Tuesday Morning - December 19, 2017

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues
from SNA

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

SNA Submits Comment on USDA Summer Meals Study
U.S. House Agriculture Committee Launches Farm Bill Website
USDA Opens Child Nutrition Food Crediting for Public Comment
Trump Administration’s Unified Agenda Affects School Nutrition

State Snapshots

Fourth Quarter School Nutrition State Legislation Report
Puerto Rico Childhood Obesity Bill
Washington Breakfast After the Bell Bill

Mark Your Calendars

SNA's Upcoming Webinars
National CACFP Sponsors Association National Conference
SNF/Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom Grants & Webinar
USDA Direct Certification Improvement Grants

Cafeteria Chat Corner


Federal Policy

SNA Submits Comment on USDA Summer Meals Study

On Monday, December 18, SNA submitted a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in response to their November 17 Federal Register notice titled, Summer Meal Study. This study includes the collection of information related to Seamless Summer Option and will help identify strategies to increase participation in summer meals and assess the nutrition quality of foods served to children. SNA’s letter resubmits an SNA comment on a previously announced Summer Meal Study and stresses that the Summer Meal Program continues to be a critical support for children in the summer months.

U.S. House Agriculture Committee Launches Farm Bill Website

U.S. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway (R-TX) announced the launch of the 2018 Farm Bill Landing Page. The Farm Bill is a massive, far-reaching piece of legislation passed by Congress every five years. The 2014 Farm Bill was 959 pages long and directed over $956 billion dollars in government spending. 79% of the bill will go to food stamps and nutrition, with crop insurance, conservation and other agriculture allocations making up the rest of the dollars. Commodity programs total $44.4 billion of the $956 billion, which includes school nutrition program commodities, otherwise known as USDA Foods. (Have you spread the word about the “Healthy Breakfasts Help Kids Learn Act”? Visit SNA’s Action Network to ask your legislator to support 6 cents in breakfast commodities!)

In Rep. Conaway’s press release announcing the landing page, he states, “I’m committed to completing a farm bill on time. We’ve spent the past three years preparing—holding 113 hearings and six listening sessions around the country. We recognize what’s at stake. We’re working on getting the policy right and will use this site as a resource as we advance the next farm bill.”

USDA Opens Child Nutrition Food Crediting for Public Comment

In a Federal Register Notice published on December 14, 2017, USDA announced an information collection on food crediting for Child Nutrition Programs (CNPs). CNPs must reflect the meal patterns and nutrition standards set forth by USDA in order to claim federal reimbursement, and crediting is the process designed by USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to specify how individual food items contribute to those meal patterns. The Request for Information is intended to help FNS gather feedback from stakeholders on how the crediting system can be improved, as well as to offer customer service to those operating and benefiting from CNPs. Electronic comments are preferred and may be submitted to the Federal Register by February 12, 2018. More information can be found in USDA’s press release.

Trump Administration’s Unified Agenda Affects School Nutrition

The Trump Administration announced on Thursday, December 14, that their Unified Agenda, which outlines regulatory priorities across the federal government, includes a goal to reduce regulations. Within the USDA, there are 27 final rules in FY 2018 aimed at easing regulatory requirements, and these rules will save an estimated $56 million out of the department’s $150 billion budget. There are six final rules on school nutrition that are part of the Unified Agenda, and they include CNPs such as: flexibilities for milk, whole grains and sodium requirements, in addition to reducing verification requirements on for-profit centers in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). The full list of USDA final rules can be found online; the ones directly related to child nutrition can be found under the USDA/FNS Agency column.

State Snapshots

Fourth Quarter School Nutrition State Legislation Report

SNA’s 2017 Fourth Quarter State Legislative Report is now available. The report summarizes school nutrition legislation introduced in state legislatures across the country and points out top trends that may reappear at the federal level. The report is a collaborative effort intended to facilitate awareness and communications of grassroots efforts at the local level. Please contact advocacy@schoolnutrition.org with your state’s updates!

Puerto Rico Childhood Obesity Bill

PS 637, introduced on December 10, creates a program of education and training for the prevention and management of childhood and juvenile obesity in the schools of Puerto Rico.

Washington Breakfast After the Bell Bill

SB 6003 was pre-filed on December 6, 2017, for consideration in the 2018 legislative year. The bill expands opportunities for students to have a healthy breakfast by requiring schools with a specified free and reduced-price percentage to operate a Breakfast After the Bell program.

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. Stay tuned to www.schoolnutrition.org/webinars, registration will open soon for the following webinars:

The Power of Protein!
Wednesday, January 17, 2018, 2:00 pm ET
Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs.

Community Eligibility Series, Part 1: Community Eligibility Provision 101
Wednesday, February 7, 2018, 2:00 pm ET
Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs.

Community Eligibility Series, Part 2: Making It Work With ISPs Below 60%
Wednesday, March 14, 2018, 2:00 pm ET
Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs.

Community Eligibility Series, Part 3: Strategies for Partial Implementation
Wednesday, April 11, 2018, 2:00 pm ET
Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs.

National CACFP Sponsors Association National Conference

The annual National CACFP Sponsors Association conference for the Child and Adult Care Food Program, Afterschool Program, and Summer Food Program is open for registration. Visit www.cacfp.org to learn more and to register.

SNF/Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom Grants & Webinar

The School Nutrition Foundation (SNF), along with the Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom, are offering grants for direct delivery, grab n’ go, and second chance breakfast. These grants are available to high-need schools and districts in Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah to cover the upfront costs often associated with the startup and implementation of breakfast in the classroom and grab n’ go programs, such as purchasing equipment, outreach efforts to parents, program promotion, and other related expenses. Grants are flexible, based on need, and accepted on a rolling deadline. Watch an archived webinar highlighting a previously funded district with a great panel of stakeholder perspectives including a school nutrition director, principal, and superintendent.

USDA Direct Certification Improvement Grants

USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) announced its release of the fiscal year 2018 Direct Certification Improvement Grant Request for Applications (RFA). Grants are available to state agencies that administer the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the School Breakfast Program (SBP) to fund the costs of improving direct certification rates with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and other needs-based assistance programs. States will have six opportunities to apply for Tier 1 or Tier 2 grants, beginning November 15, 2017, and ending February 15, 2019.


Cafeteria Chat Corner

Countdown to SNA’s LAC: 75 Days!
At SNA's 2018 Legislative Action Conference (LAC), make plans to attend the pre-conference session, “How to Write a Winning Grant Application.” Dr. Tillie Harris, Executive Director of the Grant Training Center, will enrich your knowledge of how to seek, find and write grants for advancing the quality of school meal programs. During this session, you will learn how to find the most beneficial grants for your needs; understand how to request funding from various donors; comprehend proposal writing guidelines; and acquire the techniques of preparing and writing winning proposals. Visit www.schoolnutrition.org/lac to register.

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National Harbor, MD 20745
servicecenter@schoolnutrition.org  

Tel (301) 686-3100
Fax (301) 686-3115

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