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Tuesday Morning - November 26, 2013

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November 26, 2013

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

SNA Hosts Briefing on Capitol Hill and Has Several One-on-One Meetings
SNA Congratulates Cindy Long, New Deputy Administrator for Child Nutrition Programs at USDA
LAC Update
USDA Releases Nine Memos on Summer Meals
Federal Register: NSLP and SBP – Eliminating Applications Through Community Eligibility as Required by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010
USDA Farm to School Census Released – Districts Can Update Data Until November 30th
USDA FNS Requests Information Related to School Nutrition and Meal Cost

State Policy

Vermont Agency Urges Participation in School Meals
Oregon’s New Farm to School Law Gets USDA Praise
NFL Player Urges Kids to Eat Their Breakfast in Maryland
Nashville Mayor Visits After School Program
Missouri School District Launches Food Truck
Washington School District Will Serve Meals Over Winter Break

Reports, Webinars, and Events

SNF Webinar: The Financial Sense of Breakfast on December 11, 2013

Upcoming Meetings and Events


Federal Policy

SNA Hosts Briefing on Capitol Hill and Has Several One-on-One Meetings

On Monday, November 18, 2013, SNA hosted a Congressional staff briefing on Capitol Hill regarding school meals. Marla Caplon, Director of Food and Nutrition Services at Montgomery County (Md.) Public Schools and Joan Shorter, Director of Food and Nutrition Services at Prince George’s County (Md.) Public Schools, provided their unique perspectives to Hill staff, walking them through the intricacies of their programs. This briefing was an opportunity to connect with Congressional staffers who will be involved in drafting the next Child Nutrition Reauthorization and provide them with an overview of school meal program operations and challenges.

Following the briefing, over a 3-day period, SNA Vice President of Child Nutrition & Policy, Cathy Schuchart, along with SNA’s new lobbying team of Barnes & Thornburg, had 24 one-on-one meetings with key Hill staff and Members of Congress. These conversation- and relationship-building efforts come at a critical time as SNA continues to be the voice of child nutrition on Capitol Hill.

SNA Congratulates Cindy Long, New Deputy Administrator for Child Nutrition Programs at USDA

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Administrator, Audrey Rowe, recently announced a reorganization of Special Nutrition Programs into two new organizations, each headed by a Deputy Administrator, the Office of the Deputy Administrator for Child Nutrition Programs and Office of the Deputy Administrator for Supplemental Nutrition and Safety Programs. Cindy Long has been appointed as the Deputy Administrator for Child Nutrition (CN) Programs which took effect Sunday, November 17, 2013.

We offer sincere congratulations on her well-deserved promotion and are eager to continue to work with Cindy in her new position!

LAC Update

SNA’s upcoming Legislative Action Conference (LAC) is just around the corner—March 2 to 5, 2014! As part of educating Members of Congress and their staff during the Charge to the Hill, SNA will be building a webpage for them to visit to download information on the Issue Paper, policy areas, and what is happening across the country. We will need your assistance in gathering information that you plan to share during your Hill visits to include on the webpage. As you develop the packets you will share on the Hill, please send it to SNA Director of State Legislative Affairs Nichole Westin at nwestin@schoolnutrition.org for inclusion on the webpage.

USDA Releases Nine Memos on Summer Meals

On November 12, 2013, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released nine memos on the summer meals programs on topics such as: Sponsors Operating in Multiple States, Mobile Feeding Options, Census Data Release, Promoting Nutrition in Summer Meals, Use of School and Census Data, Available Flexibilities, Expanding Awareness, Meal Service Requirements, and a Q&A document. To access the memos, click here. USDA worked hard to have this guidance released in a timely fashion as districts are planning summer meals now. These memos preceded a Summit on Summer Meals hosted by Share Our Strength, November 13-14, 2013. SNA assisted Share Our Strength throughout the planning of this summit targeted for state agencies and provided suggestions for speakers.

Federal Register: NSLP and SBP – Eliminating Applications Through Community Eligibility as Required by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010

This rule proposes to amend the eligibility regulations for free and reduced price meals under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) to codify the statutory provision that establishes the community eligibility provision, a reimbursement option for eligible local educational agencies and schools that wish to offer free school meals to all children in high poverty schools without collecting household applications. This proposed rule reflects statutory requirements that were implemented through policy guidance following enactment of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA). To be assured of consideration, comments on this proposed rule must be received by January 3, 2014. Click here to read the rule in its entirety. SNA has reviewed and has determined to not submit comments, as the proposed rule is providing clarifying language and not substantive changes or rulemaking.

