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Tuesday Morning - March 26, 2013

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March 26, 2013

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

SNA Submits Comments on Proposed Competitive Foods Regulations
Action Alert for Proposed Legislation in Senate and House
House Bill Sensible School Meals Act Introduced
Senators Introduce Legislation to Eliminate Weekly Maximums on Grains and Meat and Meat Alternates
The Sensible School Lunch Act and LAC Make Headlines
FNS - Child Nutrition Programs; Income Eligibility Guidelines SY 2013-2014
OFW Memo: The House of Representatives and Senate - Final Approval to the FY 2013 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies
Snapshot of Child Nutrition Programs

State Policy

California Sees Increase in “Breakfast in the Classroom” Participation
Pennsylvania School District Addresses Unpaid Meal Charges

Reports, Webinars, and Events

"Help Feed Kids in Your Community this Summer with #SummerMeals" Twitter Town Hall
New Share Our Strength Analysis Shows Impact of School Breakfast on Academic Achievement

SNA Executive Team Events and Regional Meetings


Federal Policy

SNA Submits Comments on Proposed Competitive Foods Regulations

The proposed regulations govern items sold in school a la carte lines, vending machines and snack bars during the school day, excluding food brought from home, served in classroom parties, sold through occasional fundraisers, or at after school events. SNA’s comments are available here. SNA is also holding a “Competitive Foods Sweepstakes” to encourage SNA members to submit their own comments to USDA sharing insight on how the proposed rule will impact your program. Two randomly selected SNA members will win a trip for two SNA’s 2014 Legislative Action Conference (LAC) in Washington, D.C., with winners enjoying free registration, hotel stay and flights, as well as recognition. For more information on the sweepstakes, click here. To submit your own comments to USDA, visit regulations.gov.

Action Alert for Proposed Legislation in Senate and House

Please help us in providing healthy school meals each day. Contact your Senators and Member of Congress and ask them to co-sponsor S. 427 H.R. 1303. For a form letter to your House Members and Senators, visit http://capwiz.com/asfsa/issues/alert/?alertid=62541546. Read the stories below for more background on the introduced legislation.

House Bill Sensible School Meals Act Introduced

Members of Congress Steve Stivers (R-OH), Marcia Fudge (D-OH), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Frederica Wilson (D-FL), Larry Bucshon (R-IN), Bob Gibbs (R-OH), Trent Franks (R-AZ), Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM), Rodney Davis (R-IL), and Patrick Tiberi (R-OH) have introduced a bill that will makes the USDA revisions to grains and protein permanent similar to the Senate Bill. The House Bill also includes an amendment allowing local schools to set the price for a "paid" meal where the program is well managed. Ask your Members of Congress to add their name this week to this important sign-on letter, before the recess. The sign-on letter is endorsed by SNA and came about during conversations that happened during LAC 2013. Click here for the sign-on letter to share with your House member.

Senators Introduce Legislation to Eliminate Weekly Maximums on Grains and Meat and Meat Alternates

Recently, Senators John Hoeven (R-ND), Dan Coats (R-IN), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), James Inhofe (R-OK), Tim Johnson (D-SD), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Pat Roberts (R-KS), John Thune (R-SD), and Roger Wicker (R-MS) introduced S. 427, the “Sensible School Lunch Act,” which would amend the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) by eliminating the weekly maximums for grains and meat/meat alternates. SNA staff worked with Senator Hoeven’s staff on drafting the legislation which would permanently resolve the first point on SNA’s 2013 Legislative Issue Paper. The SNA Executive Team participated in a press conference with Senators Hoeven and Pryor on March 6 at the U.S. Capitol. The full text of the legislation can be found here

The Sensible School Lunch Act and LAC Make Headlines

Earlier this month, Roll Call, a newspaper read by Capitol Hill insiders, featured two key school nutrition policy stories this week. The first story offers an in-depth look at S. 427, the Sensible School Lunch Act. Reporter Ellyn Ferguson, who covered LAC 2013, also wrote an additional story on bipartisan support for child nutrition programs. The story features two of LAC’s Closing General Session speakers, Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) and Rep. Marcia L. Fudge (D-OH).

FNS - Child Nutrition Programs; Income Eligibility Guidelines SY 2013-2014

This Federal Register Notice announces the Department's annual adjustments to the Income Eligibility Guidelines to be used in determining eligibility for free and reduced price meals and free milk for the period from July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014. These guidelines are used by schools, institutions and facilities participating in the National School Lunch Program (and Commodity School Program), School Breakfast Program, Special Milk Program for Children, Child and Adult Care Food Program and Summer Food Service Program. The annual adjustments are required by Section 9 of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act. The guidelines are intended to direct benefits to those children most in need and are revised annually to account for changes in the Consumer Price Index. To read the notice, click here.

