than 750 school nutrition professionals gathered in Washington, DC for the 36th Annual 2008 Legislative Action Conference.  Participants attended several dynamic pre-conference sessions and listened to a variety of speakers discuss the major policy challenges facing school nutrition programs nationwide. Highlights include:

  • Minnesota Representative Collin Peterson (D) gave the Carl D. Perkins Memorial Lecture during Monday evening’s banquet.  Peterson spoke about the ongoing Farm Bill negotiations and how he will fight for a uniform, national school nutrition standard.  He also thanked SNA members for their hard work and dedication to feeding America’s children.
  • On Wednesday morning, Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) addressed the closing general session of the conference.  Chambliss spoke about the importance of the school nutrition programs to education.  Both Chambliss’ wife and daughter are teachers and the Senator has seen first hand the importance of good nutrition.
  • Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) also delivered a speech to the conference Wednesday morning. Harkin vowed to work with SNA and other organizations in creating national nutrition standards legislation.  Harkin also mentioned that he is trying to expand funding for the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program in the Farm Bill.
  • The conference closed with a Town Hall meeting on the “wish list” for the 2009 Child Nutrition Reauthorization.  More than 450 attendees shared their ideas about what issues SNA should consider as priorities for the Reauthorization.   A uniform, national nutrition standard, increased funding, and streamlining the programs ranked high on the wish list.

For more information, please see Related Links.

National School Breakfast Week A Success!

In celebration of National School Breakfast Week, March 3 - 7, 2008, SNA members nationwide took to the airwaves to promote the benefits of school breakfast. From North Carolina to Washington State, members participated in TV, radio and print interviews that covered the link between school breakfast and academic achievement and the types of healthy meal options being offered for the first meal of the day. Television and radio interviews aired in Detroit, Indianapolis and Seattle among others, and SNA president Mary Hill spoke on the nationally syndicated Family Net radio network last Monday. Over 50 articles have appeared nationwide and a total television audience of over 750,000 has heard the key messages on school breakfast. See Related Links to access the coverage.

House of Representatives Passes School Breakfast Resolution

The House of Representatives passed a resolution last week recognizing the importance of the School Breakfast Program in promoting healthy lifestyles and academic achievement.  The resolution, introduced by Representative Gwen Moore (D-Wis.), passed by a voice vote on Wednesday, March 5th during National School Breakfast Week.  In the resolution, the House encouraged states to strength their school breakfast programs and to continue providing healthy meals to students.  Forty-four Members of Congress co-sponsored the resolution. See Related Links for more information.

New CACFP Rule to be Released

The Office of Budget Management recently cleared a rule that allows the reimbursement of meals served at at-risk afterschool programs in seven states under the conditions for the Child and Adult Care Feeding Programs.  The seven states include Delaware, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Missouri, New York, and Oregon.  Children under 18 who participate in this program in these states may receive free meals.  In order to qualify, the after care programs must be located in low-income areas, provide care to children, and have an educational or enrichment purpose.  The rule should be published in the Federal Register in the coming weeks.

USDA Issues Memo on Reimbursable Vending, First Fact Sheet on DGAs

usda

Last week the Food and Nutrition Service issued a policy memo on reimbursable meal vending machines including a question and answer document that addresses Offer Versus Serve, time of day the machines can operate, and other concerns.

Also last Tuesday, the first in a series of fact sheets for school nutrition programs was released to help incorporate the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans into the National School Lunch Program. “Use Low-fat Milk, Cheese, and Yogurt" is the first of a series of nine fact sheets developed for use by school foodservice professionals. Both documents can be found through Related Links.

Updated USDA Eligibility Manual Released 

USDA has published a new version of the “Eligibility Manual for School Meals,” a 114-page document that details federal policy on the determination and verification of eligibility for school lunch and breakfast programs.  This update, the first in seven years, covers the distribution, processing, and verification of school meal applications, categorical and income eligibility procedures, direct certification in coordination with other assistance programs, and confidentiality.  See Related Links to access the publication.

Study Finds Teens Who Eat Breakfast Daily Eat Healthier Diets

Researchers at the University of Minnesota have found that teenagers who eat breakfast daily are more likely to eat a healthier diet than teens that skip breakfast.  The researchers looked at the body mass index of teens for over five years.  After five years, the researchers found that daily breakfast eaters gained less weight and had a lower body mass index level.  The study underscores the importance of teaching children to eat breakfast in the morning.  The researchers state that eating a healthy breakfast may help avoid overeating later in the day, as well as disrupt unhealthy eating patterns. See Related Links to access the study.

Benefits of Physical Activity Shown in Several Studies

Two recent studies have shown that children who engage in regular physical activity are more likely to be healthier than those who do not.  A recent study conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins University found that children who skateboard, Rollerblade, or bike frequently are more likely to be in better physical shape than those who participate in organized sports.  The same study also showed that students who participate in regular physical education are also more likely to maintain a healthy weight in adulthood.

A second study out last week found that time spent in physical education does not detract from elementary school students' ability to excel in the classroom and may even help improve girls' academic performance, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. Published online in the Journal of American Public Health,the study indicates that trimming physical education programs may not be the best way to raise test scores in schools. Using public data, researchers tracked the reading and math skills of more than 5,000 students between kindergarten and fifth grade as shown on a series of standardized tests. They discovered that girls who received the highest levels of physical education, or 70 to 300 minutes a week, scored consistently higher on the tests than those who spent less than 35 minutes a week.

SNA Legislative Action Center

Legislative Toolkit

PR Toolkit

State Policy Index

State and Federal Legislation

 

State legislation can now be accessed on the Internet through Netscan. Use Username: schoolnutrition and Password: sna

 

Click State Legislation Instructions for steps to access state legislation through the service. Legislatures currently in session include:  Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and District of Columbia.

 

 


 
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