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Open Letter from Helen & Frank

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Dear SNA Members,

Welcome back to school!

We know that this is a very busy time of the year for you, welcoming children, sending out meal applications and then verifying all of the data. It has been almost that busy in the Nation’s capital.

As two of the “new kids” on the block, we wanted to take this opportunity to share with you some of the many activities that SNA has been working on with regard to the proposed school meal pattern regulation.

SNA recognizes the many challenges our members face, and will deal with for several years, as we anticipate new meal patterns and the changes they will bring to school nutrition programs nationwide. It will not be easy to implement the updated Dietary Guidelines, but it is a challenge that is important and one we are all committed to meeting for our children.

As an integral component of our ongoing advocacy efforts, SNA continues to raise the critical concerns and perspectives of our members with USDA as they work towards finalizing the proposed meal patterns.

Just to provide you with a little background, several activities have been underway following the publication of the proposed regulation and SNA’s comments submitted on March 29 and a listening session held at the ANC. SNA submitted testimony to the Senate Agriculture Committee field hearing in Kansas; sent a letter to US Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and held numerous discussions with USDA, the White House, Congressional members and our allied partners – all with the common theme of SNA reaffirming its commitment to its 11-page comments and timeline of activities on the proposed meal pattern regulation.

In addition, we recently hosted a webinar on the proposed meal patterns and have been coordinating with many industry partners.

In all, over 130,000 comments were filed with USDA. While USDA cannot, under the law, tell us what they are going to do, we have every reason to believe that they are pouring over these comments and will give them very careful consideration. They don’t want to see student participation decline any more than we do.

Please know that SNA will continue to keep your interests at the forefront of its advocacy efforts and will provide you with updates as we move towards the publication of the regulation.

Thank you for your ongoing support of SNA.

Helen Phillips
President
School Nutrition Association          
Frank DiPasquale
CEO
School Nutrition Association




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