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Tuesday Morning - September 14, 2009

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September 15, 2009

Table of Contents

U.S. Congress is Back!

SNA Public Policy Chair Melanie Konarik Speaks at USDA Commodities Briefing

Senator Lincoln is Named New Ag Committee Chair

Increase in the Number of Americans on Food Stamps

School Nutrition Programs Continue to Make Headlines

Changes to the Gene White Lifetime Achievement Award

Get the Buzz on Social Media! Sign Up for Webinar Today!

Don’t Delay! Name Someone for FAME

 

SNA Legislative Action Center

Legislative Toolkit

PR Toolkit

From the Kitchen to the Congress Reauthorization Blog

State and Federal Legislation

Congress is Back!

September means back-to-school for families and school employees and back-to-session for the U.S. Congress. Please take this opportunity to reach out to your House and Senate members about Child Nutrition Reauthorization. To learn more about Child Nutrition Authorization, including SNA’s priorities, please visit SNA’s Reauthorization blog here, SNA Reauthorization blog.

Melanie Konarik Speaks at USDA Commodities Briefing

Two identical briefings were held in the U.S. House and Senate on September 9, 2009. SNA’s Melanie Konarik, Director of Child Nutrition, Spring Independent School District (TX) and Chair of SNA’s Public Policy and Legislation Committee, presented remarks which highlighted the roles of USDA commodities in school lunches as well as some of her activities regarding purchasing, taste-testing focus groups, and challenges with the commodity program.

USDA was represented by Cathie McCullough, Director of the Food Distribution Division who spoke about the Department’s activities on ensuring high-quality and nutritious commodities to schools. The USDA commodity program accounts for 15-20% of foods in the National School Lunch Program. The briefings, which were attended by dozens of Hill staff, will serve as additional information on the important program as the Congress continues its work on Child Nutrition Reauthorization. The California Food Policy Advocates and Leprino Foods Company also presented.

Senator Lincoln is Named New Ag Committee Chair

Senator Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., has assumed the position of Chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee. The Committee was formerly chaired by Senator Tom Harkin, D-Iowa who will now become chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

Sen. Lincoln is on record as saying that she would move forward with the reauthorization of the child nutrition programs, which expire Sept. 30, but has noted that it would impossible to reauthorize the programs by the end of the month. She said that she would probably seek a short-term reauthorization of the current program. It is also possible that no action could occur before early 2010. The bill includes the school lunch program and special program for women, infants and children known as WIC.

Increase in the Number of Americans on Food Stamps

The Department of Agriculture recently reported that the number of Americans on food stamps exceeded any previously collected totals. More than 35 million Americans receive assistance through food stamps.

This dramatic increase is an indication that Americans continue to struggle as a result of the weakened economy. June marked the eighth month in a row that the amount of people on the food stamp program continued to rise.

Get the Buzz on Social Media! Sign Up for Webinar Today!

If you haven’t heard the buzz yet, you will. “Social media” websites like Facebook and Twitter are taking the Internet by storm. Facebook is already the fourth most popular website in the world! Learn what all the buzz is about by joining the School Nutrition Foundation’s expert panel as they discuss how you can use social media both personally and professionally. It’s not as difficult as you might think! We’ll walk you through how to sign up and get started. You’ll get tips from an educational policy expert on how to navigate your school district’s technology arena, and we’ll even share how the SNA, SNF and the Global Child Nutrition Foundation are using social media to improve our online offerings. Reserve your seat today and prepare to take your school nutrition program to the next level with social media. Remember—space is limited, so sign up today!

SNF has convened an expert panel for our next Wednesday Webinar, on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2009 at 2:30 EDT. This webinar is free of charge. Participants can earn one CEU toward SNA certification. For complete information, including registration and speakers, visit http://www.schoolnutrition.org/Content.aspx?id=12947.

School Nutrition Programs Continue to Make Headlines

With school back in session across most of the country, school nutrition programs continued to make headlines this week. On Tuesday, the Washington Post published an article reviewing the trends included in SNA’s School Nutrition Operations Report: The State of School Lunch. The article also included a lengthy discussion of several issues surrounding Child Nutrition Reauthorization. The issues discussed include raising meal reimbursements and improving nutrition standards. SNA’s Back-to-School Media tour also continued this week. The student nutrition councils in the Lee’s Summit, Mo. School District, the 2009 District of the Year, were featured in an article airing on a local television station.

Washington Post article – Reading and Writing and Rigatoni: What's for Lunch at School? 
Lee’s Summit, Mo. - “School Lunch Taste Testers” 

Changes Made to the Gene White Lifetime Achievement Award

The Global Child Nutrition Foundation (GCNF) has changed the nomination process for the 2010 Gene White Lifetime Achievement Award for Child Nutrition (GWLAA). The GWLAA Selection Panel will nominate a candidate for approval by the GCNF Board of Directors.

This prestigious award is presented each March to an individual who has contributed in an exemplary way through their lifetime achievements toward helping the world's poorest children receive adequate nutrition, thrive, and to reach their full potential.

Former Senator George McGovern first awarded the Gene White Lifetime Achievement Award to Gene White in 2004 at the inaugural A Possible Dream Gala in Washington, DC.

Other past recipients of the award include Senator George McGovern, Senator Bob Dole, Dr. Josephine Martin, The Honorable Catherine Bertini, Edward M. Cooney and Marshall L. Matz.

The 2010 award will be presented at the Foundation’s 7th Annual A Possible Dream Gala to be held on Tuesday, March 2, 2010, at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, DC.

Don’t Delay! Name Someone for FAME

Time is running out to nominate school nutrition industry leaders for a national Foodservice Achievement Management Excellence (FAME) Award. For 21 years, the FAME Awards have recognized innovators in the profession who raise the school nutrition bar for others to follow. Nominations are due by Sept. 18, 2009.

Six categories will be awarded, including one Gold Award for School Foodservice Director of the Year and five Silver Awards: Leadership, Spirit, Rising Star, Special Achievement and Friend of Child Nutrition. Tuesday Morning readers may be especially interested in nominating candidates for the Silver Friend of Child Nutrition award. This award is given to an advocate of school nutrition, such as a principal, teacher, community leader, vendor partner, legislator or other supporter who goes above and beyond in supporting the efforts of America’s school nutrition professionals.

One former winner of this award is SNA’s Washington counsel, Marshall Matz. “I was honored to receive the FAME Silver Friend of Child Nutrition award in 1998. I have worked with SNA for 30 years trying to improve the reach, scope and effectiveness of the federal child nutrition programs. The FAME selection committee recognized this important partnership with the award, which greatly added to its meaning for me,” says Matz.

Nominations will be taken online or via a downloadable form at www.fameawards.net until Sept. 18, 2009.


 
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