Twelve schools in the Annapolis Valley are making healthy choicesthe easy choices. Health Promotion Minister Rodney MacDonaldpresented the Annapolis Valley Health Promoting Schools Projectwith $100,000 today, Nov. 18, as he joined students for lunch atSomerset and District Elementary School in Berwick, Kings Co. The Annapolis Valley Health Promoting Schools projectincorporates both healthy foods and drinks and physical activityinto the school day. “Promoting healthy eating and physical activity among ourchildren is a priority for the Office of Health Promotion becauseit’s a priority for Nova Scotians,” said Mr. MacDonald, alsospeaking as acting Minister of Education. “We want all childrento have healthy options at school and a key part of making thathappen is to look at the good things that are already happeningand to learn from what works.” In August 2004, the province released a report titled Food andNutrition in Nova Scotia Schools, which was based on interviewswith school board program directors and principals fromelementary, junior and senior high schools. The report outlinedtheir current situations, issues and potential opportunities forimprovement related to food choices in schools. The province is using that information, along with the experiencefrom the Annapolis Valley Health Promoting Schools Project, todevelop a new provincial policy to support accessible andaffordable healthy food choices in schools. The committee, whichalso includes school boards representatives, principals and othereducation partners, will consider all aspects of food in schools,including food and beverage service, breakfast programs andvending machines. “Our goal is to help children make healthy choices aboutnutrition and physical activity everyday. This will reduce theirrisk of developing chronic disease and give them the skills todevelop healthy habits for life,” said Tricia Cochrane, vicepresident of Community Health for the Annapolis Valley HealthAuthority, a key partner in the project. The Annapolis Valley Health Promoting Schools project has been asuccess thanks to the commitment of parents, teachers andstudents, and the encouragement of the school board. This funding will allow the project to continue and expand by: subsidizing the cost of raw fruit and vegetables; allowing students to taste test new menu options; training student physical activity leaders to organize activities for other students at lunchtime; and running non-competitive physical activity programs after school.
US gov’t reports $116.5B surplus, largest in 5 years; deficit on track for smallest in 5 years WASHINGTON – The federal government on Thursday reported a rare surplus of $116.5 billion in June, the largest for a single month in five years. The gain kept the nation on track for its lowest annual deficit in five years.The surplus was due in part to $66.3 billion in dividend payments from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The mortgage giants were taken over by the government at the height of the 2008 financial crisis and are now repaying taxpayers for the support they received.Through the first eight months of the budget year, the deficit has totalled $509.8 billion, according to the Treasury. That’s $394.4 billion lower than the same period last year.The Congressional Budget Office forecasts the annual deficit will be $670 billion when the budget year ends on Sept. 30. If correct, that would be well below last year’s deficit of $1.09 trillion and the lowest since President Barack Obama took office. It would still be the fifth-largest deficit in U.S. history.The Obama administration also estimates a lower annual deficit, although it projects a slightly higher figure of $759 billion.Steady economic growth and higher tax rates have boosted the government’s tax revenue this year. At the same time, government spending has barely increased. The dividend payments from Fannie and Freddie have also helped.The federal deficit represents the annual difference between the government’s spending and the tax revenues it takes in. Each deficit contributes to the national debt, currently $16.7 trillion.The improving deficit picture has taken pressure off negotiations to raise the federal borrowing limit, although that battle is likely to resurface in the fall. Obama has remained at odds with Republicans over cutting benefit programs and imposing further tax increases.The deficit reached a record $1.41 trillion in budget year 2009, which began four months before Obama took office. The Obama administration was forced to deal with a severe economic downturn that reduced revenues and boosted government spending in such areas as unemployment benefits and food stamps. The government also had to allocate billions of dollars to stabilize the financial system.The budget gaps in the next three years were slightly lower as a gradually strengthening economy generated more tax revenue.President George W. Bush also ran large deficits through most of his two terms in office after he won approval for broad tax cuts and launched wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.The last time the government ran an annual surplus was in 2001. by Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press Posted Jul 11, 2013 2:08 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email