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CNAC Meeting Minutes for April 28, 2010


Child Nutrition Advisory Council

An Advisory Body to the State Board Of Education
Meeting Minutes

April 28, 2010
9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

California Department of Education
Nutrition Services Division
560 J Street, Suite 270
Sacramento, CA 95814

Members Present


Leann Onasch (Chair) School Food Service Supervisor/ Manager

Lucy McProud

Nutrition Education Health Specialist

Jody Ornellas

School Food Service Director

Paula James

Child Care Food Program

Tracy Vernon

Classroom Teacher

Molly O’Kane

Nutrition Education Specialist

Phyllis Bramson-Paul

California Department of Education, Director of NSD

Robin Sinks

Curriculum Coordinator





Brenda Padilla

Assistant Director, Nutrition Services Division (NSD)

Heather Reed

Nutrition Education Consultant, NSD

Elizabeth Moreno  

Nutrition Education Consultant, NSD

Violet Roefs

Nutrition Education Consultant, NSD

Barbara Dietsch


Members Absent



Debra Mason

Lay Person

Ruth Bloom

Board Liaison

Diane Grooms

School Board Member

John Peukert

School Business Official (Advisory)

Call to order (Leann Onasch)

Ms. Leann Onasch, Child Nutrition Advisory Council (CNAC) Chair, called the meeting to order at 9:40 a.m. The Pledge of Allegiance followed.


All members and guests introduced themselves.

Public Comment

No public comment was provided.

Approval of Agenda and December 9, 2009, Meeting Minutes

The meeting minutes from December 9, 2009, were approved by unanimous vote. The agenda for the April 28 meeting was approved by unanimous vote.

Election of Officers

The following were nominated and elected:

Leann Onasch: Chair
Molly O’Kane: Vice-Chair


There are three vacancies on the Council:

  • Student Representative
  • PTA Representative
  • Administrator

There will be two positions open next year (2010-2011):

  • Curriculum Coordinator
  • Classroom Teacher

The State Board of Education has been notified of these vacancies.

HealthierUS Schools Challenge

Elizabeth Moreno shared information about the HealthierUS Schools Challenge (HUSSC), a program sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to encourage schools to improve nutrition standards, increase opportunities for physical activity, and implement their school wellness policy. First Lady Michelle Obama is promoting USDA’s HUSSC as part of her Let’s Move anti-obesity initiative, and USDA Deputy Under Secretary Janey Thornton has challenged California to certify 300 schools in HUSSC this year. Currently the Manteca Unified Schools are the only HUSSC certified schools in California. The HUSSC was established as an elementary school program, but in the last year, high schools and middle schools were also invited to participate.

  • Be enrolled as a Team Nutrition School
  • Offer reimbursable lunches that meet USDA nutrition standards and demonstrate healthy menu planning practices and principles of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans
  • Provide nutrition education to students
  • Provide students with physical education and opportunity for physical activity
  • Maintain a specific Average Daily Participation (ADP) of school enrollment for reimbursable lunches, provided as part of the elementary, middle and high school HUSSC criteria
  • Adhere to guidelines established by the USDA for foods served/sold in schools outside the National School Lunch Program
Financial Awards
  • Gold with Distinction: $2000
  • Gold: $1500
  • Silver: $1000
  • Bronze: $500 (Does not have an ADP requirement)
Other details
  • The award money will be deposited into the Cafeteria Fund. The Nutrition Services Division (NSD) will ask the USDA for specifics on how the money can be spent.
  • The award certifies the school for four years.
  • USDA has stated that cash awards will be available until funding runs out -- NSD suggests schools apply by September 30, 2010.
  • The school application team should consist of at least a principal/administrator, food service manager/director, physical education/health teacher, representative of school's parent organization, and team nutrition leader.
  • Districts should send their applications to the NSD for review. The NSD will then forward the applications to the Western Regional Office of the USDA for review. From there they will go to USDA headquarters in Washington, D.C. (except the applications for the bronze level).
  • The HUSSC Application Kit available from the USDA HealthierUS School Challenge Web Site External link opens in new window or tab..

The council recommended the HUSSC as a great opportunity to recognize improvements in school wellness, use the award as community public recognition, and help to avoid cut-backs.

African American Advisory Committee

Heather Reed reviewed the discussion from the last CNAC meeting in which she reported on her attendance at the African American Advisory Committee (AAAC). This committee is a State Board of Education (SBE) advisory body charged with making recommendations to narrow the achievement gap among African American students. The Committee has three priorities:

  • Special Education
  • Data collection, including best practices
  • Preschools

Heather discussed the importance of health and nutrition in narrowing the achievement gap. At the December CNAC meeting, the CNAC made a motion to send a letter to the SBE which recommends that one of the upcoming vacancies of the AAAC be filled with a person with health and nutrition expertise.

