Tuesday Morning - May 2, 2017

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues
from SNA

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

SNA Commends USDA in Supporting School Meal Flexibility
Congress Agrees to Budget Deal 
Sonny Perdue Sworn in as USDA Secretary
Administrative Review Report Form and Instructions
Portman and Heitkamp Introduce Regulatory Bill

State Snapshots

North Carolina NSLP Funding Bill
2017 First Quarter State Legislative Summary

Mark Your Calendars

SNA's Upcoming Webinars
FRAC Meals Matter Calls

Cafeteria Chat Corner


Federal Policy

SNA Commends USDA in Supporting School Meal Flexibility

SNA Commends USDA in Supporting School Meal Flexibility

SNA joined U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue as he released an interim rule seeking regulatory flexibility for school meal programs. Today's commitment by Secretary Perdue addresses concerns raised in SNA's 2017 Position Paper , which requested maintaining Target 1 sodium levels and restoring the initial requirement that at least half of grains offered through school meals be whole grain rich.

Read more about the USDA interim rule and SNA response in this SNA Press Release

Congress Agrees to Budget Deal

On Friday, April 28, the House and Senate passed a one-week stopgap spending bill to fund the government for one week and avoid a government shutdown which would have occurred when funding expired at midnight. The stopgap bill was passed to give Congress time to work out a spending package through September, the rest of the 2017 fiscal year. Late Sunday, April, 30 a budget deal was reached by Congressional leaders, and the bill will be finalized and voted on later this week. For child nutrition programs, the bill provides $22.8 billion in required mandatory spending, which is $644 million more than in fiscal year 2016. This funding will go towards the free and reduced-price school lunch program, as well as the $627 million provided for the Summer Food Service Program. Congress allocated $153.4 billion in mandatory and discretionary spending for programs at USDA and FDA, which is $12.8 billion above fiscal 2016 levels though discretionary spending is $623 million below last year’s levels. The Appropriations Committee says that the net increase is due to mandatory spending outside of its jurisdiction. The agriculture appropriations are outlined in the 2017 Omnibus Summary that Appropriations Committee Chairman, Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ-11), released, along with a press release.

Sonny Perdue Sworn in as USDA Secretary

On Tuesday, April 25, Sonny Perdue was sworn in as Secretary of Agriculture by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Following his swearing in ceremony, Secretary Perdue then gave his first remarks to USDA staff as their leader, where he literally rolled up his sleeves to get to work. During his address, Perdue promised transparency, improving trade and markets for U.S-grown products, and policy decisions that are rooted in science. He also pledged to champion technological solutions to the challenges confronting farmers and ranchers, stating, “Technology is changing… We want to be on the forefront of that change.” After his 20-minute, seemingly unscripted speech, the audience was treated to peach cobbler. Later in the week, Perdue visited Kansas City, Mo., where he met with staff at USDA’s Beacon Facility in Kansas City and met with farmers at the American Royal, a livestock show, agricultural center and rodeo facility. Sonny Perdue’s official Secretary of Agriculture Twitter handle is @SecretarySonny.

Administrative Review Report Form and Instructions

USDA released a memo that outlined the redesign of the FNS-640 as well as its instructions, system updates and upcoming activities. The redeveloped FNS-640 was approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on September 12, 2016, but state agency testing is not complete. Several state agencies will participate in a pilot to test the functionality of the form and the instructions, and will then participate in a panel to share their experiences and best practices during the FNS-640 pre-conference workshop at the SNA Annual National Conference in July. Along with the memo itself, the FNS-640 Administrative Review Report spreadsheet, FNS-640A Instructions, and FNS-640B Instructions are also provided. The new FNS-640 is scheduled to be available in the Food Program Reporting System (FPRS) by January 2018, and the first report, reflecting Administrative Reviews conducted in School Year 2016-17, will be due in March 2018. State agencies with questions should contact their respective FNS Regional Office.

Portman and Heitkamp Introduce Regulatory Bill

On Wednesday, April 26, Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) and Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) introduced a bill known as the “ Regulatory Accountability Act of 2017.” The bill is designed to overhaul the federal regulatory system and modernize it so it is more efficient. Based on executive orders from Presidents Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Obama, the act outlines key provisions that include greater transparency, a cost-benefit analysis for every new regulation, the allowance for judicial reviews for the costliest rules, and the creation of an automatic 10-year review period for major regulations. This bill contrasts with a bill that was passed by the House earlier in the year, and a comparison of the two was put out by the Senators, as well as a summary of their new bill. Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) are original co-sponsors of the bill, which has been assigned to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

State Snapshots

North Carolina NSLP Funding Bill

H893, the Healthy Foods in Our Schools bill, was introduced April 26 in the North Carolina legislature. The bill appropriates ten million dollars for the 2017-18 school year to enable school nutrition programs in prekindergarten and elementary schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program.

