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INFORMATIONAL LETTER NO:  45

 

POLICY CODE:  EFE

 

TO:               Superintendents, Maine School Management Association, and Maine Principals’ Association

 

FROM:        Suzan A. Gendron, Commissioner

                     Maine Department of Education

 

 Dr. Dora Anne Mills, Director, Bureau of Health

 Maine Department of Human Services

 

DATE:           November 17, 2003

 

SUBJECT:    Funding Opportunity for High School Soda/Snack Vending Project

 

- PLEASE SEND ON TO PRINCIPALS, School Health Coordinators, HEALTH EDUCATION AND PHYSICAL EDUCATION TEACHERS, SCHOOL NURSES, AND SCHOOL FOOD SERVICE DIRECTORS -

 

We are pleased to announce the availability of funds for up to 20 high schools to participate in an innovative and exciting nutrition project.  The purpose of the project is to improve the vending environment in high schools and thus enhance the health of Maine youth.  The Physical Activity and Nutrition Program, Bureau of Health, Maine Department of Human Services will provide a stipend of $1500 to each participating school starting in December 2003.  The project will provide funding, technical assistance and resource materials to 20 high schools that wish to start vending machine initiatives.  All Maine high schools are encouraged to apply.

 

           The Physical Activity and Nutrition Program has recently received funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to address overweight and obesity through physical activity and nutrition.  One component of the Physical Activity and Nutrition Program will focus on improving nutrition environments.  In collaboration with the University of Southern Maine, College of Nursing and Health Professions, Department of Sports Medicine, the program wants to examine the impact of school vending initiatives on the health of Maine youth. 

 

Current research suggests that vending machines account for about a quarter of the foods sold at schools.  Since these foods and beverages may be high in sugar, fat, and sodium, it is important to address vending offerings to help improve the health of our students.  The Department of Education and the Bureau of Health support promoting healthy choices as part of a healthy school environment. 

 

Complete eligibility information may be received by contacting Janet Whatley Blum at 207-780-4175, jwblum@usm.maine.edu or FAX 207-780-4745.           

 

Data will be shared with schools after evaluation of the program.  We hope this research helps educators become informed about vending machines and school nutrition and their impact on the health and education of our students and the nation. 

 

Eligibility Timeline:

 

1. December 5, 2003               Written Letter of Intent to participate to Janet Whatley Blum along with completed eligibility check list (choose one from the next two pages).

 

2. December 17, 2003            Responses to all applicants will be provided.


 

 

CHECK LIST FOR SCHOOL READY TO MAKE VENDING CHANGES

BY SPRING 2004

 

£            Currently have vending machines available to students that contain such offerings as soda, sports drinks, fruit drinks, candy, chips, crackers, etc.

 

£         Willing to participate in the vending assessment program starting in December 2003 and continuing until Spring 2005.

 

£         Willing to make changes in all vending offerings to provide healthy offerings including sample vending machine choices low in saturated fat listed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, such as 100% juices, water, pretzels, granola bars, etc. by Spring 2004 and continuing until Spring 2005.

 

£         Willing to use a minimum of $500 from the $1500 stipend to create a liaison position between the school, students and assessment personnel from December 2003 to Spring 2005.

 

£         Willing to allow assessment personnel to provide technical support to aid in changing the vending offerings to healthy choices.  Support will include identifying specific foods and beverages as well as identifying vending companies able to provide such foods and beverages.

 

£         Willing to allow assessment personnel to identify volunteer students to participate in two assessments of dietary intake and other health behaviors.  Procedures for identifying student volunteers will be made on an individual school basis; however, the following is required of each student volunteer:

§         Parental consent obtained prior to volunteering.

§         Assessment of diet intake, physical activity, height and weight during a 1-hour appointment in the winter of 2003-2004 and in the winter of 2004-2005.

 

£         Willing to allow assessment personnel to monitor vending sales during the assessment period.

 

£         Willing to allow assessment personnel to assess other food and beverage options in venues other than the school lunch program during the assessment period.

 

£         Willing to allow assessment personnel to assess the physical education and health education programs/environments in the school during the assessment period.

 

£         Willing to allow assessment personnel to assess capacity for school policy change.

 

£         Willing to establish a committee or identify an existing committee that will support vending policy change.

 

E-mail or fax the completed checklist and a letter of intent by December 5, 2003 to Janet Whatley Blum at jwblum@usm.maine.edu or FAX 207-780-4745.  If you have questions regarding your eligibility or if you need further information to make your decision, please contact Janet Whatley Blum at the University of Southern Maine at 207-780-4175.


CHECK LIST FOR SCHOOL INTERESTED IN MAKING

VENDING CHANGES IN THE FUTURE

 

£            Currently have vending machines available to students that contain such offerings as soda, sports drinks, fruit drinks, candy, chips, crackers, etc.

 

£         Willing to participate in the vending assessment program starting in December 2003 and continuing until Spring 2005.

 

£         Willing to not make changes in any vending offerings prior to Spring 2005.  However, willing to allow assessment personnel to aid in beginning the preliminary procedures for future changes in vending offering to healthy offerings including sample vending machine choices low in saturated fat listed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

 

£         Willing to use a minimum of $500 from the $1500 stipend to create a liaison position between the school, students and assessment personnel from December 2003 to Spring 2005.

 

£         Willing to allow assessment personnel to identify volunteer students to participate in two assessments of dietary intake and other health behaviors.  Procedures for identifying student volunteers will be made on an individual school basis; however, the following is required of each student volunteer:

§         Parental consent obtained prior to volunteering.

§         Assessment of diet intake, physical activity, height and weight during a 1-hour appointment in the winter of 2003-2004 and in the winter of 2004-2005.

 

£         Willing to allow assessment personnel to monitor vending sales during the assessment period.

 

£         Willing to allow assessment personnel to assess other food and beverage options in venues other than the school lunch program during the assessment period.

 

£         Willing to allow assessment personnel to assess the physical education and health education programs/environments in the school during the assessment period.

 

 

E-mail or fax the completed checklist and a letter of intent by December 5, 2003 to Janet Whatley Blum at jwblum@usm.maine.edu or FAX 207-780-4745.  If you have questions regarding your eligibility or if you need further information to make your decision, please contact Janet Whatley Blum at the University of Southern Maine at 207-780-4175.