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Child Nutrition 101


Is the Child Nutrition Program about to be caught in ... Child Nutrition program. ... Child Nutrition Administrators are being held to an impossible standard. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Child Nutrition 101


The Perfect StormA forecast for the Child
Nutrition Program
School Nutrition Association Legislative Action
Conference March 3, 2008
Lynn Hoggard, Ed.D., RD, LDN, FADA Section Chief,
Child Nutrition Services NC Department of Public
What is the Perfect Storm?
  • The reference was originally
  • to a fishing boat that was
  • caught in not just one storm,
  • but many weather fronts
  • coming at it from all
  • directions. The boat was
  • sturdy and the crew was
  • experienced, but it could not
  • endure the collision of
  • multiple storms at one time.

The Perfect Storm
  • The meteorologist who predicted the
  • weather patterns would converge in
  • one small area said it was an
  • unprecedented set of circumstances.
  • A single weather front alone would
  • have created a dangerous storm, but
  • with all the weather fronts coming
  • together at just the right time, the
  • storm exploded into epic proportions.

  • Bob Case, Meteorologist
  • NOAA
    National Weather Service

Is the Child Nutrition Program about to be caught
in the Perfect Storm?
  • Several factors have begun
  • to circulate in North Carolina
  • that have the potential to
  • converge upon the Child
  • Nutrition Program at one time.
  • If these factors collide with no
  • rescue efforts, the programs
  • future will be in jeopardy.

Are conditions favorable for the Perfect Storm?
  • The Child Nutrition Program
  • was the first homeland
  • security program it was
  • authorized during Post WW ll
  • era with the intent of
  • safeguarding the well-being
  • and security of the nation.
  • The Child Nutrition Program
  • thrived for nearly 4 decades
  • under the guiding principle of
  • this is the right thing to do for
  • students.

Are conditions favorable for the Perfect Storm?
  • In the early 80s, the massive Federal budget cut
    threatened the program.
  • Nationwide, the program struggled to operate and
    began to expand the sale of extra foods and
    beverages to students to meet financial
    obligations A la Carte meal service began to
    produce relief from the budget cuts.

Are conditions favorable for the Perfect Storm?
  • A la Carte program has thrived.
  • Schools made money selling foods
  • and beverages to students.
  • Students developed an appetite for
  • A la Carte/competitive foods.
  • Schools developed an appetite
  • for revenues from the sale of
  • A la Carte/competitive foods.
  • Stigma associated with free or reduced price
  • State and local funding has been re-directed
  • Indirect costs have been assessed to the program


Are conditions favorable for the Perfect Storm?
  • Over the past 20 years, there has been a
  • cultural, nutritional, operational and financial
  • shift in priorities surrounding the
  • Child Nutrition Program.
  • In many NC school districts, the philosophy of
  • Its the right thing to do for children
  • has been replaced with the administrations
    priority of
  • How much revenue can be generated?


Are conditions favorable for the Perfect Storm?
  • Current perception
  • The Child Nutrition Program is a
  • Federal Program and is required, by law,
  • to be financially self-supporting.
  • Consequently, there is little ownership of the
  • program by state and local
  • decision-makers.

What are the factors that may converge to create
the Perfect Storm in the Child Nutrition
Factor 1Operating costs are increasing.
  • Food Costs
  • Fuel/Delivery Costs
  • Service/maintenance
  • Labor Costs
  • Employee Benefits
  • Other costs

Factor 2 Indirect costs are increasing.
  • Indirect costs are being used to
  • help balance the budgets of
  • school districts.
  • Districts are assessing 100 of
  • the unrestricted rate with little
  • consideration to the effect on the
  • Child Nutrition program.
  • Indirect costs diminish the free reimbursement
    rate from 2.47 to 2.23.

Factor 2 Indirect costs are increasing.
  • There is no requirement to provide documentation
    that the expenses charged as indirect costs are
    allocable to the Child Nutrition program.
  • 60 of NC school districts showed a revenue loss
    in 2006 2007 year only 5 would have shown a
    loss had all or a portion of indirect cost been

Factor 3Program revenues are decreasing.
  • Federal Reimbursement, while generous, has not
  • kept pace with cost of living.
  • Commodities/entitlement dollars remain limited.
  • A la Carte Sales have plummeted as less healthful
  • foods and beverages have been replaced with
  • healthful options.
  • Adult Meal Sales are declining
  • as districts are required to increase
  • adult meal prices to ensure CN funds
  • are used only to benefit students.

Factor 3Program revenues are decreasing.
  • Catering (where permitted) generates minimal
  • State Revenue Match Funds were established in the
  • early 80s and have not been adjusted to
  • current program needs. States are required to
  • a minimum investment to receive a maximum
  • benefit.
  • Interest earned on investments
  • Revenues from the sale of equipment

Factor 4Nutrition Standards will increase costs.
  • In 2005, NC General Assembly appropriated 25,000
    to test the nutrition standards in 124 elementary
  • The standards reflected the Dietary Guidelines.
  • The standards were tested for achievability,
    affordability and student appeal.

Results of Pilots of Nutrition Standards
  • Initially, the standards were too ambitious and
    unachievable they were modified weekly.
  • Products were not yet available to schools.
  • Food costs were higher, especially whole grains,
    fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Production/labor costs were higher.
  • Equipment was inadequate to support the
  • Student participation declined then rebounded.
  • School districts lost 15 times the amount
    appropriated for the pilot in less than 5 months.

