Tuesday Morning - May 30, 2017

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues
from SNA

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

SNA CEO Writes OpEd on Child Nutrition for The Hill
Secretary Perdue and Representative Aderholt Discuss School Nutrition at U.S. House Hearing
President Trump’s Fiscal 2018 Budget 
Study of School Food Authority (SFA) Procurement Practices
Notice of Extension and Revision of Previously Approved CN Labeling Information Collection
Check Out the USDA’s Team Nutrition Summer Resources

State Snapshots

Alabama Farm to School Bill Advances
Oregon Unpaid Meals Bill

Mark Your Calendars

SNA's Upcoming Webinars
FRAC Meals Matter Webinars

Cafeteria Chat Corner


Federal Policy

SNA CEO Writes OpEd on Child Nutrition for The Hill

SNA CEO Patricia Montague wrote an opinion editorial for The Hill titled, “Teachable moment: If we want healthier school lunches to succeed we need to start with the children.” The editorial addressed some of the challenges that school cafeterias face across the country regarding school meal programs and the nutrition standards that were introduced in 2012 as part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. As Columbia University professor of pediatrics pointed out in his criticism of the Association, USDA estimated the standards would cost school districts $1.2 billion in food and labor expenses in fiscal 2015 alone, or an additional 10 cents for each lunch. Schools did not get this $1.2 billion, and are only reimbursed 6 cents to cover the additional costs, so school nutrition professionals have had to get creative with meals even as National School Lunch Program participation has declined by 1 million students per day since 2014. Montague points out that SNA’s request for meal planning flexibility is not a request to “roll back” healthy eating standards and let kids have free reign on eating unhealthy items in the cafeteria, but rather it addresses practical solutions to fix what is not working.

Secretary Perdue and Representative Aderholt Discuss School Nutrition at U.S. House Hearing

On Wednesday, May 24, USDA Secretary Perdue appeared before the House Appropriation Subcommittee on Agriculture to testify in regards to the Trump Administration’s recent budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2018 and SNA staff was there to cover it.

Secretary Perdue and Representative Aderholt Discuss School Nutrition at U.S. House Hearing

The meeting kicked off with subcommittee Chairman Rep. Aderholt (R-AL-4) commending Secretary Perdue for his approach to school meal nutrition standards. Aderholt pointed out that food waste was up while school meal participation was down, and that there was a need to find balance in the lunchroom. Perdue noted that the perception of his move was that it was unwinding nutrition standards, but he wanted to make it clear that they were simply taking pause and evaluating what was going on in cafeterias.

Perdue states that: “I have found that school nutrition professionals are some of the most respected people in the schools and some of the most beloved…. As we know many of our students, that’s the most basic meal they get, their school breakfast and lunch.” He goes on to say: “My strategy is to listen to those people who know best and are closest to the issue and how we can give them the flexibility to provide nutritious healthy meals in a way that doesn’t constrain them.”

Aderholt reiterated that, “School lunch personnel want to provide healthy meals to the kids; we need to be taking into consideration their perspective on the issues.” Watch a clip of this exchange on the School Nutrition Association Action Network.

Most Representatives on the subcommittee had concerns about the Trump Administration’s proposed budget, which calls for cuts to the Department of Agriculture budget by 19% and zeroes out funding for certain programs, and the themes of the questioning surrounded crop insurance, rural development, market access and SNAP. Though Perdue defended the budget for the most part, he reminded lawmakers that the 2018 farm bill will be the vehicle by which Congress can set policy on SNAP and crop insurance, and also agreed with Aderholt that the Food for Peace program, which is on the budget’s chopping block, serves a humanitarian mission while supporting Trump’s “Buy American, Hire American” policy. Secretary Perdue and the House Appropriation Subcommittee on Agriculture certainly have their work cut out for them, but were hopeful that they would be able to work together to ensure success.

President Trump’s Fiscal 2018 Budget

Last week, President Trump released his Fiscal 2018 Budget request, A New Foundation for American Greatness. The request, presented to Congress, outlines in detail the President’s proposal to streamline spending making bold and specific policy priorities, and includes economic and accounting analyses. This follows up on the President’s ‘skinny budget,’ which was released March 13, 2017. President Trump is calling for a $3.6 trillion slash in spending over the next 10 years. For FY 2018, the request calls for $668 billion in defense spending, $22 billion above current spending; and a $479 billion budget for non-defense programs, which is $57 billion less than current spending. Proposed SNAP funding would decrease more than $190 billion over 10 years – which is a decrease of over 25%. SNA will continue to review the budget in detail and follow along as Congress begins their Fiscal Year 2018 appropriations process, paying particular attention to any impacts to school meal programs.

