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CNAC Meeting Minutes for December 9, 2013


 

Child Nutrition Advisory Council

An Advisory Body to the State Board Of Education

Meeting Minutes

December 9, 2013

Members Present

Lucy McProud, Caroline Danielson, Clell Hoffman, Nori Grossmann, Trish Vance,
Barbara Rohrer, and Lawrence Herrera

State Board of Education Member Liaison

Niki Sandoval

Representative for the State Board of Education

Beth Rice

Members Absent

Carol Chase Huegli, Soo Zee Park, Colleen You, and Marni Posey

Also Present—California Department of Education

Tracey Patterson, Michael Danzik, Karen King, Tia Shimada, Sharon Freschi
Chelsey Cooper, Heather Reed, June Preston, and Kim Frinzell

Call to Order

Lawrence (Larry) Herrera, Chair, called the meeting to order at 10:05 a.m.

The Pledge of Allegiance was recited. Introductions of members and other attendees present was also recited.

Approval of Agenda

Lucy McProud moved to approve the agenda for December 9, 2013, and Clell Hoffman seconded the motion. The Child Nutrition Advisory Council (CNAC) voted to approve the December 9, 2013, agenda.

Approval of Minutes

Nori Grossmann moved to approve the minutes of the October 21, 2013, meeting. Barbara Rohrer seconded the motion. The CNAC voted to approve the minutes of the October 21, 2013, meeting.

There was no public comment.

Agenda Items

Item 1

From the California Food Policy Advocates (CFPA), Tia Shimada and Tracey Patterson provided the results of the “Time to Eat” studies conducted by the CFPA.

Subject: Reviewing “Time to Eat” studies conducted by the California Food Policy Advocates

Ms. Patterson informed the CNAC that the CFPA conducted three studies to research and analyze the “time to eat” issue for students during the lunch period. Since concerns about having enough time to eat for students’ lunch periods are continuously being raised, the CFPA conducted these three studies. The three studies were:

  1. A survey of 150 school administrators throughout the state
  2. A study of the impact of lunchtime policies on fruit and vegetable intake
  3. A student survey with middle and high school students

For the first study, the CFPA based the school administrator survey off of the Nutrition Services Division (NSD) surveys that were sent out to elementary, middle, and high schools, however, the CFPA made the first survey more open-ended and conversational since it was conducted by phone. Depending on the results, the goal of CFPA was to increase table time to eat without increasing school costs, alleviate hunger, increase access and participation, and increase healthy eating for students.

In January 2013, the CFPA conducted a phone survey with a random sample of administrators at 150 schools (97 elementary, 19 middle, 32 high, and 2 mixed grade level schools) to measure their meal time practices. The highlights of the survey included:

  • Lunch period length and the number of students scheduled for each lunch period varied greatly (from 25 minutes to 63 minutes)
  • Many schools do not offer alternate points of service beyond the cafeteria or lunch room for a reimbursable meal
  • Cafeterias could increase efficiency by moving towards only cashless systems (slows down the lines with cash and no additional cost since the systems are already set up)
  • Schools have inconsistent policies and practices in the administration of lunch time and recess (no formal policy in place)
  • High schools did not have any structure (not shown on table) while 29.4 percent of middle schools required students to be in the lunch area for a specific period of time
  • Only 9.3 percent of all the elementary schools have recess before lunch

The CFPA is not planning on publishing these results but Ms. Shimada or Ms. Patterson will send the Excel results from the entire survey to the CNAC members who request it. Please contact Tia Shimada by e-mail at tia@cfpa.net or Tracey Patterson by e-mail at tracey@cfpa.net.

