There are several child nutrition programs which help families, schools, and child care programs provide healthy foods to children. Rather than revisit each one separately, Congress uses a process called Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR) to revisit and modify the permanent laws that established many of these programs. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) of 2010 was the most recent CNR, and certain provisions in that law expired at the end of September 2015.
Some of the programs typically included in CNR laws are permanently authorized and have permanent authorization of appropriations.1 The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) are two examples of such programs. In other words, programs of this type do not expire, even if the CNR law expires. Other programs – WIC, for example – have permanent authorization, yet their authorizations of appropriations expired when the HHFKA expired.1 Funding for these programs has been provided through yearly appropriations acts since the expiration of HHFKA. Still other programs expired and ceased to operate when HHFKA expired.
Especially in light of recent crises like the COVID pandemic and the subsequent economic downturn, CNR is an important step towards improving access to healthy food for all children. Dr. Lee Beers, President of the American Academy of Pediatrics, recently reported to Congress that physicians across the nation have seen an alarming rise in child obesity – including body weight increases between 20% - 90% over the last year.2 Furthermore, Feeding America projects that 1 in 6 children may experience food insecurity in 2021.3 Both child obesity and food insecurity have been exacerbated by the current crises experienced nationwide.
Undoubtedly, Child Nutrition Reauthorization is a crucial endeavor for the 117th Congress. Thankfully, CNR is largely a bipartisan effort, and Congress has already started working towards a new CNR law to be enacted before this session ends in January 2023.
I hope this has increased your understanding of CNR. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. For information on the Academy’s CNR stance and talking points, visit here. Also, there are several active Action Alerts in the Academy’s Action Center.
Dawn Matusz, MS, NDTR
Public Policy Coordinator
Debbie Klein is an RD who has worked at Renown Hospital in Reno for the last 22 years. Debbie has been a member of NvAND for 24 years. Debbie has served multiple positions on the NvAND board which she reflects was a most valuable experience. Debbie served as Public Policy Chair for 6 years, then served as President-Elect/President/Past-President for NvAND. Debbie was nominated for her nurturing nature to new RDs and assisting interns with entry into the field, her obvious love for her complex career in the ICU, and for being a great example of daily passion for her job. She is described as energetic, inspiring, and dedicated.
Working in the Trauma Unit at Renown as a critical care RD inspired Debbie to become specialized in her field and she became certified as a Clinical Nutrition Support RD and has also been a member of ASPEN. Debbie states that she is passionate about what she does and the way in which she does it.
Integrating into a team and bringing new ideas for the good of the team as well as the patients is one way Debbie makes a difference as an RD. Debbie explained that she is very forward thinking and serves as an agent for change and progress. Debbie reflects that she has had the opportunity to gather ideas through attending conferences and leadership conferences while serving the Academy that she was able to bring back and introduce at her hospital to bring forth new ideas and policy change.
The most important skill Debbie feels she has developed as a clinical RD and serving a role in public policy is the confidence that she is a nutrition expert. As a young RD Debbie felt she lacked the confidence to speak up. She explains that when she became Public Policy Chair of NvAND she knew nothing about public policy. This did not stop her from taking the position and going to Washington DC every year. This experience allowed her to build her confidence as a nutrition expert because she was promoting nutrition knowledge to people who did not know about nutrition. This served as a confidence booster for her. She says this also translates to her job in the hospital as she continues to be the nutrition expert for others who do not know about nutrition.
Reflecting on her career Debbie confesses she has had many memorable and rewarding experiences and could not narrow it down to just one. Debbie listed the following: gaining self confidence as a young RD, initiating policy change in the hospital she works, having a conversation with a MD that lead to a hospital policy change, introducing the concept of RD involvement in bedside feeding tube placement and resulting policy change, her experience serving on the NvAND board was a time of growth both personally and professionally as it allowed her to make many life-long friendships that continue today while being active in NvAND, learning during her time as Public Policy Chair, attending leadership classes which produced changes in both her personal and professional life, she is proud to have been involved introducing the idea for dietitian licensure in the state of Nevada while she was serving as President-Elect and working as part of a great team where she learned on mean different levels, and she is glad she came up with the idea to hire NvAND’s first professional website designer and first administrative aid.
Debbie loves to spend time with her family and friends which she has missed over the last year and also likes hike, bike, and travel.
Question of the Month: Sweet, Salty, or Sour?
I love the sweet and salty combination, it makes my taste buds go wild!
On March 12, NvAND will be hosting our annual Legislative Day. Why is it important? First, there is a bill pending that affects our licensure bill. In the Committee on Commerce and Labor hearing, there were a number of questions that were asked by the Legislators that showed an interest in the
bill, but not necessarily support. It is still sitting in Committee before it goes to the full Assembly. We need to be sure that all members of the Assembly and Senate realize the importance of passing this bill.
Second, we are the nutrition professionals. We do our jobs using strong scientific evidence. Many times, bills might come before the legislator that affect some aspect of nutrition. By meeting the legislators and making sure they have an understanding of who we are and what we do and that we use evidence-based information, they know they can call on us for advice. That one-on-one relationship with legislators is important. Can you spare 15-20 minutes on March 12 to meet, virtually, with a legislator? I have 34 appointments scheduled but not enough of our members to meet with those legislators. If you can spare 15-20 minutes, please sign up to attend. We will have a training/kickoff on March 5 so you will know about the bill and what to say.
