21st Century USDA Foods - School Nutrition Association

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21 Century USDA
     Foods



   Laura Walter, MPH, RD
       Food and Nutrition Service
       Food Distribution Division
            December 2011
Agenda

 • Choosing USDA Foods
 • USDA Foods
   Communications Initiative
 • USDA Foods updates
Why Choose USDA Foods?
•   Stretch school food budgets
•   Choice and convenience
•   Healthy and tasty
•   Offerings reflect demand
USDA Foods Improvements

         More Whole Grains

        Fewer Added Sugars

            Less Sodium

              Less Fat

           Leaner Meats
USDA Foods Improvements
 Reducing Fat, Sugar & Sodium…
  ü Eliminated trans fats in frozen potatoes and
    peanut butter
  ü Reduced sugars in canned fruits
  ü Lowered sodium in canned vegetables
  ü Lowered fat and sodium in processed
    cheeses, meats, poultry
USDA Foods Improvements
  USDA Foods Improvements
• More Whole Grains
  – Whole wheat flour
  – Tortillas
  – Pancakes
  – Pastas
  – Rolled Oats
  – Brown Rice (regular and par-boiled)
  – Dry Kernel Corn for further processing
• More fruits and vegetables
  – Fresh sliced apples, baby carrots
USDA Foods
Communications Initiative

Despite the many improvements, there are still
misperceptions about USDA Foods and the
NSLP. USDA is taking action to educate the
public about USDA Foods and the NSLP and
replace fiction with fact.
                                                         Editorial
School Lunches: Helping
                                “…the Agriculture Department buys surpluses
Kids Eat Commodities            of unhealthful meat and funnels it through
“… it's no surprise that the    federal food programs to our nation's most
USDA's allegiance to            unsuspecting consumers -- schoolchildren.”
corporate interests wins out
over its duty to America's
children.”
                                     BeyondChron: San Francisco
                                     Alternative Online Daily:
                                                        Daily
                                     “Commodities (are) low
“The long list of                      quality or high in fat.”
(commodity)options includes
high-fat, low-grade meats and
cheeses and processed foods…”
                                      Atlanta Journal - Constitution
                                “The government (is) feeding our kids the meat
                                industry's leftovers.”
USDA Foods: Changing perceptions
  üOver 180 Healthy Choices
  ü100% American Grown
  üFood safety standards are set high
  üAccount for 15-20% of school food
   purchases
  üRequest-driven: School districts are not
   required to accept foods they don’t want
USDA Foods
Communications Initiative
USDA Foods
Communications Initiative
                     Target Audiences Year 1


                Focus Groups
                Benchmark Survey




                        Message development
                        “Rebranding” – new LOGO!
                        Materials and outreach
USDA Foods
Communications Initiative
            Benchmark Survey:
      471 Child Nutrition Professionals
 • More than 75% believe the foods served through school meal
 programs are nutritious, tasty, healthy, wholesome, convenient, low-fat and
 provide a variety of quality foods at good value.
 • Less than     50% agree that the food served in the meal programs is
 low-sodium.
 • Majority agree that USDA Foods help stretch tight budgets and offers
 one way to stretch limited meal budgets for the 94% of schools participating in
 the NSLP.
 • Most indicate they are willing to take action to promote the USDA
 Foods program through communications and events.
USDA Foods
Communications Initiative

   This survey helped USDA establish
    a baseline to evaluate progress

  The Tangibles to Increase
  Awareness of the USDA
  Foods program…
USDA Foods
Communications Initiative
 Completed in 2011
 • Campaign schematic outlining purpose,
   goals, and tactics through the initiative
 • Partnership plan highlighting potential
   partners and activities with those partners
 • Editorials bylined by Janey Thornton
USDA Foods
Communications Initiative
 Completed in 2011
 • 6 new banners – artwork available
 • Ad in SNA Magazine and online button
   linked SNA Web site to FDD Web site
 • FDD Web site audit
 • Shift from “commodities” to “USDA Foods”
USDA Foods
Communications Initiative
 Completed in 2011
 New materials in the USDA Foods Toolkit:
   o   Style guide outlining appropriate use of USDA
       Foods program identifier
   o   Two PowerPoint's – one for school administrators
       and one overview of the USDA Foods program (with
       talking points)
   o   USDA Foods video – 5 minute program
   o   Two-page fact sheet
   o   SNA ANC culinary demo recipes featuring USDA
       Foods
USDA Foods
Communications Initiative
          New Artwork and Ads
USDA Foods
Communications Initiative
USDA Foods
Communications Initiative
USDA Foods
Communications Initiative

  Clickable button on the
  schoolnutrition.org site
USDA Foods
Communications Initiative
Year 1 Lessons Learned
   •   Child Nutrition Professionals are our ambassadors
       for the program!
   •   Materials are in demand
   •   FDD depends on external partners to share new
       resources
   •   FDD needs visual images to create new resources
       and provide more frequent contact with partners
USDA Foods
Communications Initiative
USDA Foods
Communications Initiative
 Focus for 2012
 •   CNP tracking survey (with SNA members) to
     evaluate “how far we’ve come”
 •   Parent benchmark survey (similar to 1st
     benchmark survey with CNPs)
 •  Photo shoot – 15 photos will be shot for FDD
    purposes – ½ cafeteria/school setting; ½
 studio shots
USDA Foods
Communications Initiative
 Focus for 2012
 •   Conference poster and cafeteria posters
 •   Advertising plan and earned media
     targeting parents
 •   USDA Foods mobile site with up to 10 mobile
     site pages
            Other Updates
Section 242 of Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act
requires the Secretary to:
  •   Develop model specifications for
      food offered in CN Programs
  •   Analyze quality of nutritional info.
      available on food service products
      and USDA Foods and report to
      Congress
  •   Purchase the widest variety of
      healthful USDA Foods
                 Other Updates
School Year 2012
  – Per meal rate = .2225
  – Estimated $1.3 billion total nationally
     • $80 million allocated for DoD Fresh

     Challenges – high prices, limited supply, delays
       turkey, tuna, some F/V, peanut products
     Making progress –
             fresh sliced apples and baby carrots
             exploring new products – frozen broccoli, white whole
                                               wheat flour
             ordering timeframes for SY 13
www.fns.usda.gov/USDAFoods
Questions?

				
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