Tuesday Morning - February 28, 2017

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues
from SNA

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

Two New Federal Register Notices
The First 2018 Farm Bill Hearing
National Breakfast Week Kicks Off Next Week!
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Celebrates National Nutrition Month
Institute of Child Nutrition to Launch New eLearning Portal

State Snapshots

California Legislature Turns to School Nutrition

Mark Your Calendars

SNA's Upcoming Webinars
USDA Unpaid Meals Webinar

Cafeteria Chat Corner


Federal Policy

Two New Federal Register Notices

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service has posted notice of a proposed direct certification study and a revision to their proposed rule on requirements for the processing of Donated Foods.

Proposed Free and Reduced Price Direct Certification Study
Prior Direct Certification with Medicaid demonstrations have authorized selected states and districts to use income information from Medicaid files to determine students’ eligibility for free meals. The new DCM-Free and Reduced Price (DCM-F/RP) demonstration expands the use of direct certification using income information from Medicaid files to include eligibility for reduced-price meals. The study will gather data from State, School Food Authority, and State Agency vendor staff to document DCM-F/RP processes, administrative records and participation in the school meal programs. Data will be collected for school year (SY) 2017-18.

Comments on this proposed study can be submitted to Conor McGovern, Food and Nutrition Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 3101 Park Center Drive, Room 1040, Alexandria, VA 22302, or through www.regulations.gov and are due by April 24, 2017.

Revisions and Clarifications in Requirements for the Processing of Donated Foods; Extension of Comment Period
The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is extending the comment period for their proposed rule which revises and clarifies requirements for the processing of donated foods. The rule is intended to incorporate successful processing options tested in demonstration projects, ensure accountability for donated foods provided for processing, and increase program efficiency. The rule also would require multi-State processors to enter into National Processing Agreements to process donated foods into end products, permit processors to substitute commercially purchased beef and pork of U.S. origin and of equal or better quality for donated beef and pork, and would increase oversight of inventories of donated foods at processors. The comment period for this proposed rule is extended from March 6, 2017 to April 5, 2017.

The First 2018 Farm Bill Hearing

The Senate Agriculture Committee held its first Farm Bill hearing on Thursday, February 23, at Kansas State University. The Farm Bill contains nutrition programs, including the USDA Foods program, which purchases high-quality domestic agricultural products and distributes them to states for use in preparing school meals. During the 2015 school year, USDA Foods provided National School Lunch Program schools with 1.2 billion pounds of nutritious foods.

At the field hearing, Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) said “Yes, we’ll have a farm bill. Yes, we can get it done on time.” SNA will be monitoring and informing members on progress of the 2018 Farm Bill. You can read the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, & Forestry press release on the field hearing on their website.

National Breakfast Week Kicks Off Next Week!

National School Breakfast Week (NSBW) starts next week on Monday, March 6th, and ends Friday, March 10th. This year’s theme, “Take the School Breakfast Challenge,” encourages students, parents, and school officials to start their morning with a healthy breakfast. Visit www.schoolnutrition.org/nsbw to get access to the various resources we have to help make your NSBW as successful as possible! Resources include the NSBW 2017 toolkit, activity sheets for kids, and press release templates. The goal of the week is to bring attention to and increase participation in the school breakfast program, so get started on planning your campaign!

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Celebrates National Nutrition Month

Every March the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) celebrates National Nutrition Month, which is their nutrition and education information campaign. Throughout the month the organization focuses on bringing attention to the importance of making informed food choices and developing healthy eating and physical activity habits. AND’s website, EatRight.org, features press releases, videos, and resources for celebrating the month and to encourage spreading the message of good nutrition and an overall healthy lifestyle for people of all backgrounds.

Institute of Child Nutrition to Launch New eLearning Portal

Coming Spring 2017, the Institute of Child Nutrition (ICN) is launching a new eLearning portal that will replace its current online training system. Some features of the new system include a searchable catalog, mobile-friendly social media integration, external training transcript, and gamification, all of which will help to provide an enhanced online training experience anytime and anywhere! It is important to note that current user profiles and certificate transcripts will not be transferred to the new system, so if you have an account you must access it and download them before the new system launches. For more information on that and any other questions you may have about the portal, visit http://news.theicn.org/elearning.

