Tuesday Morning - April 25, 2017

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues
from SNA

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

Sonny Perdue is Confirmed as Secretary of Agriculture
Unpaid Meal Charge Policies Due July 1, 2017 
USDA Introduces New CACFP Meal Pattern Training Tools
Alliance for a Healthier Generation Kicks Off #WellnessWins Campaign

State Snapshots

2017 First Quarter State Legislative Summary

Mark Your Calendars

SNA's Upcoming Webinars
FRAC Meals Matter Calls

Cafeteria Chat Corner


Federal Policy

Sonny Perdue is Confirmed as Secretary of Agriculture

On Monday evening the U.S. Senate confirmed Sonny Perdue to serve as Agriculture secretary by a vote of 87-11. 10 out of the 21 members of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry released copies of their questions and responses from Sonny Perdue’s Secretary of Agriculture confirmation process. The questions covered a wide range of topics, from the science of climate change to adding an undersecretary at USDA for trade. In regards to school lunch, Perdue stated “I believe it is important for school systems to have the flexibility to serve nutritious meals to their students as well as meet their budgets. School systems need both flexibility in serving their children and predictability in understanding how to properly prepare for the upcoming school year.” His language has allowed for speculation that this will involve rolling back Obama administration rules that limit the amount of fat, sugar, and sodium that can be in school foods, as well as whole grain and fruit and vegetable standards. When asked by Senator Gillibrand (D-NY) about whether he would continue USDA’s progress on healthy meal standards, he said that he would “work in support of local decisions about meal provision to children in public school districts. These decisions must be done at the local level, but USDA can provide support in helping implement compliant programs.”

Unpaid Meal Charge Policies Due July 1, 2017

In 2016, USDA released a memo stating that all school food authorities (SFAs) that participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) or School Breakfast Program (SBP) must have a written and clearly communicated meal charge policy by July 1, 2017. This requirement was proposed to encourage a shared understanding between foodservice professionals, school administrators, families, and students of policy procedures when children do not have school meal money in their account or carry a negative balance. Meal charge policy plans can either be developed by state agencies or SFAs, but should be cohesive and disseminated to all parties involved. USDA’s Unpaid Meal Charges website provides links to the policy guidance memos, as well as a best practice resources section with handbooks, guides and presentation.

USDA Introduces New CACFP Meal Pattern Training Tools

On October 1, 2017, the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) meal pattern requirements will go into effect. In preparation for this, USDA has put together a series of training worksheets and an infographic that aims to empower providers, operators, menu planners, state agencies and other organizations involved in child nutrition with the knowledge, skills and expertise they need to implement the new requirements. The CACFP standards include a greater variety of vegetables, more whole grains, and less added sugars and saturated fat. The tools are available on USDA’s CACFP Meal Pattern Training Tools website, and are currently only available online in English, but print and Spanish versions are coming soon.

Alliance for a Healthier Generation Kicks Off #WellnessWins Campaign

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation, an organization formed by the American Heart Association and the Clinton Foundation to combat childhood obesity, has launched its #WellnessWins campaign. The campaign is meant to highlight districts from all over the country who have been successful in implementing strong wellness policies and practices. Wellness policies have been required, since 2004, to be established by any district that participates in federal nutrition programs. The newest requirements must be implemented by June 30, 2017, and feature key changes in rules around which foods are available to students outside of meals, guidance for marketing of foods and beverages at school, and how often schools need to report on their progress, as well as who needs to be involved in the process. The Alliance for a Healthier Generation offers a short quiz to test how much you know about wellness policies, then encourages you to head to their Wellness Wins website for more information and to utilize all their available tools.

State Snapshots

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.

Community Eligibility: Ensuring Successful Implementation and Expansion in the 2017-2018 School Year
Wednesday, April 26, 2017, 2:00 pm EST
Over 20,000 schools have successfully implemented the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) and are now offering breakfast and lunch at no charge to all students. Join this webinar to learn about the many benefits of the provision and participation trends for this school year. Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs.

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.

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: 74 Days!
St. Louis, Missouri was the location of the 1994 Annual National Convention, which drew a crowd of 6,500 attendees. There were over 500 booths reserved for vendors and 80 education sessions. Previously, in 1957, ANC was also held in St. Louis, and hosted over 2,500 attendees and 139 booths, thus illustrating the growth the conference had seen over the years! This year’s ANC in Atlanta, Georgia, is expected to draw over 6,000 people and over 850 booths! Visit SNA’s website for more Exhibit Hall information on what kind of vendors to expect and to view the interactive floor map!

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