OFW Memo: The House of Representatives and Senate - Final Approval to the FY 2013 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies

The House of Representatives and Senate have now given final approval to the FY 2013 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill (the Bill) as part of a combined multi-Department omnibus measure, clearing it for the President’s expected signature. The current Continuing Resolution expires on March 27, 2013. The Bill provides $984 billion in total spending, in line with post-sequestration requirements. While there has been discussion of whether or not this appropriations bill would be used to replace sequestration or to provide some flexibility regarding how sequestration would be applied, no broad action with respect to sequestration was taken. Instead, specific efforts were made to mitigate sequestration for certain programs: 

  • The Pryor-Blunt amendment supplemented funding for the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) by transferring funds within the Agriculture portion of the Bill to offset sequestration and, as a result, avoid the projected furloughs of meat inspectors.
  • An increase was provided for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) to offset sequestration. 
  • The Senate provides an additional $12.8 million not included in the House bill for the implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
  • The Senate provides an additional $250 million not included in the House bill for rural water programs.

To finance some of the above and other modifications included in the Bill, an across-the-board reduction in USDA discretionary spending of 2.513% for non-security programs and 0.092% for security programs is included. As a result, this means that there are some programs within USDA that lose 5.1% due to sequestration, and an additional 2.513% due to the reductions in H.R. 933 as amended. To read the memo in full, click here.

Snapshot of Child Nutrition Programs

Under current law, total funding for child nutrition programs will grow from $20 billion in 2013 to $29 billion in 2023, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects. That rise largely reflects projected increases in food prices and thus the cost per meal, although the number of meals served by those programs is also expected to grow. The School Breakfast Program is projected to see the fastest growth, because CBO expects that more schools will participate and will implement policies that make it easier for eligible children to take part in the program. For more information, click here.


State Policy

California Sees Increase in “Breakfast in the Classroom” Participation

For the current school year, California has seen an increase of over 60,000 students participating in the Breakfast in the Classroom program, according to a recent news article. Over 1.3 million students receive breakfast during school hours with many schools offering free bowls of fresh fruit throughout the morning as an extension of the program. According to USDA data, the food insecurity rate is worse in California than the national average, as 16.2 percent or about 2.1 million households did not have enough money or resources for food.

Pennsylvania School District Addresses Unpaid Meal Charges

A local school board in Williamsport, Pa., approved a policy to address unpaid meal charges. The changes, which will likely take effect in school year 2013-14, would allow high school students to only charge for one meal and elementary/middle carrying a balance of up to $10. Kindergarten students through third grade would be given an alternate meal if carrying a negative balance of at least $10. Grades 4 through 12 would be given a sandwich. All costs of the meals would be added to the students' accounts. More information can be found here.


Reports, Webinars, and Events

"Help Feed Kids in Your Community this Summer with #SummerMeals" Twitter Town Hall

On March 26, 2013 (1:00 pm EST), the Food and Nutrition Coalition will host a Twitter Town Hall (use #summermeals to participate) featuring:

  • Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley (@GovernorOMalley)
  • Food Research and Action Center (@FRACtweets)
  • Feeding America (@FeedingAmerica)
  • USDA Food and Nutrition Service (@USDANutrition)
  • New York City Coalition Against Hunger (@NYCCAH)

For more information, visit http://1.usa.gov/YgZDU8.

New Share Our Strength Analysis Shows Impact of School Breakfast on Academic Achievement

Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign has released a new analysis demonstrating the positive potential impact that school breakfast has on the academic, health and economic futures of America’s students. The study, developed in collaboration with Deloitte, finds that on average, students who eat school breakfast have the potential to achieve 17.5% higher scores on standardized math tests and attend 1.5 more days of school each year. Research also shows students who attend class more regularly are potentially 20% more likely to graduate from high school, and high school graduates typically earn $10,090 more a year while enjoying a 4% higher employment rate.

For complete details and an interactive map highlighting the benefits of school breakfast at the state and local levels, visit www.NoKidHungry.org/Breakfast.


SNA Executive Team Events and Regional Meetings

April 2-6, 2013, Florida State Conference, Orlando, FL
April 8-10, 2013, American Commodity Distribution Association's Annual National Conference, Nashville, TN
April 11-13, 2013, Georgia State Conference, Savannah, GA
April 15-20, 2013, National Leadership Conference, Savannah, GA
April 26-27, 2013, Kids Healthy Recipe Challenge, Baltimore, MD


 
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