December 6, 2013 – US Representative Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) has introduced the Reducing Federal Mandates on School Lunch Act to ease meal pattern requirements. H.R. 3663 would eliminate calorie caps and permanently lift weekly maximums on protein and grains. (Per a previous web story, USDA recently submitted for review language that would eliminate the grain/protein maximums.)
The bill was introduced the same day SNA’s Public Policy and Legislation Committee was meeting to draft the Association’s 2014 Legislative Issue Paper, with extensive input from SNA members. The Issue Paper, which will be unveiled in January, is a key step in SNA’s three year legislative plan, which focuses on the successful reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Programs.
Over the last month, in preparation for reauthorization, SNA hosted a Congressional staff briefing on Capitol Hill regarding school meals and participated in 24 one-on-one meetings with key Hill staff and Members of Congress. During these meetings, SNA confirmed that committee leaders prefer to address school nutrition issues comprehensively as part of the reauthorization process, rather than advancing individual bills that address specific priorities.
To ensure SNA’s advocacy plan achieves the greatest possible success, the Association is focusing its engagement on advancing reauthorization and educating Members of Congress on the issues that matter most to SNA members. Members have a critical role to play in this process by participating in SNA’s Legislative Action Conference (LAC), March 2 to 5, 2014. Visit www.schoolnutrition.org/LAC to find out more.
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