The Brighton Report is Brighton Training Group’s weekly news show. It’s a fast paced run down of the three most notable news stories of the week in child nutrition, school nutrition, CACFP, SFSP and other child nutrition programs.
Text Version of The Brighton Report:
1. Proposals to Reduce CACFP paperwork
2., Buying food becomes easier for shoppers using WIC benefits, and
3. A century-old idea makes a comeback
It’s March 22, and this is the Brighton Report.
Proposals to Reduce CACFP paperwork
The Federal Nutrition Service has just released recommendations for making the Child and Adult Care Food Program more efficient by reducing the amount of paperwork. As directed by Congress, as part of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, the FNS established a working group to guide CACFP’s efforts to reduce paperwork and streamline the administrative process.
The work group includes representatives from states, sponsor organizations, advocacy groups, and other CACFP stakeholders. Their proposed recommendations include:
greater flexibility in determining how records are reported and stored
wider application of technology solutions
easier paperwork for unaffiliated centers and day care homes and
stronger support by states of existing flexibilities to simplify the CACFP
The final report is highlighted in the newly established Paperwork Reduction Resource Center. The FNS has designed this resource center to promote policies and share ideas for reducing paperwork and increasing CACFP efficiency.
Buying food becomes easier for shoppers using WIC benefits
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced a major step to make it easier for participants in the WIC program to purchase food. Under the WIC Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) Final Rule, states will be required to transition from paper benefits to EBT systems by Oct. 1, 2020.
WIC EBT is an electronic system that replaces paper vouchers with a card that is similar to a debit card. With the new system, participants can shop for items as they need them; previously, all items were required to be purchased at the same time. Shoppers will no longer need to separate their WIC foods from their other grocery items, which should reduce checkout times. And, importantly, using a debit card might help to reduce the stigma associated with using food benefits.
The change will also provide the USDA and state agencies with previously unavailable data on the type, amount, and cost of foods purchased with WIC benefits.
A century-old idea makes a comeback
A century ago, the United States government introduced Meatless Monday as a way to reduce the consumption of meat at home so that it could be sent to soldiers fighting in Europe during World War I.
Since 2003, Meatless Monday has grown into a global movement, powered by a network of hospitals, schools, worksites, and restaurants, to offer alternative choices in their cafeterias to reduce the risk of chronic health problems.
Now, the initiative has a new and somewhat unexpected champion – the Humane Society of the United States.
The Humane Society has joined the effort to improve public health and promote environmental sustainability. The society’s campaign for Meatless Mondays focus,ues in part on introducing meatless options into school cafeterias and includes sample recipes that fit the strict guidelines imposed by school lunch programs.
While protecting traditional pet animals is more typically associated with the Humane Society, a spokesperson said that promoting meat-free food policies also decreases demand for meats coming from factory farms.
According to the spokesperson, “We’re trying to stop cruelty to all animals, not just cats and dogs.”
And that’s the report for this week.