Welcome to the Maine School Nutrition Association website. Our goal is to provide healthy meals and promote nutrition education to Maine’s school children. Our big, audactious goal is for Maine to become the first state to provide universal feeding for all school offered meals! Consider becoming a member of our organization and help us make sure that no Maine child goes hungry. We want to be the primary source of child nutrition information and want to see every school represented and supported by a high level of leadership.
Maine School Nutrition Association Annual Conference
Mon., Tues. & Wed., August 8, 9 & 10th, 2016
Cross Insurance Center, 515 Main Street, Bangor, ME
Please join us, reconnect with colleagues, get energized for the new school year and get your annual training hours met for the new Professional Development Standards that are now required for ALL school foodservice professionals!!
PLEASE CONTACT YOUR SENATOR AND REPRESENTATIVE BY FRIDAY
MAINE’S CHILDREN CANNOT AFFORD BLOCK GRANTS FOR SCHOOL NUTRITION!
for more information CLICK HERE
On May 18, 2016, the US House Education and the Workforce Committee approved H.R. 5003, the Improving Child Nutrition and Education Act of 2016, which contains a school meal block grant pilot project. The bill, approved by a vote of 20-14, now awaits consideration by the full House of Representatives.
While SNA and MSNA have been advocating for flexibility for the full implementation of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, the BLOCK GRANT pilot program totally throws out federal nutrition rules, reimbursements for paid students as well as capping how much money can be spent in a year. IF THIS STARTS AS A PILOT, IT CAN GROW TO INCLUDE ALL STATES including Maine.
The USDA would no longer pay a subsidy for each meal. There would be a set amount for the state and all schools would divide up the amount between them. There would be no reimbursement for paid meals or the $0.06 bonus- so your lunch price would need to rise $0.34 at least.
HOW MUCH WOULD THAT IMPACT YOUR BUDGET with the loss of participation?
While there are no federal nutrition rules, states would be able to pass their own. We have just seen how badly the food manufacturers handle coping with 50 different state rules for a la carte foods. At least with Smart Snacks, there is one set of rules. HOW WILL THIS IMPACT YOUR ABILITY TO OFFER MORE THAN JUST SCRATCH COOKING?
Please go to the School Nutrition Association website and take action - Representatives Pingree and Poliquin need to hear loud and clear that this is not acceptable. Senators Collins and King need to hear that the House version is unacceptable. You can send an email, you can call their office and speak with a staffer - it’s important to do either one this week!
SNA has three action steps for all MSNA members - click below:
Follow the SNA contact form especially if you do not know which House district you are in: Pingree for 1st, Poliquin for 2nd District.
You can customize the letter with any of the following options or the other letters available!
"In 1946, Congress made a promise to ensure America’s students have access to the nutritious meals they need to succeed at school. Our children are relying on Congress to keep their promise." - Jeanne Ronnei, President of SNA.
We approved the National School Lunch Program in 1946 after seeing how many of our youth were unfit for military duty due to malnourishment. Today, we need this program to help counter the twin crisis of childhood hunger and obesity that threaten our national security from within our borders.
The new guidelines are a path to a healthier country with our students leading the way; these guidelines ensure that federal dollars are used for nutrient dense, diet enhancing foods; the reimbursements have not kept up with the cost of these changes but that doesn’t mean all nutrition rules should be thrown out. The nutrition requirements for a child in Portland, Maine are not that different from a child in Portland, Oregon and both children need to move to healthier food habits for a lifetime of wellness.
In Maine, one in four children are at risk for hunger on any given day. School nutrition programs play a vital role in making sure all students have access to meals in order to fully participate in the school day. By limiting funding, this jeopardizes the ability to serve all students. An annual block grant cannot react to local layoffs, to natural disasters and a regional economy stuck in reverse. This would put even more pressure on state and local sources to insure their food programs remain solvent - taking dollars from the classroom. Our 600 schools with 186,000 students cannot afford this pilot program.
Michelle Obama's New Chef to Schools Coalition Now you can register your school to sign up for the Chefs to Schools program. You can count on menu ideas, recipes and training. Bring positive ideas into your program that parents and school staff will love. Visit the new Chefs Move to Schools website for more information
Did you know you don't have to leave home for trainings? Are you short credits for recertification?
You can get last minute continuing education credits through The National School Food Service Management Institute in Oxford, Mississippi. They are now offering online classes and webinars. Don't think for a moment that you don't have time. They recommend only taking 10-15 minutes at a time to work on a class. You pick up where you left off the next time you long in.