USDA Thornton Announces USDA Retirement With the dawn of 2015, the school nutrition community learned of the imminent retirement of a familiar face at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. On January 8, 2015, Dr. Janey Thornton, SNS, announced her retirement as deputy undersecretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, a position she was appointed to by President Obama in 2009. Prior to her appointment, Thornton, 2006-07 SNA president, had worked for many years as school nutrition director for Hardin County (Ky.) Schools. “Janey has been a passionate advocate for school meal programs, the children they serve and the professionals who have dedicated their lives to the mission of feeding students healthy meals at school,” said SNA CEO Patricia Montague, CAE. “SNA members are especially grateful for Janey’s leadership throughout the years, and wish the very best to her and her family.” SNA President Julia O. Bauscher, SNS, cites Thornton as mentor, crediting her “unparalleled” faithfulness ensuring students have access to healthy foods at school. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s statement echoed the universal praise. “Janey has worked with great knowledge and passion,” he said. “She has, throughout her distinguished career, always, always put our children first. They have had no better advocate for a healthier start in life or healthier meals at schools than Janey. She will be sorely missed, but we will be forever grateful for her service.” HEALTHY CELEBRATIONS Bite Into National Nutrition Month This month, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics encourages everyone to “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle” as part of National Nutrition Month, an annual celebration that targets the importance of making smart food choices and also developing healthy eating and physical activity habits. The 2015 theme encourages eating plans that focus on lower calorie consumption and regular physical fitness to promote overall good health. While you have all of March to promote National Nutrition Month, these are terrific messages to support all year long! One simple suggestion is to create a “nutrition question of the day” contest: Have students answer during their lunch period, and draw winners from among those who had the correct answer. Reward winners at lunch the following day with small prizes. This engages students and increases lunchtime participation. For more ideas, visit www.eatright.org/nnm. RESEARCH FRAC Issues Two Reports The Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) has issued two reports that examine participation rates in both the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs (NSLP/SBP). Both can be accessed at www.frac.org. The School Breakfast Scorecard: 2013-2014 School Year reports that this “historically underutilized program” continues to grow. Researchers found that of every 100 low-income children who ate school lunch, 53.2 kids also ate school breakfast. This is up from 51.9 the previous school year. In addition, FRAC noted that the share of total schools that offer breakfast, as well as lunch, passed the important benchmark of 90% in SY 2013-14. Among factors for the incremental participation increase, FRAC found that the widespread implementation of breakfast in the classroom continued to drive high participation in the best-performing states. The introduction of the Community Eligibility Provision (see page 34) also made a notable difference in pilot states. New Mexico and West Virginia, which both have state-mandated school breakfast policies, had the highest ratio of low-income children participating in both meal programs. But the 48 states that fell short of the 70:100 ratio goal left $900 million in federal funding on the table. Earlier this winter, FRAC’s National School Lunch Program: Trends and Factors Affecting Student Participation concluded that recent declines in the paid meal category were attributed more to a variety of economic factors, the introduction of CEP, increased meal prices and the availability of competitive foods, and less to student reaction to recently implemented strict nutrition requirements. It’s a conclusion not fully supported by SNA. In a press release published on SchoolNutrition.org, CEO Patricia Montague, CAE, acknowledged that economic trends and efforts to reach more low-income students have caused a redistribution of students from the paid meal category to the free/reduced-price categories, but took issue with the report’s failure to address the fact that 1.4 million fewer students are participating in the NSLP since the new nutrition standards took effect. The NSLP enjoyed steady overall growth until FY 2012, which saw the first decline in total daily participation since 1990, despite other periods of economic struggle. REGULATIONS Action Required on New HHFKA Updates It’s the first major update of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) since the program’s inception in 1968. In January, USDA published a proposed a rule with new nutrition standards for meals served to more than 3 million children each day, as well as to adults in non-residential day-care settings. The proposed rule includes several key points that have the potential to impact school nutrition programs: 1) It adds a fourth age group (13 to 18 years) to the meal pattern for children; 2) It separates the fruit and vegetable component for children and adults; 3) It requires that at least one grain serving per day, across all eating occasions, be whole grain or whole grain-rich; 4) It prevents grain-based desserts from counting toward the grains component; and 5) It allows an optional meat or meat alternate to be served at breakfast in lieu of some grains. USDA seeks input on the proposed rule from the public; to weigh in, visit www.regulations.gov and search for Child and Adult Care Food Program: Meal Pattern Revisions Related to the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. The commenting period is open until April 15, 2015. Separately, SNA has provided official comments to USDA on the issue of unpaid meal charges. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA) requires USDA to examine and report on the current policies and practices regarding extending credit to children by allowing them to “charge” the cost of school meals on the day of service. To read SNA’s comments, visit http://tinyurl.com/UnpaidMealCharges-SNAComments. NutrıNET Portion Distortion http://tinyurl.com/NHLBI-portions Learn how food portions have changed in 20 years with quizzes put together by The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. These can be incorporated into nutrition education lessons for students and families. Canva www.canva.com Create a free account to use this resource to design dynamic flyers, presentations, banners, infographics, social media graphics and other materials. Download finished projects as PDFs or share to social media sites. Food Safe Families Campaign Toolkit http://foodsafety.adcouncil.org/ Download customizable materials, quizzes, activity books and more about food safety. The site also offers PSA videos in English and Spanish. Calendar 15 Mar15 MAR. 21-23 75th Annual Conference, National School Boards Association Nashville, Tenn.; www.nsba.org/conference MAR. 27-30 2015 Annual Conference, International Association of Culinary Professionals Washington, D.C.; www.iacp.com MAR. 29-APR. 2 42nd Annual Conference and Expo, National Head Start Association Washington, D.C.; www.nhsa.org Apr15 APR. 6-8 Education Innovation Summit, ASU + GSV Scottsdale, Ariz.; www.asugsvsummit.com APR. 13-14 9th Annual American Food Technology & Innovation Summit, WTG Events Chicago; www.thefoodsummit.com APR. 16-20 2015 Annual Meeting, American Educational Research Association Chicago; www.aera.net APR. 21-22 38th Annual National Food Policy Conference, Consumer Federation of America Washington, D.C.; www.consumerfed.org APR. 28-30 Food Safety Summit Expo & Conference Baltimore, Md.; www.foodsafetysummit.com May15 MAY 3-5 Annual Conference, American Commodity Distribution Association Salt Lake City, Utah; www.commodityfoods.org/acda-annual-conference MAY 5-7 Healthy Flavors, Healthy Kids National Leadership Summit, The Culinary Institute of America San Antonio, Texas; www.ciahealthykids.com MAY 16-17 National Food Allergy Conference, Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) Long Beach, Calif.; www.foodallergy.org MAY 16-19 NRA Show 2015, National Restaurant Association Chicago; http://show.restaurant.org NEWS Bites DateBOOK March Irish-American Heritage Month National Nutrition Month National Women’s History Month National School Breakfast Week (Mar. 2-6) National Agriculture Week (Mar. 15-21) National Grammar Day (Mar. 4) Daylight Savings Time Begins (Mar. 8) Registered Dietitian Day (Mar. 11) St. Patrick’s Day (Mar. 17) Spring Begins (Mar. 20) April Defeat Diabetes Month National Autism Awareness Month National Child Abuse Prevention Month National Yogurt Month School Library Month Stress Awareness Month National Library Week (Apr. 12-18) National Playground Safety Week (Apr. 20-24) Public School Volunteer Week (Apr. 20-24) Good Friday (Apr. 3) Passover (Apr. 4) Easter Sunday (Apr. 5) World Health Day (Apr. 7) Tax Day (Apr. 15) Boston Marathon (Apr. 20) Earth Day (Apr. 22) Shakespeare’s Birthday (Apr. 23) Arbor Day (Apr. 24) May National Egg Month National Hamburger Month National Mental Health Month National Salad Month Physical Fitness and Sports Month Teacher Appreciation Week (May 3-9) School Nutrition Employee Week (May 4-8) Food Allergy Awareness Week (May 10-16) National Children’s Book Week (May 11-17) School Lunch Hero Day (May 1) Cinco de Mayo (May 5) Mother’s Day (May 10) Enter to WIN Share Socially Celebrate National School Breakfast Week and National Nutrition Month by helping to narrow the hunger gap through participation in Kellogg’s second annual “Share Your Breakfast” social media campaign. For every person who shares the “power of breakfast” on social media—in words or pictures on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or YouTube—the company will donate money to help Action for Healthy Kids in its efforts to increase participation in the School Breakfast Program. Kellogg’s set a goal of sharing 1 million breakfasts; at press time, the campaign had exceeded its goal and was still going strong at 1.5 million shares. To do your part, visit http://tinyurl.com/KelloggsShare-Brkfst. Education for All The School Nutrition Foundation (SNF), the philanthropic sister organization of SNA, is now accepting applications for the SNF Education Scholarships, which provide SNA members with funding for tuition and books for SY 2015-16 to pursue a degree in a school foodservice-related program of study at a vocational/technical, undergraduate, graduate or post-graduate level. Applications are due by April 6, 2015, and must be submitted via the online SNA Common Application form, found at http://schoolnutrition.org/EducationScholarships. The SNA Common Application automatically applies qualified individuals for all available SNF Education Scholarships. Scholarships are made possible, in part, from donations from SNA members to the 2014 SNF Annual Fund. To donate to the 2015 SNF Annual Fund and contribute to future scholarships, visit https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/snf. For questions on SNF scholarships and equipment grants, contact email@example.com. Egg-cellent News Egg-cellent News Davidson’s Safest Choice® Pasteurized Eggs is launching its first-ever “Eggs for Everyone” Recipe Contest in search of the best original recipes showcasing the appeal of Safest Choice™ to all consumers, including those with specific dietary preferences. This round of the competition asks for your most satisfying meatless recipe featuring Davidson’s Safest Choice® Pasteurized Eggs (proof of purchase required with entry). Three winners will receive a culinary package worth $200 plus vouchers for a one-year supply of the product (18 vouchers). To enter by March 13, 2015, visit www.safeeggs.com/land/eggs-for-everyone. Slow-Cooker Success Break out your recipes for dishes that roast, simmer and marinate with 12 or fewer ingredients and you could have a chance to win $500 and recognition in an upcoming issue of Taste of Home magazine. Enter your original oven-roasted dishes or stove-top simmers in this contest. Entries will be judged on taste, visual appeal, creativity and crowd appeal. Enter by March 23, 2015, at www.tasteofhome.com/contests. From the Peanut Gallery Congratulations to Beth Royals of Richmond, Va., the winner of the 47th annual Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest. She earned $1 million for her original recipe, Peanutty Pie Crust Clusters. The sweet treat is made with flaky pie crust, white vanilla baking chips, peanut butter, cocktail peanuts and toffee. For the recipe, visit www.pillsbury.com/bakeoff. The Perfect Pie Does your pie have what it takes to win top prize? If so, hurry, because the American Pie Council is accepting entries to the 2015 APC National Pie Championships® through March 8, 2015. The grand prize winner receives $5,000 and 12 first-place prizes earn $200. Categories are available for amateurs, professional bakers and independent/retail bakers. For full rules and details, visit www.piecouncil.org.
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