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Tuesday Morning - March 17, 2009

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March 17, 2009

 

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

In This Issue

USDA Releases Details on School Food Equipment Grants

Senate, House Agriculture Committees Send Letters on Child Nutrition Funding 

Appropriations Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Domestic Nutrition Programs

Fiscal 2009 Appropriations Are Finalized

SNA in the News

SNA Reauthorization Blog Looks at Competitive Foods Bill

Overweight Preschoolers Raise Their Heart Disease Risk

SNA Releases Promotion Calendar for 2009 

In Every Issue

Legislative Action Center

Legislative Toolkit

PR Toolkit

State Policy Index

State and Federal Legislation

PPL Committee

 

USDA Releases Details on School Food Equipment Grants

Last week, USDA released new guidance on implementation of the one time American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) appropriation of $100,000,000 for equipment assistance to school food authorities (SFAs) participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). Funds will be allocated to each state based on states’ total school meals administrative expense allocation for Fiscal Year 2009.  Local SFAs will then be able to competitively apply to their State. The ARRA specifically states that preference will be given to SFAs for equipment for schools in which at least 50 percent of the students are eligible for free or reduced-priced meals, however any  SFA participating in the NSLP is eligible to submit an application to receive a NSLP equipment assistance grant. See link below to read more.

USDA Information on School Food Equipment Grants 

Senate, House Agriculture Committees Send Letters on Child Nutrition Funding 

In separate letters last week, the House and Senate Agriculture committees went on record against cuts in U.S. farm supports despite President Barack Obama's proposal to save $1 billion a year on subsidies. In their letter Senate Agriculture Committee chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Ranking Member Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) also asked for a $1 billion a year increase for child nutrition programs; additional money to expand biofuels production; and more money, if needed, for food safety, nutrition, land stewardship and other programs.

Letter from Senate Agriculture Committee 

Appropriations Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Domestic Nutrition Programs

The Agriculture Subcommittee of the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee held a hearing on March 12, 2009, examining the domestic nutrition programs. In her opening remarks, Subcommittee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT)  stated “So we begin today, with a hearing on public health, the first in a series on nutrition, where I hope we can look at fighting hunger, making nutritious food accessible, and exploring the federal government’s responsibility. For decades our nation’s nutrition programs under the Department of Agriculture have been a big part of our social safety net -- providing children and low-income families with access to quality food.”

Appropriations Subcommittee Hearing 

Fiscal 2009 Appropriations Are Finalized

Following contentious debate, Congress finalized an omnibus appropriations bill for fiscal year 2009 and sent it to President Obama on Tuesday.  Most government agencies had been operating under a continuing resolution since October 1, 2008, the start of the 2009 federal fiscal year.   The bill outlines government spending through September 30 of this year and provides funding for all federal departments except defense and homeland security, for which appropriations were completed last fall. With regard to the Agriculture appropriations, highlights included $1.2 billion, $15 million above 2008 for International food aid, and $100 million for the McGovern-Dole global school feeding program.

FY 2009 Agriculture Appropriations Summary

SNA in the News

Last week SNA president Katie Wilson appeared on over 100 local NBC affiliates as part of a package piece on the need for adequate funding for school nutrition in the context of increased free and reduced participation. From Washington DC and Chicago to Idaho and St. Louis, the story discussed the challenges local families are having and the important role that school nutrition programs are playing as part of the federal nutrition safety net for kids. Dr. Wilson emphasized the need for additional funding for school meal programs. Also last week, Time for Kids focused on the importance of school breakfast and the popular, healthy breakfast items that kids are eating in schools.

School districts swamped with free lunch requests KSDK Missouri

SNA Reauthorization Blog Looks at Competitive Foods Bill

The most recent post to SNA's reauthorization blog "From the Kitchen to the Congress" looks at the Child Nutrition Promotion and School Lunch Protection Act of 2009 introduced earlier this month by Rep. Woolsey (D-CA.) SNA supports the legislation as it would give USDA the authority to set nutrition standards for all foods and beverages sold in schools regardless of the time of day or location.

Blog Post: Woolsey Bill 

Overweight Preschoolers Raise Their Heart Disease Risk

Research released last week provides further evidence that children are entering Kindergarten already overweight or at risk for obesity. New research presented last Wednesday at the American Heart Association's Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention annual conference, in Palm Harbor, Fla., shows that overweight children as young as age 3 can begin to show signs of cardiovascular disease risk factors. About 24 percent of U.S. children aged 2 to 5 are overweight, defined as having a body-mass index (BMI) in the 85th percentile or above for their height and age. Using data on 3,098 children aged 3 to 6 taking part in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, researchers analyzed levels of HDL, or "good," cholesterol and C-reactive protein, a marker for inflammation that can warn of cardiovascular disease. They found that children with high BMIs and large waist circumferences were more likely to have elevated levels of C-reactive protein and lower levels of HDL cholesterol than children of normal weight. Data on LDL, or "bad," cholesterol was not available.

Overweight Preschoolers Raise Risk of Heart Disease 

SNA Releases 2009-10 Promotional Calendar

When is National Book Month? What is Cinco de Mayo all about? How can you celebrate National Park Week? Turn to the resources featured in SNA’s annual online Promotional Calendar, a free member service produced by the editorial staff of School Nutrition. It’s a great resource for school nutrition professionals seeking suggestions for fun school or district promotions they can coordinate throughout the year. This year’s Promotional Calendar contains monthly, weekly and daily celebrations for the school year beginning August 2009. It’s brimming with promotional ideas—for decorations, costumes and activities—not to mention numerous fun facts! In addition, you will find website links, as available, to sponsoring or related organizations. Many of these feature additional background information and promotional ideas. To access the Promotional Calendar, please see Related Links. You will need your username and password.

2009-2010 Promotional Calendar

 

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, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Federal, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin.


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