FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Diane Pratt-Heavner
School Nutrition Professionals Discuss New Nutrition Standards and Assess Challenges at SNA’s Legislative Action Conference
Washington, D.C., March 3, 2013 – Approximately 1,000 school nutrition professionals from across the nation have gathered in Washington, D.C. for School Nutrition Association’s (SNA) 41st annual Legislative Action Conference (LAC).
LAC comes at a critical time as school nutrition professionals continue to implement new nutrition standards for school meals and discuss recently proposed standards for “competitive foods,” which are sold in school a la carte lines, snack bars and vending machines.
The conference features discussions on these topics and a “Charge to the Hill” on Tuesday, when attendees head to the US Capitol to urge their members of Congress to protect school meal programs, which serve nearly 32 million students each school day.
“Charge to the Hill” participants will also discuss priorities outlined in SNA’s 2013 Legislative Issue Paper, including the Association’s support for S. 427, The Sensible School Lunch Act, introduced by Senators John Hoeven (R-ND) and Mark Pryor (D-AR) to permanently eliminate weekly limits on grains and proteins served with school meals.
As part of the new nutrition standards for school meals, these limits prevent school cafeterias from offering healthy options like daily sandwiches (too much grain), a small side of peanut butter with celery sticks or low and non-fat cheese or yogurt on the salad bar (too much protein).
By permanently eliminating weekly grain and protein limits while maintaining calorie limits and whole grain requirements, USDA can protect the nutritional integrity of the school meal standards while giving cafeterias more flexibility to design healthy menus that meet both the standards and student tastes.
School Nutrition Association’s (SNA) 41st annual Legislative Action Conference (LAC) runs through March 6, 2013 at the JW Marriott Hotel, 1331 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW. Other key events include:
- Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS), Ranking Member on the Senate Agriculture Committee; Senator John Hoeven (R-ND) and Representative Marcia Fudge (D-OH) discussing school nutrition issues. (March 6, 8:30am)
- General sessions featuring a discussion on new research in the field of school nutrition and a USDA presentation on proposed nutrition standards for school snacks. (March 4)
- A Capitol Hill Reception hosted by SNA in the Cannon Caucus Room (March 5, 5:00pm)
Media wishing to attend these events must contact Diane Pratt-Heavner at 703-576-7526 to register for the conference. To receive a complimentary media registration, members of the press must meet the published Guidelines on Press Registration at School Nutrition Association Meetings.
About School Nutrition Association:
The School Nutrition Association (SNA) is a national, non-profit professional organization representing 55,000 school nutrition professionals across the country. Founded in 1946, SNA and its members are dedicated to making healthy school meals and nutrition education available to all students. To find out more about today’s school meals, visit www.TrayTalk.org.