MSNA is a non-profit organization comprised of School Food Service Professionals in the state of Maryland. We are affiliated with the National School Nutrition Association which connects us to others across the nation with our same interest...
Child Nutrition Programs for all children.
SNA Submits Comments on Proposed Competitive Foods Regs
(April 18, 2013) -- SNA convened a committee to develop the national organization's response to the "competitive foods" regulations published by USDA. MSNA sent a letter to USDA in support of the SNA comments. See the complete SNA response.
SNA Endorses Bipartisan School Nutrition Flexibility Act
(March 21, 2013) -- The School Nutrition Association (SNA) has endorsed H.R. 1303, a bill that would would permanently eliminate weekly maximums on grains and proteins served with school meals. Read SNA's press release.
Maryland Lawmakers asked to Support S-427, the Sensible School Lunch Act
On March 5, 2013, a delegation from Maryland School Nutrition Association visted all Maryland Congressional Offices to discuss Child Nutrition Issues. We mentioned S-427 as a key piece of legislation to our programs. There is a "Dear Colleague" letter now in the House that we would like the members of the Maryland Delegation to co-sign. Click here to view the letter. The bill makes the flexibility granted by USDA on grain and protein amounts permanent and allows local control over student paid pricing as long as the program is well managed and operates in a financially positive manner.
We would very much like to see Maryland be a leader in this area and have a unified stance on this issue.
Please contact Federal Legislative Chair Mary Klatko if you have questions or would like additional information. Thank you for your time and interest in the welfare of Maryland's students.
House Committee On Education and the Workforce Budget Report for FY 2014 Addresses New Regs
The House Committee on Education and the Workforce has sent its budget report to the Committee on the Budget. The report contains specific language regarding the child nutrition programs, as excerpted below. Read the full report.
(the following is excepted from the House Committee on Education and the Workforce Budget Views and Estimates for Fiscal Year 2014, dated February 27, 2013)
National School Lunch program and the other initiatives that make up the Child Nutrition Act are designed to combat hunger and poor nutrition among low-income children and families. According to the Congressional Research Service (CRS), federally supported child nutrition programs reach more than 40 million children and two million lower-income expectant and new mothers daily. In 2010, congress passed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which updated and extended these programs. However, the legislation also opened the door to federal micromanagement of school lunches, breakfasts, suppers, snacks, and other food sold on school campuses. The committee believes the regulatory agenda coming from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) through the new school nutrition standards and competitive foods rules are overly burdensome and costly to our nation's schools. To this end, the committee asked the GAO to investigate whether the new school nutrition standards result in higher costs and more food waste in school cafeterias. Recently, the committee urged USDA to provide additional flexibility to school food service agencies struggling to meet the new nutrition standards. The department responded by allowing school districts to raise the maximize size of servings as long as they meet minimum requirements for meat and grain services. Unfortunately, the change is for only one-year. The committee will continue to monitor USDA's actions and work to reduce the cost and burden of new federal requirements. The committee encourages the Committee on the Budget to provide adequate funding for the program and explore whether changes need to be made to the Child Nutrition Act to reverse the costly nature of the new regulations.
USDA Releases Q&A on Breakfast Regs
USDA has released Q&A on the breakfast regulations. MSDE will conduct breakfast program workshops shortly and will explain any changes for next school year and the implementation plan for the following year.
Senate Bill Seeks Permanent Change to USDA Regulation
(March 8, 2013) -- S427 was introduced during the LAC this week in Washington, DC. It calls for a permenent change to the grain and protein requirements of the new regulations. We have flexibility this and next school year as long as we meet the minimums and calories. for the day The maximums were removed. This is good. Hopefully we can get co-sponsors in the Senate and a companion bill in the House. All 50 states had representatives on the Hill on Tuesday seeking that support. We will keep you updated. More information.
USDA Announceds One-Year Extension of Flexibility for Grains and Proteins
USDA hsa announced a one-year extension of the flexibility on meeting the weekly requirements for grains and meat/meat alternates through School Year 2013-2014. This extension applies to both breakfast and lunch and states that schools must only meet the weekly minimum through SY 2013-14. USDA stated that they received a strong amount of feedback showing that the flexibility for this school year better allowed SFAs to create healthy nutritious meals while maintaining the integrity of the objectives of the Meal Pattern Guidelines. USDA is open to the idea of a further extension in the future.
Making the flexibility permanent is the first point of the SNA 2013 Legislative Issue Paper. SNA is pleased to see the one-year extension, but the Association remains committed to achieving a permanent elimination of the weekly limits on Grains and Meat/Meat Alternates served in the National School Lunch Program. Weekly limits on the grains and proteins create significant menu planning challenges as school nutrition professionals cannot offer healthy options like daily sandwiches (too much grain), a small side of peanut butter with celery sticks or low or non-fat cheese and yogurt on the salad bar (too much protein).
The entire USDA Memo can be found by clicking here.
USDA Issues Proposed Rule on Snack Foods and Beverages Sold in Schools
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has issued its proposed rule (pdf) on all foods sold in school outside of school lunch, including a la carte items, snack foods, and beverages.
Click here to view a chart summarizing the proposed regs.
2013 SFSP Rates
This notice informs the public of the annual adjustments to the reimbursement rates for meals served in the Summer Food Service Program for Children. These adjustments address changes in the Consumer Price Index, as required under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act. The 2013 reimbursement rates are presented as a combined set of rates to highlight simplified cost accounting procedures. The 2013 rates are also presented individually, as separate operating and administrative rates of reimbursement, to show the effect of the Consumer Price Index adjustment on each rate.
