Child Nutrition Advisory Council
An Advisory Body to the State Board Of Education
December 17, 2012
Carol Chase, Nori Grossman, Lawrence Herrera, Clell Hoffman, Lucy McProud, Marni Posey, Barbara Rohrer, and Trish Vance
State Board of Education Liaison
Representative for the State Board of Education
Caroline Danielson, Soo Zee Park, and Colleen You
Also Present—California Department of Education
Mike Danzik, Martie Hague, Suzanna Nye, Deborah Tamannaie, Diane Waters, and Chris Kavooras
Call to Order
Larry Herrera, Chair, called the meeting to order at 10:15 a.m.
The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.
Approval of Agenda
Lucy McProud moved to approve the agenda for December 17, 2012, and Marni Posey seconded the motion. The Child Nutrition Advisory Council (CNAC) voted to approve the December 17, 2012, agenda.
Approval of Minutes
Lucy McProud moved that the minutes of the October 29, 2012, meeting be accepted. Barbara Rohrer seconded the motion. The CNAC voted to accept the minutes of the October 29, 2012, meeting.
There was no public comment.
Beth Rice provided a brief explanation of Proposition 30, which was passed in the November election. While there will be an increase in amount of funds that will be available to schools through this proposition, for the next several years, most of these funds will be used to pay down some of the debt incurred by districts resulting from the state’s deferral of payments to them.
Chris Kavooras, Southern School Nutrition Program Unit, Manager, and Suzanna Nye, Field Services Unit (FSU), Manager, explained the complex topic of the proper use of cafeteria funds. Use of these funds is restricted to the school nutrition programs. However, some districts, whether unknowingly or deliberately, misappropriated money from their cafeteria funds in the past. In excess of $165 million has been incorrectly used by 60 school food authorities (SFA) in California.
One difficulty SFAs face is the non-specificity of the requirements. The cafeteria fund can be used to purchase kitchen equipment but not buildings or land, and cannot be used to construct a building. However, when added equipment requires updates to plumbing or electrical wiring, the requirements are not as clear. SFAs with these questions should contact the Nutrition Services Division (NSD) for guidance.
When a violation is discovered, the SFA will be reviewed by a Child Nutrition Consultant and the facts documented. The SFA must repay the cafeteria fund in a reasonable amount of time (undefined).
The term “Net Cash Resources” (NCR) was explained and defined as the amount of funding in an SFA’s cafeteria fund at any one time, including accounts receivable. An SFA must keep their NCR at a level of three months’ average expenditures. When an SFA’s NCR is in excess of three months’ average operating expenses, the SFA should contact the NSD’s FSU to enter into an agreement for a spending plan to reduce their NCR as appropriate. The FSU will help the SFA determine whether a spending plan is needed (if the SFA has a reasonable expectation for having more than three months’ expenditures, etc.). Spending plans must be preapproved by the NSD’s FSU.
The CNAC made observations and recommendations.
- The Financial Management classes provided by CalProNET should include instruction on the correct use of cafeteria funds.
- Superintendents and Chief Business Officers should be targeted for education on this issue, as well as Food Service Directors.
- Whistleblowers must be protected.
- The NSD should send letters from the State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson to individual school board members regarding this issue.
- The Association of California School Administrators can provide an opportunity to present the cafeteria fund requirements to principals and superintendents in their newsletter and magazine.
- Reviewing cafeteria fund usage should be added to the Audit Guide.
- This issue should be included in the training for school administration credentials.
Deborah Tamannaie, Nutrition Education Consultant (NEC), and Martie Hague, Staff Services Analyst, led a discussion about mealtime management. The goal for minimum seat time at lunch time is 20 minutes. However, in practice the amount of time varies widely in California schools. The NSD’s first step is to release a letter from State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, encouraging schools to provide adequate time to eat meals. Deborah and Martie provided the Council with a copy of the draft letter. Council members provided feedback.
The second step is to survey schools to find current practices, possibly through the Child Nutrition Information Payment System, in order to establish a baseline to provide back-up for possible changes. Martie and Deborah shared a draft of the survey, and Council members provided feedback.
Some of the questions about meeting the minimum seat time goal are:
- How do we provide enough time for the last child in line to have adequate time to eat?
- How should irregularities such as rainy days and shortened schedules be addressed?
- Are teachers permitted to detain students in the classroom during the lunch period as a disciplinary measure?
- Are students allowed to stay in the food service area until they are finished?
- Would scheduling recess before the meal be an improvement?
The NSD would like to have a report ready from the survey for the 2013–14 school year with current practices and best practices.
The CNAC adjourned for lunch.
The meeting was reconvened after lunch.
Certification and Validation
Suzanna Nye reviewed the validation process required by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in the implementation of the new Meal Pattern Requirements. Certification requires each SFA to provide specific documentation demonstrating its compliance with the New Meal Pattern. The USDA requires states to conduct on-site review in districts with 40,000 students or more. In addition, states must conduct on-site reviews for a random 25 percent. This process is only for the year 2012–13.
Access to Potable Drinking Water
Mike Danzik, NEC, and Diane Waters, Senior Architect in the Facilities Planning Policy and Standards Unit, spoke on access to drinking water in schools. State and federal law both require drinking water to be free and available in the food service area. The building code requires one drinking fountain for every 150 persons. This is not adequate, however, because in a school setting we might find 100 students wanting to access water after recess. Education Code 17002 requires that the fountains are “maintained in a manner that assures that [they are] clean, safe, and functional.” Outside fountains can be difficult to maintain, and some districts do not have safe, drinkable water available to them. For some districts a filter may be sufficient to provide clean, safe water.
The California Food Policy Advocates (CFPA) is participating in an effort for full compliance of access to fresh drinking water. The cost of adding hydration stations can be costly. Mike and Diane talked about options such as large containers of safe water for self-service by the students. These systems can be purchased relatively inexpensively through the cafeteria fund.
A water access survey, in partnership with CFPA, is currently in process, and the preliminary data should be available by the February 25, 2013, meeting.
Mike presented the “District Snapshot” document, created by the Team California for Healthy Kids. It is a one page report for parents giving information about an individual school that includes water availability, nutrition goals, and fitness measurements. The CNAC made the following suggestions:
- How many seat time minutes are provided?
- Breakfast and Lunch participation
- What reimbursable meal programs are offered?
- New requirements for Local School Wellness Policies (LSWP)—looking at some of the new regulations
Physical Education (PE):
- Is P.E. offered? Number of minutes?
- Students are “active” how many minutes/day or week?
- Frequency of physical activity
- Who offers water during meal time vs. throughout the day (in various venues)?
- Does school meet/not meet water quality standards?
Other—crosses over all three areas:
- Implementation of district’s LSWP in regard to Physical Education and water and well as nutrition?
- Afterschool program available? What do they offer—Physical activity, nutrition, gardening, other health-related activities/curricula?
- CNAC expressed concerns regarding adding items over and beyond what is required, available data, and how to gather it.
Agenda for the February 25, 2013 meeting
The following were suggested as agenda items:
- Cafeteria Fund Follow-up
- District Snapshot Update
- Meal Time Minutes
- Afterschool and Supplemental Programs
- Math Frameworks Update
- Proposed regulations (if released) on
- CACFP Meal Patterns
- Competitive Foods/Beverages and Water
Barbara Rohrer moved and Clell Hoffman seconded that the meeting be adjourned.
The CNAC voted to adjourn at 2:42 p.m.