Thank you to those already registered and I hope to see more of you sign up.
Kara Freeman, DrPH, RD, FAND
State Public Policy Representative
Allison Schnitzer has been a member since 2010. She served on the board from 2017-2019 as the State Policy Representative as part of the Public Policy Team. During that time, she worked on SB95 which successfully allowed for order writing privileges for RDs in hospitals. Alison was nominated for her work as a driving force to get SB95 to pass, is a person who puts herself out there to make a difference, works diligently to produce healthy options in the community, and always provides assistance to any challenge to collaborate on a solution. Allison is described as compassionate, sarcastic, and supportive.
Allison is excited to see the Nevada RD community growing and thinks it is great for the community and state. She completed her undergraduate and dietetic internship at UNLV. Dietetics is a second career path for Allison. Before becoming an RD she obtained her English degree and worked in book publishing for 8 years in New York City.
Allison has worked at the Southern department Health District in the Chronic Disease and Health Promotion Office for the past 5 years as a public health dietitian. Her office receives grants that strive to promote a food environment in which it is easy to make healthy food choices and make access to food more equitable. Allison reports that depending on where a person lives, their income, and ethnic profile, and access to healthy foods can vary widely. Her work aims to increase access to healthy food for all.
Allison makes a difference as an RD because she works closely with the community and tackles big issues happening in the community. Right now, she is working with food pantries which allows her to see what is going on in the community, what they need, and what they struggle with. Allison finds it rewarding to react to whatever is going on in the world at any given moment as a community RD. Allison has her own equivalent of a clinical IDT team, she explains she works with a city planner, RTC, business owners, school administrators, food pantries, etc. She loves going into these spaces to aid in making positive changes.
Due to the pandemic Allison has worked from home most of the past year. Allison explains the pandemic has impacted her job greatly because she works closely with community partners and grants and the priority and focus of many business and community partners has understandable shifted over the past year. Trying to be flexible and refocusing her work as much as possible while still accomplishing the objectives and meeting the partners changing needs has been a challenge since the pandemic started requiring constant shifting and adjusting. She also explains that some grants are planned a year in advance and not knowing what next year is going to look like makes it difficult to estimate the needs.
Allison finds it rewarding to work with children and children’s health. She has gone to elementary schools and worked closely with schools to make positive changes to promote healthier nutrition and physical activity which will impact a large number of students. She enjoys working on various work groups and task forces as a team to set and accomplish goals.
Allison likes being a community dietitian because it allows you to do a variety of things and makes a large impact, not to mention you can really go in any direction with community nutrition. It allows you to work in almost any realm, in any environment, with almost any partner. Allison actively promotes community nutrition as a career path.
In her free time, Allison loves to cook and talk to others about cooking and food. She reports especially during COVID she has spent even more time cooking, looking at recipes, and meal planning. She also enjoys Pilates/yoga, spending time with her family, and watching movies.
Question of the Month: What is your signature dish?
Cashew Cheese. She puts it on everything from quesadillas to homemade potato chips. “Don’t start because you won’t stop!”
Mickey Mazurowski, RDN, LD, LPTA, CLT
Alexandra Lopez, RDN, LD, is a clinical dietitian at St. Rose Hospital. Alex is the current State Media Representative / PR Chair (2019-2021) and has also served as the Fundraising Chair (2019). Alex joined the NvAND Board to connect with other Dietitians.
After graduating, Alex was able to remain in contact with classmates and meet new people in the field by serving on the board. She has gained knowledge on the many resources available from the Academy and learned how much work is needed to run our organization. Alex says connecting with members throughout the state on social media has been her most rewarding experience serving on the board. Alex encourages anyone considering to serve on the board to do it! There is a role for everyone, whether it is more behind the scenes or at the forefront of our organization. The State Media Representative serves a 1 year term and also fills the role of PR Chair.
Mandisha Waiters RD, LDN was nominated due to her efforts in getting SB95 passed which allowed order writing privileges for RDs in the state of Nevada along with her big heart for the Las Vegas community. She is described as open, outgoing, and driven. Mandi joined NvAND as an undergrad student about 10 years ago. She has served as the Public Policy Coordinator from 2017-2019.
Mandisha currently works at Aid for AIDS of Nevada (AFAN) as a community dietitian providing medical nutrition therapy to patients living with HIV and AIDS. Mandi also works part time as a clinical dietitian at Spring Valley Hospital. She reports she likes having multiple things on her plate to find new things she enjoys. She confesses she feels antsy only having one job or project.
Mandi makes a difference by making healthy eating and wellness accessible to everybody. A common concern she gets is how to afford eating and living healthy. Mandi loves teaching people how to eat within this budget and emphasizes that they do not have to overhaul their life or buy anything special. She looks at the items they are already buying and finds a healthier version that does not have a big price difference.