USDA Provides Revisd Q&A on Certification
On January 22, 2013, USDA provided revised questions and answers related to the interim rule entitled Certification of Compliance with Meal Requirements for the National School Lunch Program under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.
SNA Approves 2013 Legislative Issue Paper
On December 13, 2012, SNA’s Committee on Public Policy and Legislation convened at National Harbor to draft the 2013 Legislative Issue Paper. The Issue Paper has been reviewed and approved by the SNA Board of Directors. This important document drives SNA’s legislative agenda for 2013 and its activities with the new 113th Congress. Click here to read more.
USDA Issues New Guidance Regarding Maximums for Grains and Proteins
December 7, 2012 -- USDA has issued new guidance regarding meat/meat alternative and grain maximums for the 2012-13 school year.
MSNA Spring Workshops Announced
Beginning this year, MSNAwill offer a three-part series of professional
development workshops focused on Supervisory Skill
Development. Attending this series is an exciting way to build
your skills as a school nutrition professional and maintain
your certification. Workshops will be held in March and April in several locations around the state. Learn more
Committee Requests Study on Controversial New School Lunch Requirements
WASHINGTON, D.C. | October 31, 2012 -
House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN), along with Representatives Kristi Noem (R-SD) and Phil Roe, M.D. (R-TN) today asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to evaluate the impact of new requirements under the National School Lunch Program on students, schools, and taxpayers.
In recent months, reports have indicated the standards are leading to hungrier students, wasted food, and increased costs. As the members note in their letter:
Since the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year, state and local officials, parents, and students have raised concerns about a number of these challenges, specifically the adequacy of the calorie maximum, the cost of the new requirements, and increased food waste in cafeterias. Many schools are concerned the requirements limit their flexibility and make it more difficult to adapt their menus to meet the preferences and needs of their students and school communities.
The members ask GAO to examine the challenges school officials face in their efforts to comply with the new standards, how mandatory price increases have affected the program, and what steps the Department of Agriculture has taken to help schools implement the requirements.
To read the letter, click here.
NOTE: Chairman Kline and Representatives Noem and Roe also recently sent a letter to Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack asking USDA to provide more details about the implementation of the requirements and disclose any future studies to evaluate their effect on food waste and student nutrition.
Md. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly American Dietetic Association) Hosts Session on National
Event date: December 4, 2012. Location: Harbor Hospital, Baltimore, MD Learn more.
.SNA New Meal Pattern Resource
SNA has created a Meal Pattern Resource Center to help SNA members get the latest information on the new Meal Pattern. You must be an SNA member and use your member login to access this information. It is available at http://www.schoolnutrition.org/Content.aspx?id=16630
Income Eligibility Guidelines for SY 2012-13
March 25, 2012 -- The federal government has announced the Income Eligibility Guidelines for July 1, 2012 - June 30, 2013.
March 25, 2012 -- In its Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Resolution, the House Budget Committee recommends converting the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) into a block grant. The concept of Block Grants to states to divide up a lump sum of federal assistance money to various nutirion programs has been around almost since the beginning of the Child Nutrition programs. It has never succeeded because of the uneven distribution that is bound to occur when you pit one program against another for funds and all states will divide it differently. Right now, all federal assistance nutrition prorams are entitlement, meaning you serve a meal and you get paid for it. It is a major concern to start down that block grant road with the SNAP program because once one program goes into it, you can be assured the rest will follow, including the school lunch and breakfast programs.
The document The Path to Prosperity: A Blueprint for American Renewal includes information about the block grant. An excerpt, from page 43 of the document, appears below.
Convert the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) into a block grant tailored for each state’s low—income population, indexed for inflation and eligibility beginning in 2016 – after employment has recovered. Make aid contingent on work or job training.
Begin devolving other low—income assistance programs to the states. State Governments can better tailor assistance programs to their specific populations, providing a more robust safety net and reducing waste in these programs.
With regard to federal low-income assistance programs, starting with SNAP, this budget proposes two of the reforms that led to the success of welfare reform in the late 1990s. First, the budget ends the flawed incentive structure that rewards states for signing up ever-higher numbers of recipients. By capping the open-ended federal subsidy and freeing states to come up with innovative approaches to delivering aid to those who truly need it, this reform encourages states to reduce rolls and help recipients find work.
Second, it calls for time limits and work requirements like those that proved successful at cutting welfare rolls in half and reducing poverty nationwide. These changes would be phased in gradually, however, to give states and recipients opportunity to adjust and the employment time to recover.
"MyPlate" - New Icon for the Dietary Guidelines
The federal government has unveiled a new food icon, MyPlate, to remind consumers tomake healthier food choices. Click on the link above to see the icon and learn more about this new initiative.
School Meals: Building Blocks for Healthy Children, Institute of Medicine, October 2009
Additional Information from IOM
Other Items of Interest...
The attendees at the March 2010 LAC in Washington, D.C. heard Dr. Keith-Thomas Ayoob, EDD, R.D., FADA, Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York. Dr. Ayoob very directly addressed nutrition misconceptions frequently seen on the internet. He said science is the basis of nutrition and we should not be influenced by personal opinions or philosophy. Click here to download a PowerPoint presentation that highlights valid studies about allergies, food colors, hyperactivity, sugar, sodium, aspertame, etc. Mary Klatko, federal legislative chaiman, has requested the video from the conference which will be posted as soon as it is released. This is one you will not want to miss!
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