Your End-of-the-Year Advocacy Update!


School Nutrition Association Action Network

As 2017 winds down, now is the perfect time to recap all the school nutrition advocacy action since your Mid-Year Advocacy Update. This was a busy year for SNA as we fought for funding and worked to influence school nutrition policies that are implemented across the country. SNA members have been instrumental in pushing for change and your hard work is certainly paying off as we’ve seen exciting legislation introduced, in addition to a little regulatory breathing room in the school meal programs. So, what exactly has been going on in SNA advocacy?

  • The 2018 Position Paper Survey was sent to all SNA members in early November and results will help to inform the December 4, 2017, 2018 Position Paper drafting meeting. More than 3,600 responses were returned!

  • The “Healthy Breakfasts Help Kids Learn Act of 2017,” H.R. 3738, was introduced by Congressmen McGovern and Davis, and provides an additional 6 cents in commodity support for every school breakfast served. SNA issued an action alert for the bill and more than 6,040 messages have been sent to Members of Congress asking them to support the bill. The total number of cosponsors on the bill is up to 18, and hopefully that number will continue to grow as more SNA members encourage their representatives for their support!

  • The American Commodity Distribution Association (ACDA) joined SNA as an ally and sent a joint letter of support for H.R. 3738 to Congressmen McGovern and Davis.

  • The House FY 2018 Appropriations Bill, H.R. 3354, includes $25 million in grants for equipment and training needs for school nutrition programs. The Senate FY 2018 Appropriations Bill, S.1603, provides for $30 million in grants for equipment for school nutrition programs and an additional $2 million for training. Both bills will need to be reconciled and passed before the final training and equipment funding amounts are determined, but the bill language is promising.

  • SNA signed on to a joint letter to the Senate and House Appropriations Committee leaders in support of the language included in the House of Representatives FY 2018 Agriculture Appropriations bill, which lowers the threshold for USDA School Kitchen Equipment Grant purchases, as mentioned above, from $5,000 to $1,000.

  • Many may remember that U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, encouraged “direct and specific” feedback from school nutrition professionals at SNA’s 2017 Annual National Conference (ANC). As part of this feedback, SNA has submitted 15 comments to USDA to help shape regulations relating to school nutrition programs. USDA’s Federal Register notice titled, Identifying Regulatory Reform Initiatives is still ongoing; submit your suggestions for regulatory reform on SNA’s website.

  • LAC 2018 will be here before you know it, so be sure to keep an eye out for early bird registration, which opens December 1, 2017. Check your mailboxes next month for promos with more information!

  • SNA is working hard to defend school meal programs from any block grant proposal that would threaten adequate funding. Stay tuned for the unveiling of a brand-new campaign in early 2018.

Thank you for such a successful year in advocacy, SNA! Let’s carry this progress into 2018. Looking for more ways to get involved in school nutrition advocacy?

  • Enter SNA’s 2018 LAC Sweepstakes contest by November 27 by responding to SNA’s Action Alert about H.R. 3738 and submitting a picture showing off healthy breakfast options at your school to win a free trip for two to LAC this year!
  • November 20-24 marks a State Work period for Members of Congress, meaning they will be home in their districts during this time. This provides a great opportunity to call, visit and connect with your representatives and make sure they understand the importance of school meal programs!
  • Check out the SNA Action Network to see federal bills, read policy news, participate in advocacy engagements and view the latest school nutrition policy media.
  • Share your personal school nutrition story!
  • Donate to PAC to show support for those legislators who advocate on our behalf.
  • Pat yourself on the back for going the extra mile to design and defend the school nutrition policies that feed over 30 million kids in schools every school day!

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