Mandi works with a diverse population and says that if you have never been exposed to a setting with low income, poverty-stricken people, you would not necessarily see that in your day-to-day and understand how to address that aspect of food insecurity with people. A lack of diversity in dietetics and the state leads to a lack of opportunity to receive training, especially as a student, to understand how to interact with a person different from yourself. If you are working at a hospital, you typically do not ask about food security or housing stability or anything that happens outside the hospital so you never learn how to address what happens outside the hospital setting. She goes on to say that this a big aspect that is missing during internships and it does not come with any age, race, ethnicity, or creed it is just understanding a different walk of life to be able to better help a person in a different socioeconomic bubble.
Mandisha was very modest and humble of her efforts and her role as Public Policy coordinator when asked to expand on her efforts getting SB95 passed. Mandi reports Allison Schnitzer was the hero of getting SB95 passed and that the stars aligned after being in the right place at the right time. This is despite Mandi explaining that testimony was required and well as consulting with the Academy multiple times. While Mandisha is proud of her role in getting SB95 passed and obtaining order writing privileges for RDs, she feels it is not her greatest accomplishment since it left some NV RDs out in the cold, like community and private practice RDs. Mandi realizes it was a great thing and that not everyone can always benefit but knows it is still a struggle for other RDs in the state.
Mandisha loves to cook and would like to attend Culinary School with a focus on baking. She loves to share her food with others. She also enjoys playing Call of Duty on the PlayStation with her partner which is a nightly routine.
Mandi shared that she has been a person who has been impacted by breast cancer and implores members to check themselves monthly for breast cancer, as early detection is the key to survival.
Question of the Month:What did you eat routinely as a family growing up?
BBQ, in particular, brisket. My family is from Mesquite, Texas so all family events had brisket and I have come to always look forward to it at family functions.
Kate Gardner Burt, PhD, RD is an assistant professor and Undergraduate Program Director of the Dietetics, Foods, and Nutrition Program at Lehman College, City University of New York. Dr. Burt is a registered dietitian and culinary nutritionist who teaches courses in cultural humility and foodways and professional practice. Her research broadly aims to reduce racial and ethnic inequities in dietetics and food systems. Within this scope, Dr. Burt’s recent work focuses on unveiling systemic racial bias in the profession and in our dietary recommendations. She received her BS in film and television from Boston University and her MS in exercise physiology and nutrition, RD and PhD in food and nutrition policy from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Register for our annual conference to hear an amazing presentation given by Dr. Burt!
Wade Warren is a senior at UNLV and is the current president of the Student Nutrition and Dietetics Association (SNDA). Wade was nominated because of his commitment and the effort he has invested into SNDA over the past year. He is described as devoted, dependable, and encouraging.
Wade plans to graduate in May 2021 then head straight into the internship to become an RD. Wade focused his interview on SNDA which he reports has really helped guide him through his time at UNLV from being a member of the Garden Committee to Garden Committee Chair to now President, Wade said he has been able to develop connections, have invaluable experience, and grow as a dietetic student.
Wade has made a difference this year by taking on a leadership role through SNDA. He was able to step up to the role even through the daunting pandemic to keep the organization running. Wade said that COVID-19 has made many additional challenges this year for SNDA. The organization had to evolve and change to a virtual platform which Wade has been the leader of. SNDA has put member safety first while still promoting a sense of community for the members despite almost all in person activities being restricted. Wade added that this has stimulated growth and creativity and the organization has continued to thrive with virtual meetings and community service opportunities that allow social distancing.
He reports he is very lucky to have such a good group of officers to work with because they bring a lot to the table. He has learned how to collaborate and make decisions as the leader on what is best for the organization moving forward. He has found that many people want to get involved but sometimes just need a little support to commit.
Besides being president of SNDA, Wade is also very involved volunteering in Nicole Kiley’s sports nutrition internship. He is currently one of a few students who are able to stay involved in this program through COVID. He has been able to observe what a sport’s dietitian does day to day, the role they fill, and how to thrive in a sports dietitian position while being supported by Nicole and gaining confidence.
Wade would like to strengthen the relationship between NvAND and SNDA. He said it would be great to be able to show members the diverse interest and career options that dietetics can offer as the possibilities are endless. He invites anyone who is interesting in speaking to members of SNDA or collaborating with the group to reach out to him at email@example.com.
Question of the Month: What is your favorite food quote?
“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”-- J.R.R Tolkien
Sora Julie Lee, RDN, LD is the current Diversity Liaison for NvAND. She is a clinical dietitian at Veterans Affairs. Sora Lee has served on the NvAND board for two years and joined to increase diversity in dietetics and increase cultural competency in our practice. While serving on the board she has learned more about NvAND’s role in disseminating crucial and helpful information to the members which allows her to be informed about our dietetic community and provides networking opportunities. Sora Lee stated that learning about the efforts and impacts NvAND makes in our community has been the most positive experience of serving on the board. Sora Lee thinks fellow members questioning if they should serve on the board most definitely should! It provides a supportive learning space that may bring opportunities and skill sets to enhance your profession. Sora Lee loves that NvAND has such a positive and supportive environment that celebrates and encourages each other.
The Diversity Liaison serves a 2-year term.