USDA Farm to School Census Released – Districts Can Update Data Until November 30th

USDA has released its first-ever Farm to School Census, revealing that in school year 2011-12, over 38,000 schools across the country served over $350 million in local food in their school cafeterias. Visitors to USDA’s Farm to School Census website ( www.fns.usda.gov/FarmtoSchool/census) can access the results at the national, state and district levels.

School districts that missed the opportunity to participate in the survey can submit information regarding farm to school practices through November 30, 2013. Districts that did participate are encouraged to visit the site to check their responses. USDA will accept updated responses from school districts through November 30, 2013. To update data for your school district or to complete the questionnaire, contact Matt Benson with the USDA Farm to School Program at matthew.benson@fns.usda.gov.

USDA FNS Requests Information Related to School Nutrition and Meal Cost

USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has released a request for information in the Federal Register. Comments are invited for their School Nutrition and Meal Cost Study. The study comes at a time of unprecedented change for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP). The new requirements are intended to better align USDA meals and snacks with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and to improve participating students' food and nutrient intake. Complying with the new requirements might affect the costs of producing school lunches and breakfasts. Conducting this study at this historic juncture will provide FNS with crucial information about the effects of the new meal standards on nutritional quality and the cost of school meals. No national study has concurrently examined the cost of producing school meals, the nutritional profile of school meals and the amount of plate waste in school meals. For more details and instructions for submitting information, click here.


State Policy

Vermont Agency Urges Participation in School Meals

Thanks to legislation passed earlier this year, students that qualify for reduced price meals are able to obtain them at no cost. The Vermont Agency of Education Child Nutrition Programs continues to urge parents and guardians to fill out the necessary paperwork to enroll students into the program. To learn more, click here.

Oregon’s New Farm to School Law Gets USDA Praise

USDA leadership praised the recently passed Oregon legislation that doubles the amount of funds directed at Farm to School Programs. Schools across the state will receive grants to help them establish and expand relationships with local farms. This can include field trips, utilizing produce in school meals, and helping students create school gardens. To learn more, visit this link.

NFL Player Urges Kids to Eat Their Breakfast in Maryland

According to an article in The Baltimore Sun, Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens is urging students to eat their breakfast. Rice was in Glen Burnie, Md., to celebrate $100,000 in grants to the Anne Arundel County Public Schools for the continuation of the universal breakfast program. More than 600 students at Hilltop Elementary School eat breakfast at school, some of 17,000 county students in the Maryland Meals for Achievement program. To learn more, visit this link.

Nashville Mayor Visits Afterschool Program

Mayor Karl Dean of Nashville visited a middle school that participates in the Nashville AfterZone Alliance program which provides meals to students after the final bell. A partnership between the Mayor’s Office and Metro schools funds the Nashville AfterZone Alliance program at 31 schools with the meals subsidized via the federal After School Snack and Supper Program. To learn more, visit this link.

Missouri School District Launches Food Truck

High school students in Columbia, Mo., can now pick up a reimbursable meal from the school nutrition program’s food truck. The food comes from the school cafeterias, and some comes from an outside vendor, but must meet the meal pattern requirements. The district purchased the trailer at the beginning of this school year, received it in October and turned it into a kitchen equipped with an oven and refrigerator. To learn more, visit this link.

Washington School District Will Serve Meals Over Winter Break

Students that live in Yakima, Wash., will have access to school meals during the upcoming winter break. A local high school will be offering hot meals and tutoring sessions to any interested K-12 student on December 23, 27, 30 and 31 and January 2-3 during the noon lunch hour. The decision was driven by the recent cut in food support such as SNAP. To learn more, visit this link.


Reports, Webinars, and Events

SNF Webinar: The Financial Sense of Breakfast on December 11, 2013

The School Nutrition Foundation (SNF), in partnership with the National Dairy Council, will host a FREE webinar on December 11, 2013, from 2:00-3:15 pm ET, about the financial considerations to make when starting or expanding a breakfast program. Join the webinar as the speakers breakdown different breakfast models for programs of different sizes and help you discover simple ways to better understand how breakfast can make a positive impact on your bottom line. Time will be devoted to Q&A. Participation in this webinar is worth 1 SNA CEU. To register, click here.


Upcoming Meetings and Events

December 5-6, 2013, SNA Public Policy & Legislation Committee Drafting Issue Paper, Crystal City, VA


 
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