Results of Pilots of Nutrition Standards
  • General Assembly mandated that the SBE adopt
    nutrition standards based on pilots.
  • SBE adopted nutrition standards for elementary
    schools based on input from Child Nutrition
  • SBE will only consider middle and high school
    nutrition standards after they are piloted for
    achievability, affordability and student
  • Provided the basis to request 20 million in
    recurring state funds.

Factor 5 Sale and availability of competitive
foods and beverages
The sale of foods and beverages in competition
with the school meals programs is estimated to
divert 60,000 to 80,000 from the Child
Nutrition Program in each high school. The
amount of time available for student meals
contributes to this problem.
Factor 6 Student meal charges are on the rise.
  • Student meal charges have typically been ignored
  • by school administrators the Child Nutrition
  • Program has been expected to absorb the
  • In the past, a considerable amount of student
  • charges were the result of issues not related
  • hunger.
  • To date, 1 NC school district had 55,000 unpaid
  • meals the district projects nearly 400,000
    in meal
  • charges and unpaid meals by year end.

Factor 7 Eligibility Guidelines have not kept
pace with economic conditions.
  • Working poor or economically disadvantaged
  • families are being disproportionately
    affected by the
  • current economy, but too many do not qualify
  • meal benefits.
  • Has the time come for the eligibility guidelines
  • reflect a factor related to the economic
    conditions of
  • the district?

Factor 8Provisions of 2004 Reauthorization were
important, but costly.
  • There was no appropriation for many of the new
  • provisions of the law.
  • School districts have seen increased costs in
  • labor, employee training, technology and
  • equipment.
  • Central offices are no longer adequately staffed
  • provide program oversight which prevents
  • program monitoring.

Factor 9 Child Nutrition Administrators are
being held to an impossible standard.
  • Child Nutrition Administrators are being caught
  • in the middle in the battle between healthy
  • foods and healthy school finances.
  • Many well-qualified Child
  • Nutrition Administrators are
  • choosing other career options.
  • The pool if qualified Child
  • Nutrition Administrators is
  • very limited.

Factor 9Child Nutrition Administrators are
being held to an impossible standard.
Example Average cost to produce a
school lunch is 2.80 Average cost to a
paying student is 1.75 Free reimbursement
falls short by 0.33 Reduced reimbursement
falls short by 0.73 Paid rate falls short
by 2.57 Paid rate meal cost falls short by
0.49 Where will the revenues to offset the
losses come from?
Is the Perfect Storm in the forecast?
  • If the Child Nutrition Program continues on its
    current course
  • Increased operating costs
  • Increased indirect costs
  • Revenue sources are limited
  • Competitive foods are undermining the program
  • Current economy is competing with the program
  • Little or no state or local funding or in-kind
  • Federal reimbursement is not adequate to support
    program costs
  • Programs are under-staffed
  • Qualified CN Administrators are leaving

  • If the Child Nutrition Program
  • continues on its current course
  • The
  • Perfect Storm is
  • forecast for
  • most districts in NC.

Unlike the real Perfect Storm, where noperson or
thing could control or prevent it, we CAN
prevent this Perfect Storm from occurring inNC
and throughout the nation.
Food for Thought
  • Continue to exercise due diligence to prevent the
  • Perfect Storm.
  • Examine costs (labor, food, other) and make
  • changes in areas that do not compromise the
  • quality of service or participation.
  • Maximize reimbursable meals.
  • Consider cooperative purchasing.
  • Consider meal price increases.
  • Ensure adequate meal times for students.
  • Help school administrators understand the
    economic cost of competitive foods.
  • Keep school administrators and BOEs informed.

Food for Thought
  • Make a compelling case to your legislators for
  • 1. Increased federal funding that reflects the
    actual cost of producing meals.
  • 2. REJECT any discussion of budget cuts.
  • 3. Advocate to eliminate the Reduced Price
  • 4. Strengthen the statutory requirement for
    State and Local governments to support the
  • directly or indirectly.
  • 5. Leverage State funding support by allowing
    state-adopted nutrition standards that are
    consistent with the Dietary Guidelines.

Food for Thought
  • Make a compelling case to your legislators for
  • 6. USDA to have authority over all foods and
    beverages available on campus, both content and
    revenues add requirement to local wellness
    policy to address student meal times.
  • 7. Testing any nutrition standards for
    achievability, affordability and student
    acceptance before mandating them.
  • 8. Issuing specific guidance to State Agencies
    and SFAs regarding Indirect Costs.

Food for Thought
  • Perhaps the leadership of SNA would consider
  • 9. A national education campaign to promote the
    unique skill set and capabilities of Child
    Nutrition Administrators.
  • 10. A national campaign, in partnership with the
    NSBA and NACG/NACC and other collaborating groups
    to help inform them of the potential crisis in
    the Child Nutrition Program, and subsequently
    within the community.

Lets rise to the challenge!
  • Lets consider these factors as
  • opportunities rather than obstacles.
  • Lets remember that
  • we are advocates for children.
  • At the end of the day, we must be able
  • to say we made the right choices
  • to do the right thing for students.