For the second study, the CFPA conducted quantitative research with the University of California (UC) Berkeley, Center for Weight and Health, on the impact of school meal time policies on fruit and vegetable intake. Their thesis was: Will students eat more fruits and vegetables if schools offer longer lunch periods or let students play before eating? The CFPA and the UC Berkeley, Center for Weight and Health, conducted this study by a food diary-assisted 24-hour recall of the students’ food intake at lunch. They collected the results from a random sample of 3,463 fourth through fifth grade students from 44 California elementary schools in the 2011–12 school year. The data collection took place before the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 meal pattern changes, all schools had salad bars, and approximately half of the schools (48 percent) served an entrée with vegetables on the day that students recorded in the food diary. The highlights of the study included:

  • Recess before lunch is a promising practice with proven benefits including: improved cafeteria behavior, more milk consumption, students eating more, students throwing away less food, fewer discipline problems, etc.
  • Lunch fruit and vegetable intake was not significantly higher for students who had recess before lunch versus a traditional play after eating lunch schedule
  • Recess before lunch had a positive impact on fruit and vegetable intake among students of both genders and most ethnicities who brought lunch from home
  • Overall, recess before lunch may help some elementary students to eat more fruits and vegetables
  • No significant correlation between the length of the lunch period and fruit and vegetable consumption was found
  • High variation in wait times (e.g., between five to 30 minutes for time spent in line)
  • There is room for efficiency improvements and reduced wait time within current lunch periods

Clell Hoffman mentioned that the delay in the lunch line might be due to days when popular items are offered. Tom Torlakson, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, sent a letter encouraging schools to allow enough time, however the CNAC questioned how much it really helps and how much people use it.

Additional research that was found on the impact of lunch time on nutrition included Relationships of Meal and Recess Schedules to Plate Waste in Elementary Schools for Eating, (National Food Service Management Institute, University of Mississippi [2004]), which compared elementary school students who had 30 minutes for lunch versus 20 minutes and the positive results found from having a longer lunch period. Also included was a soon-to-be released study in the Journal of School Health. This was conducted by Wendi Gosliner from UC Berkeley. The study involved 31 California middle and high schools and consisted of over 5,000 seventh and ninth grade students. She found that a longer lunch period (34–52 minutes), in comparison to a shorter lunch period (25–30 minutes), was associated with increased odds of eating any fruit or vegetables at school on the day prior to being surveyed. The length of the lunch period was the only environmental factor that increased both fruit and vegetable consumption.

The third study, commissioned by the CFPA and conducted by PerryUndem Research/Communication, included a random sample survey of 519 students in grades six through 12 at California public schools in May 2013. The survey captured student feelings about the school cafeteria and the amount of time they have to eat lunch, provided insight into why some students skip school meals, and what might motivate them to eat the meals more often. The highlights of the study included:

  • Thirty-three percent of students are not eating a full meal and only having a snack or nothing at all
  • Fifty-three percent of students surveyed regularly eat school meals
  • The three main barriers to school meals include disliking the meal, long lines, and not having enough time to eat
  • Reported lunch times varied greatly and many students felt they were not sufficient (e.g., almost half of respondents had lunch periods of 30 minutes or less; of those, 69 percent reported feeling rushed and 43 percent said they do not have enough time to eat their meal during the lunch period)
  • Lunch periods with 45 minutes or more made the percentages for feeling rushed drop (69 percent to 49 percent) and percentages for having enough time to eat their meal during the lunch period increase (54 percent to 74 percent) 
  • More than half of the students report feeling tired (62 percent), hungry (54 percent), or sleepy (51 percent) during afternoons after lunch

The results suggest ways to get students to eat school meals more often including, improving the taste of the meals served at schools, offering more food choices, reducing lines and wait times, and allowing students more time to eat. These improvements to school meals would be important to students and parents’ concerns. Many students say they experience fatigue and hunger during the afternoons. Consistently eating a school meal could help students overcome these feelings.

Finding a Policy Solution

Nori Grossmann asked about what strategies the CFPA have come up with and how to overcome these barriers. Ms. Patterson said that there is a wide variation in time available for students to eat lunch with inconsistent local policies and practices. Ms. Patterson compared the policies and practices for California students versus California workers, which showed wide discrepancies. She also explained what the California Department of Education (CDE) has recommended for the time allotted for student lunch periods, but that these recommendations are still not being followed more than seven years later after they were issued, despite continued guidance and efforts from NSD. The CFPA’s proposed State Legislation policy action is to amend California’s school meal mandate in the Education Code to ensure that students are given adequate time to eat their meal. Ms. Patterson said that there is already an established blueprint for regulations from the State Board of Education (SBE) that provides guidance and utilizes a meal time planning calculator that allows schools to evaluate time management solutions. But this blueprint does not fit all schools equally. The CFPA’s solution is to have the word “adequate” defined. For example, having the requirement be a set minimum expectation of table time allotted for the last child in line to sit down and eat lunch (e.g., 20 minutes) and breakfast (e.g., 10 minutes) to ensure students have enough time to eat. They also presented solutions and ways to improve eating time including:

  • Rearranging the cafeteria or points of service to cut down on wait time
  • Trainings for Technical Assistance (TA) techniques
  • Increasing points of service (POS) and attendance of students participating
  • Re-examining their lunch period formula and utilizing the meal time planning calculators for their school
  • Having recess before lunch

Ms. Patterson believes in allowing local districts to find their own solutions. For example, the Los Angeles Unified School District adopted the School Lunch Schedule in 1990. It created the preamble and specifics for their local meal time policy: “Improving Food and Nutrition Policy” from the School Board Resolution (wellness councils) in December 2012. Ms. Patterson finished her presentation with discussion questions for the CNAC. Some questions/issues raised by the CNAC were:

  • How would schools be monitored? Who would do the time accounting? On an annual, every day, or monthly basis?
  • Should there be an official mandate for schools to follow?
  • Will this increase participation, create more revenue, and make less waste?
  • What would be the consequences if failure to comply?
  • If they tried to extend the time of lunch (e.g., 40–45 minutes), how will the issue of union contracts be resolved?
  • Will there be increased costs (e.g., another employee, another POS system, etc.)?
  • Will students have to choose between tutoring or other activities versus eating lunch? If so, can there be more grab and go POS stations established near the activities so the students do not have to choose?
  • If students are given extra snacks to perform well on certain tests for a particular day, why can’t the schools do that all year long for the students to perform well every day?

Clell Hoffman and Larry Herrera stated that the teachers’ contract/instructional minutes would be the biggest obstacle. However, they do believe it is a good idea and worthwhile endeavor because not having enough time for lunch is a chief complaint of parents and students. Ms. Patterson informed the CNAC that the CFPA is just focusing on California right now and trying to specify the number of minutes.

Item 2

From the NSD, Sharon Freschi, Associate Governmental Program Analyst, and June Preston, Staff Services Manager I, provided information about the Federal Proposed Regulation on Eliminating Free and Reduced Price Applications through Community Eligibility.

Subject: Federal Proposed Regulation on Eliminating Free and Reduced Price Applications through Community Eligibility

Ms. Freschi provided the CNAC with an overview of the Federal Proposed Regulation on Eliminating Free and Reduced Price Applications through Community Eligibility. This new Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) will take effect in school year 2014–15 in order to provide two healthy meals to students every day. Ms. Freschi said schools on CEP must have an “identified student” percentage (ISP) of at least 40 percent, based on enrollment, as of April 1 of the year prior to their start of CEP. The ISP includes the students that are certified for free school meals without the use of a household application, such as California's Food Stamp Program, the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids program, runaways, students in poverty, homeless, migrants, etc. The proposed rule will be starting and in effect this year for April 1, 2014, and the proposed rule comments with NSD’s feedback are due to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on January 3, 2014. The proposed rule comments are processing through NSD management at this time. Ms. Freschi stated that the CNAC can also send feedback on the comments to USDA on their own. Ms. Freschi explained the CEP basics to the CNAC, which are:

  • School Food Authorities (SFA) may randomly group schools together to meet the requirement of 40 percent
  • The CEP is a four-year cycle
  • A grace year option is available at the end of the four years
  • To qualify for a grace year, SFAs must have at least 30 percent identified students in year four
  • Reimbursement is based on the percentage of identified students

Ms. Freschi stated that schools on CEP will never collect applications. Direct Certification (DC) student data will be received through the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) but will not include data for all ISP categories, the students that qualify for a free meal based on an application, or the reduced-price students. Ms. Freschi also explained how to calculate the reimbursement claims. First, you take the ISP times 1.6 to equal the percent of meals to claim at the free rate. Next, the remaining percentage of meals is claimed at the paid rate. No meals can be claimed at the reduced-price rate. Ms. Freschi showed a reimbursement claim calculation example using the number 50:

  • The ISP is 50 percent as of April 1, 2014
  • 50 x 1.6 = 80 percent reimbursed at the free rate
  • 20 percent reimbursed at the paid rate

Ms. Freschi stated the reimbursement benefits with the CEP. First, schools are guaranteed to receive the same reimbursement rate or higher for four years. Next, if the ISP, as of April 1 of subsequent years increases, schools can apply to receive an increase to their reimbursement for meals served during the next school year. For example:

  • The ISP increases, as of April 1, to 60 percent
  • 60 x 1.6 = 96 percent reimbursed at the free rate
  • 4 percent reimbursed at the paid rate

Ms. Freschi stated that 62.5 percent would be the highest ISP. At this percentage, the schools/district would be fully reimbursed at the free rate (100 percent). Ms. Freschi also stated that the schools/district will never have a decrease in the reimbursement for meals at the free rate from the initial start rate of the ISP in the year prior to starting CEP. For example, using the 50 percent again for the ISP, the schools/district will never be reimbursed lower than 80 percent at the free rate for the following years of the four-year cycle (shown above), even if the ISP of 50 percent went lower.

Ms. Freschi also discussed the alternate data collection forms required for the Local Control Funding Formula determination. An alternate data collection form must be used to capture the student level data of all low income students that are not automatically captured in CALPADS. As a result of not having a National School Lunch Program application, schools on CEP, as with Provision 2/3 schools in non-base years, will need the alternate form to calculate schools’ funding formulas. The process of collecting data using the alternate data collection form cannot be paid for from the cafeteria funds. Ms. Freschi went through the highlights of the proposed CEP rule reporting requirements for the LEAs and the CDE and the obstacles. Ms. Freschi provided important dates to be aware of, including:

  • The LEA must report a list of schools with the ISPs or DC percentage of each school to the CDE by April 15 of each year
  • The CDE must report a list of districts to the LEAs with their district wide ISP or DC percentage by April 15 of each year
  • The results of the verification process must be reported to the USDA by March 15 of each school year
  • The CDE is required to post all CEP reports to the CDE Web site by May 1 of each year

Ms. Freschi also stated that the schools are required to give students free reimbursable meals for 10 days when a student moves from a CEP school to a non-CEP school. Lastly, Ms. Freschi stated the CEP contact information. If you have any questions regarding the CEP, please contact your School Nutrition Program (SNP) County Specialist. The SNP County Specialist list is available in the Child Nutrition Information and Payment System Download Forms section, Form ID, “Caseload SNP.” You can also contact an SNP Office Technician by phone at 916-322-1450, 916-322-3005, or 800-952-5609.

CNAC Recommendations: No recommendations, only discussion/information sharing.

ACTION: None.

The CNAC adjourned for lunch at 12:05 p.m.

The meeting was reconvened at 1:05 p.m. after lunch.

Item 3

From the NSD, Karen King, Child Nutrition Supervisor I, provided an update on the Administrative Review (AR) process.

Subject: Administrative Review Progress Report
Results of pilot review

Ms. King provided a brief update of the AR process. The first AR in Roseville was conducted on November 19, 2013. A management team of four and a staff of three conducted four different site reviews of both breakfast and lunch. The management team provided technical assistance to the staff, guidance on procedural questions, and assisted with the site visits. The highlights of the AR included:

  • Recognizing the need for additional staff training; NSD staff will be trained in January (e.g., role playing for entrance and exit conference, benefit issuance systems, software systems used in lieu of confirmation reviews, and the off-site tool)
  • For the off-site tool, recognizing the need to make sure that there is access to the entire team, the team reviews the off-site tool prior to entrance, and the team will review this with the SFA during the entrance conference
  • Separating site-specific questions on the forms
  • Observing meal preparations took longer than expected (4–6 hours: all day occurrence), but it was beneficial; because the state agency team was on site for a longer span of time, it increased the time to provide TA, they had a better opportunity to see SFA systems, and it increased collaboration
  • Asking the school beforehand if they have a heat and serve site available (e.g., this will save the state agency’s time)
  • Needing to add California-specific questions to AR forms (e.g., posting of local school wellness policy, Competitive Foods and Beverages, and the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program)
Next Steps

Ms. King stated the next steps for the AR process include:

  • Completing the Resource Management review and exit conference in December 2013
  • Collecting feedback from Roseville (e.g., creating a questionnaire for the food service director)
  • Providing additional staff training on how to deal with change
  • Providing additional Field Services staff training the week of January 27, 2014

CNAC Recommendations: No recommendations, only discussion/information sharing.