2017 First Quarter State Legislative Summary

SNA’s first quarter 2017 State Legislative Summary is now available. The attached report contains a status update of the 2017 school nutrition bills introduced in all 50 state legislatures. Find out what’s brewing in your state and get a birds-eye view of the trending issues nationwide such as donation of surplus foods, unpaid meal balance legislation, and local foods.

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.

Leadership Series: Why Can’t We All Get Along? Dealing with Conflict During Change
Wednesday, May 3, 2017, 2:00 pm EST
Learn about effectively dealing with anger constructively and rebuilding trust, skills needed to lead change successfully in today’s world. Presented by Professor Robert J. Bies, PhD, Professor of Management and Founder of the Executive Master’s in Leadership Program, McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs.

Versatile Fruit: Made on American Farms for Kids in Our Schools
Wednesday, May 10, 2017, 2:00 pm EST
Learn about delicious and versatile fruit that can easily be used in schools to meet creditable fruit servings and as allowable snacks that will boost student fruit consumption. Participants will learn about the benefits and impact of farm to school, salad bars and breakfast initiatives on consumption and waste. Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs.

Best of #SNIC17 4 of 4: Food Waste: The Latest Movement
Wednesday, May 17, 2017, 2:00 pm EST
Learn about the latest movement to stem food waste and take away the latest ideas and innovations from schools and restaurants to help you reduce, reuse and recycle! Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs.

Gimme Some Feedback: Preventing Conflicts Through Constructive Feedback
Wednesday, May 24, 2017, 2:00 pm EST
Learn more about constructive feedback and how you can use it to make even the most difficult conversations productive and to prevent conflicts from arising or getting out of hand in your school district or SNA chapter. Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs.

FRAC Meals Matter Calls

The Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) holds an ongoing series of conference calls to provide assistance on the operations of federal meal programs.

Community Eligibility in Rural Schools
Monday, May 8, 2017, 1:00 pm EST
Schools in rural communities are an important access point for nutritious meals for low-income students and offering meals through community eligibility can help ensure students have access to the healthy meals they need to succeed. Join FRAC, the National Rural Education Association and The School Superintendents Association to learn more about the benefits of community eligibility and how to implement it from rural school administrators.

Breakfast Matters Webinar — Back To School
Thursday, May 11, 2017, 3:00 pm EST
The school year is ending, but the planning for the next academic year is already beginning. Get tips and tools for preparing your school district’s food and nutrition service strategies for the 2017–2018 school year. Topics will include forming an unpaid meal policy, making the most of the Community Eligibility Provision, and launching or enhancing your Breakfast After the Bell and afterschool meal programs.

Schools Operating the Afterschool Meals Program in Schools and Beyond
Thursday, May 18, 2017, 1:00 pm EST
Schools are a natural fit for operating the At-Risk Afterschool Meals Program, with the foodservice experience, established systems, and educational programming already in place to support successful implementation. By acting as a sponsor, vendor, site, or partnering with community partners, schools can play a huge role in ensuring children have access to the healthy meals they need when school is out while also bringing in more federal reimbursement to support overall operations. Hear from presenters on how to build stronger, more sustainable Afterschool Meal Programs by engaging community partners and serving healthy, kid-friendly meals..


Cafeteria Chat Corner

Countdown to ANC: 67 Days!
The School Nutrition Association, which was at the time called the American School Food Service Association (ASFSA), hosted its 1996 Annual National Conference (ANC) in Houston, Texas. 1996 was also the Association’s 50th anniversary, which was celebrated at ANC with a 15-minute video that showcased historic events and the development of ASFSA and the child nutrition profession. By this time, the National School Lunch Program had served around 4.3 billion lunches to 25.9 million students! This year is SNA’s 71st year of being in existence, and the number of lunches served by the program is well over 224 billion. ANC will be bigger than ever this year and there surely is a lot to celebrate, so be sure to register today to ensure your spot at the conference!

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