March 1, 2013 – This week marked the third anniversary of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative and to mark the occasion, Mrs. Obama has been on a two-day celebratory tour that included a stop at Eastside and Northside Elementary Schools in Clinton, Miss. She was joined by celebrity chef Rachael Ray and 400 elementary school students to participate in the “Let's Move! Cafeteria Cook-off.” SNA Past President Mary Hill, SNS, executive director of foodservices, Jackson (Miss.) Public Schools, represented SNA at the event’s press conference.
The “Let's Move! Cafeteria Cook-off” competition paired two teams—cafeteria chef Fannie and celebrity chef Sunny Anderson versus cafeteria chef Wendy and celebrity chef Ryan Scott—with the challenge of making the most delicious, healthy school lunch. Mrs. Obama and Rachael Ray watched as student judges scored the lunches from blind taste tests. Before the winner was announced, the First Lady applauded the work of Fannie, Wendy and their peers in school cafeterias across the country.
“These are major, major achievements. And I know that getting to this point hasn’t been easy. I know that a lot of folks had to put in a lot of time and effort to make all this possible. And I’m particularly proud of all of the school chefs, the food service workers at schools like this one all across this state, and all across this country. And I want to take time to recognize those folks in the kitchen who do the hard work of cooking for our kids and loving every minute of it. When we passed historic legislation to improve school lunches for the first time in 15 years, these were the folks who had to totally transform their menus in a matter of months. They had to work with totally new ingredients. And they had to satisfy both strict nutrition requirements and, as we know, picky eaters.”
SNA was honored to have the First Lady recognize the efforts of school nutrition professionals who are working hard to implement the new meal standards. As a Let’s Move! partner, SNA and its members will continue to support the initiative by further improving the nutritional quality of school meals and by helping advance nutrition education for America’s students.
To learn more about the Let’s Move! initiative, visit www.letsmove.gov.
Yesterday, Senators John Hoeven (R-ND), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Jerry Moran, (R-KS), James Inhofe (R-OK), John Thune (R-SD), Dan Coats (R-IN), and Pat Roberts (R-KS) introduced S. 427, the “Sensible School Lunch Act”, which would amend the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) by eliminating the weekly maximums for grains and meat/meat alternates. SNA staff worked with Senator Hoeven’s staff on drafting the legislation which would permanently resolve the first point on the SNA 2013 Issue Paper. It is expected that a House companion bill will be introduced in the coming weeks. Senator Hoeven will be one of the speakers at the Closing General Session on Wednesday at next week’s LAC and will likely be discussing the “Sensible School Act” in his remarks.
The full text of the legislation can be found here.
Today, Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign hosted a briefing on Capitol Hill to release a new analysis demonstrating the positive potential impact that school breakfast has on the academic, health and economic futures of America’s students.
Marla Caplon, RD, LD, Director of Food & Nutrition Services for Montgomery County (Md.) Public Schools, spoke at the briefing on behalf of School Nutrition Association, and discussed how school nutrition professionals are reaching more students with a healthy school breakfast through alternative delivery models, like breakfast in the classroom.
Share Our Strength’s study, developed in collaboration with Deloitte, finds that on average, students who eat school breakfast have the potential to achieve 17.5% higher scores on standardized math tests and attend 1.5 more days of school each year. Research also shows students who attend class more regularly are potentially 20% more likely to graduate from high school, and high school graduates typically earn $10,090 more a year while enjoying a 4% higher employment rate.
For complete details and an interactive map highlighting the benefits of school breakfast at the state and local levels, visit www.NoKidHungry.org/Breakfast.
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