ACTION: None.

Item 4

From the CNAC, Lawrence Herrera, Chairperson of the CNAC, provided information about the CNAC Membership and Vacancies.

Subject: CNAC Membership
CNAC Vacancies

Mr. Herrera informed the CNAC about the current status of the vacancies and that he, Barbara Rohrer, Trish Vance, and Lucy McProud have requested the SBE to reappoint them at the upcoming State Board meeting in January. The CNAC members agreed that filling the teacher and student vacancies would be very helpful and beneficial for the group. However, Beth Rice informed the CNAC members that filling these vacancies can be a difficult process. In particular, the student vacancy is challenging due to travel issues, disrupted appointment time due to graduation, etc. Ms. Rice also said that the recruitment process can be lengthy and includes many staff hours. Currently, the decision to screen and recruit new members for the CNAC vacancies by the SBE has been declined due to the impact on Board staff time and resources. Ms. Rice said she will request that the Board consider filling the CNAC vacancies, but it is at the SBE’s discretion. The reappointment of the four current CNAC members will be determined by a vote in the State Board meeting on January 16, 2014.

CNAC Recommendations: No recommendations, only discussion/information sharing.

ACTION: None.

Item 5

From the NSD, Michael Danzik, Nutrition Education Consultant (NEC), Heather Reed, NEC, and Lawrence Herrera, Chairperson of the CNAC, provided information about the CNAC objectives for 2014.

Subject: CNAC Objectives for 2014
Reviewing 2013 and setting goals for 2014

Mr. Danzik informed the CNAC about its objectives for 2013. Mr. Danzik provided a handout listing the CNAC Agenda Items for 2013 to review and to set goals for 2014. Mr. Danzik stated that NSD staff plans to meet and discuss NSD priorities and bring these priorities to the next CNAC meeting. Some of the CNAC objectives and topics for 2014 that were discussed (in no order) included:

  • Local Control Funding Formula
  • Cafeteria Funds
  • Nutrition Education (Common Core Standards)

    • Gardens (e.g., more funding, bringing in garden coordinators/foundations to speak at the CNAC such as “The Orfalea Foundation”, etc.)

    • Funding (e.g., bringing in funders to speak at the CNAC such as “The California Endowment”)
  • Federal Regulations
  • Legislative Updates
  • General Updates
  • English Language Arts/English Language Development (ELA/ELD) Public Comment Period (e.g., creating an ELA/ELD committee to formulate comments with the CNAC’s input and sending through the CNAC)

The CNAC stated that the current agenda order (e.g., education updates [updates from the NSD Director], Regulations Updates, Action Items, Information Items, and Follow-up Items [Agenda for the next meeting]) should stay the same for 2014. The CNAC also stated that they would like the NSD to bring Action Items to the CNAC as much as possible. The CNAC did not decide on a prioritized list of 2014 topics at this meeting, but did create a list of items they want to visit/revisit as appropriate during 2014.

CNAC Recommendations: No recommendations, only discussion/information sharing.

ACTION: None.

Item 6
Agenda for the February 10, 2014, meeting

The following were suggested as agenda items:

  • NSD Director’s Update, Legislative Updates, and Regulations with Sandip Kaur and Carol Chase Huegli
  • Nutrition Education
  • Common Core ELA/ELD Framework
  • Gardening
  • CFPA Survey: follow-up
  • Team California for Healthy Kids Campaign/Salad Bars Updates
  • NSD Priorities for CNAC for 2014
    1. Finalizing CNAC objectives for 2014
    2. Other priorities for upcoming year?

  • If the SBE has approved the reappointment of the CNAC members (looking at vacancies/ CNAC Chairperson?)
  • AR Progress Report (Update on AR process)
  • Agenda for the next meeting

Lucy McProud moved and Barbara Rohrer seconded that the meeting be adjourned. The CNAC voted to adjourn at 2:30 p.m.

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
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