The CNAC members looked at the proposed letter, and made the following recommendations:

  • Explain what an “enhanced snack” is for after school programs
  • Add an encouragement for the point of sale system to speed up meal service and reduce the stigma of free and reduced price lunch participation
  • Strongly encourage participation in the School Breakfast Program

Heather will make the recommended changes. Changes will be approved by the CNAC Chair and the letter will be sent to the SBE and the AAAC.

School Improvement Grant

Federal School Improvement Grant (SIG) funding would supply California with $100 million in funding for a three year period for use by the 188 persistently lowest performing schools. Local educational agencies must submit a plan for how they will use the funds and obtain approval by the State Board of Education. There are four intervention models for these schools:

  • Turnaround - Receive outside help to restructure
  • Restart - Become a charter school
  • School Closure
  • Transformation - Under this model there is an opportunity for school food service directors to increase access to the school meal program or enhance meal quality

The CNAC asked the CDE to draft a letter to the United States Department of Education to seek clarification on the allowable use of SIG funds for nutrition purposes.

Team Nutrition Grant

Violet Roefs introduced Barbara Dietsch from WestEd, who presented an evaluation of the project, “Starting Right in Child Nutrition Program: The Professional Education of Front-line Personnel” which is a product of the 2007 Team Nutrition Grant from the USDA. The California Department of Education (CDE) awarded five competitive grants to selected public school districts participating in the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program and partnered with three local community colleges during the period 2007-2009.

The program began with “train the trainer” instruction using the National Food Service Management Institute’s (NFSMI) expert training team and their course, Healthy Cuisine for Kids (HCK). Five teams of trainers were prepared to instruct entry level, front-line food service employees on the MyPyramid Plan, the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and food safety, as well as in the preparation of meals and snacks that meet state and federal food and beverage nutritional standards.

Twenty-two Level I trainers, five teams composed of a chef, dietitian, and child nutrition director were trained to offer the HCK to front line staff. Each of the teams completed the same course that they in turn presented to front-line staff. Pre and post evaluations revealed that participants showed improved knowledge and skills. More than half of those who responded to a three month follow-up survey indicated an interest in future courses, confirming that the need for regional training centers exists.

Another goal of this program is to provide kitchen staff with career path education through local community colleges. The college-based program is organized around the eleven county superintendent regions. Four new regional sites and two new college-based courses will be added to the project during 2010-2012.

Recommendations by the evaluators include:

  • Streamlining the HCK curriculum to reduce the number of recipes and include more recipes using commodities and California fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Ensuring that each member of the teaching team is adequately prepared to teach their section by providing a time for the trainers to work with their team from each region.
  • Providing food service directors with more information about the training topics so that they can be more strategic about whom they select to attend the training and how to best utilize the new skills of their staff.
  • Including additional strategies for making the food served more attractive.
  • Exploring options for presenting some of the HCK content, such as online distance courses and Webinars

The final Evaluation Report also stated that the degree to which the skills and knowledge learned by front-line employees will be attained in their daily work practices is dependent on how well the ideas are accepted by the district food service directors.

School Kitchen Equipment Grant Awards

Phyllis Bramson-Paul spoke about the $3.2 million in federal funds allocated to California in addition to the $12.8 million in funds previously awarded to schools for food service equipment. The USDA gave states a choice of using previous applications for the added funding or starting over completely; NSD opted for the former. Eighty-four school food authorities including 206 sites are being awarded funds. The award letters are in process of being sent.


Phyllis summarized the major provisions of the United States Senate's Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee bill for reauthorizing the Child Nutrition Program, which includes:

  • Expanding At Risk Supper through the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) nationwide
  • Enhancing the nutritional quality of food served in school-based and preschool settings
  • Providing the USDA with the authority to regulate all foods sold on school campuses
  • Further clarifying allowable indirect charges to the cafeteria fund
  • Decreasing the paperwork requirements in the CACFP

All this is just the beginning of the process. The House will be considering its version of the bill, which is expected to be more expansive.


Phyllis mentioned three state legislative proposals of interest to the nutrition community.

  • SB 1413/Leno requires access to free, fresh drinking water in school food service areas.
  • SB 1255/Padilla eliminates electrolyte replacement beverages as something that can be sold at schools.
  • SB 2084/Brownley requires licensed child day care facilities to follow specified requirements for beverages.

Breakfast First Campaign

Phyllis also spoke about the BreakfastFirst campaign, a coalition of education groups organized by the California Food Policy Advocates. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell is the campaign’s Honorary Chair. The program is a data driven campaign to help narrow the achievement gap by encouraging more schools to provide school breakfast to at risk students.

Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held on June 4, 2010. The NSD staff will begin the process of scheduling the August and October meetings.


The Council adjourned at 2:40 p.m.

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Monday, April 10, 2017
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