State Snapshots

California Legislature Turns to School Nutrition

The California House and Senate have introduced school nutrition bills addressing direct certification for free/reduced eligibility, almond milk, and the Buy American provision.

SB 138
“Feed the Kids Act” will automatically enroll income-eligible students who are on Medi-Cal onto the free and reduced-price lunch program at their school. Also requires schools identified as high poverty to implement CEP. This bill is scheduled for a hearing in the Committee on Education on March 15th.

AB 691
An act allowing almond milk to be considered a milk, similar to soy or rice milk, for purposes of inclusion in school meal programs.

AB 1592
Extending the time frame a school may submit a report of use of Instructional School Garden funds to the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

SB 730
Requires the State Department of Education to take certain actions to monitor and enforce the Buy American provision beyond Federal requirements. The Education Department must establish a process for school food authorities to request an exception to the provision and should that exception be granted, requires that school food authority to provide notice to the public and to the parents or guardians of the procurement of foreign commodities.

SB730
Requires the State Department of Education to take certain actions to monitor and enforce the Buy American provision beyond Federal requirements. The Education Department must establish a process for school food authorities to request an exception to the provision and should that exception be granted, requires that school food authority to provide notice to the public and to the parents or guardians of the procurement of foreign commodities.

Mark Your Calendars

SNA's Upcoming Webinars

Learn about hot topics in school nutrition and earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs) with SNA’s popular professional development webinars.

Best of #SNIC17 2 of 3: Kellogg’s Innovative Solution
Wednesday, March 8, 2017, 2:00 pm EST
With increased pressure to serve less processed foods, this webinar will provide insight to food production from farm to bowl and its impact on the nutrition quality. Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs.

Food Allergy: Discussing the Science Behind the Facts
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Learn important basic information about food allergies and hear how school nutrition professionals can support strategies to improve quality of life for those with food allergies. Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs.

Schools As Nutrition Hubs: The Business Savvy Strategy to Reduce Childhood Hunger
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
In this interactive session, learn tips and how-to lessons from and brainstorm with expert school nutrition directors who operate Nutrition Hubs. Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs.

USDA Unpaid Meals Webinar

SFA’s are required to have an unpaid meal policy in place by SY 2017-18. On Tuesday, April 4, 2017, 2:30 pm EST, USDA will host the webinar about local charge policies. Entitled, Unpaid Meal Charges: Local Charge Policy Requirement , this webinar will include an overview of USDA’s work around unpaid meal charges, a detailed overview of local meal charge policies, and time for questions. Interaction and participation is encouraged during the webinar. USDA’s Unpaid Meal Charges Website houses their current resources, including guidance, handbooks, checklists, and a Q&A.


Cafeteria Chat Corner

Countdown to LAC: 33 days!
The “No Holds Barred – Kids Say the Darndest Things!” session will be held on Sunday, April 2nd. It was such a hit last year during one of the breakout sessions that SNA decided to bring it back as a General Session! The panel will be made up of students from Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties in Maryland, and as some of school nutrition’s toughest critics, they will not be holding back as they answer questions. Yet another reason to register today for LAC 2017!

Speaking of Kids...
The National School Lunch Program feeds over 31 million children every day and operates in over 100,000 schools across the country. In 1946, The National School Lunch Act created the modern school lunch program, and since then over 224 billion lunches have been served.

Sneak peek for next week: Which former U.S. Senator was also Secretary of Agriculture?

LAC Then & Now:
At the 1992 LAC, which had a “Universal Vision” theme, a highlight of the event was the banquet speaker, Bob Dole. Dole was a Senator from Kansas at the time, and was noted as a champion of school nutrition. He, along with Senator George McGovern (D-SD) and Senator Hubert Humphrey (D-MN), were three vital advocates recognized by SNA back then, and deserved “a special category by themselves.” Today, SNA works closely with a variety of Senators, Members of Congress, and other policymakers to help shape school nutrition.

SNA's Legislative Action Conference (LAC) Then & Now

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National Harbor, MD 20745
servicecenter@schoolnutrition.org  

Tel (301) 686-3100
Fax (301) 686-3115

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