Study of School Food Authority (SFA) Procurement Practices

USDA published notice of a study of School Food Authority Procurement Practices. Data will be collected from a subsample of the SFA population participating in the second year of the Child Nutrition Program Operations Study-II (CN-OPS II) (OMB Number 0584-0607). The SFA Procurement Practices Study will describe and evaluate the decision-making processes of SFAs regarding school food procurement practices. Comments on this record collection are due July 26, 2017, and can be submitted through Regulations.gov.

Notice of Extension and Revision of Previously Approved CN Labeling Information Collection

In the Federal Register on May 22nd there was a notice from the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) for an extension of and revision to the currently approved information collection for the Child Nutrition Labeling Program. The Child Nutrition Labeling Program is a voluntary technical assistance service to aid schools and institutions that participate in child nutrition programs in determining the contribution toward the food-based meal pattern requirements of the programs. Manufacturers can submit a label application for their product and AMS determines the contribution a serving of the product makes toward the food-based meal pattern requirement.

Check Out the USDA’s Team Nutrition Summer Resources

As the summer months are fast approaching, USDA wants to remind everyone about their Team Nutrition Summer Resources available online. Summer Moves, Summer Foods is a resource kit that helps kids and families get excited about healthy eating and physical activity during the summer. It is designed to be used by summer meal site operators and promotes using music, games, art and movement to motivate kids and families to make healthy choices. On the website there are posters, flyers and guides available for download in both English and Spanish, and printed materials can also be requested by schools, childcare providers and summer meal programs participating in one of the USDA’s child nutrition programs.

State Snapshots

Alabama Farm to School Bill Advances

HB 53, a bill seeking to make it easier for school systems to buy fresh produce through the farm-to-school program, passed both the House and Senate and was sent to the Governor for signature. Federal funds for school nutrition may be used to purchase farm products and exempts those purchases from the competitive bid process. The legislation aligns Alabama’s program with federal law.

Oregon Unpaid Meals Bill

HB 3454, introduced May 4th, describes actions school districts are required to take or are prohibited from taking regarding students who are unable to pay for meals. Among other provisions, the bill would require all schools participating in the National School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program to provide each student that requests one with a meal regardless of ability to pay. If a student owes money for five or more meals a school district must take specified steps to contact the parent or guardian and determine eligibility for free or reduced price meals.

Mark Your Calendars

SNA's Upcoming Webinars

Learn about hot topics in school nutrition with SNA’s popular professional development webinars.

2017 ANC Mobile App and More Webinar
Tuesday, June 20, 2017, 2:00 pm EST
If you are attending SNA’s Annual National Conference (ANC) in Atlanta, you don’t want to miss this webinar. Get the inside scoop on everything you need to know about ANC from exploring the mobile app to building your own agenda to having a unique conference experience. Tune in to find out why ANC is the School Nutrition Event of the Year! No CEUS will be awarded for this webinar.

FRAC Meals Matter Webinars

The Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) offers their Meals Matter webinar series to assist in the operation of school meal programs.

Summer Meals Matter: Spotlight on State Legislation and Funding
Thursday, June 1, 2017, 1:00 pm ET
Did you know that a handful of states across the country have passed legislation allocating additional funding for summer expansion efforts, or requiring that schools in high-need areas provide summer meals? Join this call to learn how states are using legislative action to increase access to and participation in the Summer Nutrition Programs, and determine whether policy changes or legislation would be an effective solution for addressing barriers in your state.


Cafeteria Chat Corner

Countdown to ANC: 40 Days!
By 1997, computers and technology were beginning to catch on, and the foodservice industry had seen steady growth in the development and installation of point-of-sale (POS) systems. In fact, about 29% of school foodservice operations were using the systems by January 1997. The Association worked to continue the development of its members’ technological sophistication, and at the 1997 Annual National Conference (ANC) in Orlando, Fla., the Association offered the first Tech Training site. During this same year, a monthly online survey called Roll Call was also introduced to gain greater insight into strategies and trends within the profession. At this year’s ANC in Atlanta, technology is still a major theme, with several education sessions relating to the topic, such as: “Login and Learn: Taking Advantage of Online Professional Development Tools,” “Training and Communicating in the 21st Century,” and “Mobile Serving and Beyond: Increasing Participation Through Innovation.” Register for ANC 2017 today!

Contact Us

120 Waterfront Street, Suite 300
National Harbor, MD 20745
servicecenter@schoolnutrition.org  

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

> For The Media

Sign Up for Our Newsletters

Read the latest news and developments facing the school nutrition industry, as well as stay on top of important trends and resources.

 

> Read the Latest Newsletters

SNA State Associations

The School Nutrition Association has a presence in every state across the country. View links to many of the state associations to find out more about what SNA is doing nationwide. 

> Learn More