Tuesday Morning - December 5, 2017

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues
from SNA

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

USDA Issues Interim Final Rule on School Meal Flexibility
SNA President Addresses 2020 DGA Listening Session
Rep. Blumenauer Introduces the Food and Farm Act
The National Farm to School Network Releases State Farm to School Legislative Survey
USDA Policy Update: Donated Food Storage, Distribution, and Product Dating (Revised)

State Snapshots

Bay District California Schools Combat Waste and Serve Local Community

Mark Your Calendars

SNA's Upcoming Webinar
National CACFP Sponsors Association National Conference
USDA Direct Certification Improvement Grants
USDA Farm to School Grant Program

Cafeteria Chat Corner


Federal Policy

USDA Issues Interim Final Rule on School Meal Flexibility

On November 29, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released an interim final rule to extend current regulatory flexibility for school meal programs through School Year (SY) 2018-19. The interim rule maintains Target 1 sodium limits for school meals. USDA “anticipates” extending this deadline through SY 2020-21. State agencies can continue to offer waivers to schools demonstrating hardship in procuring or preparing specific whole-grain rich foods that are acceptable to students (eg whole grain tortillas or brown rice). Finally, the rule provides schools the option to offer flavored 1% milk. USDA requests public comment on the interim rule and the sodium reduction timeline to inform the development of a final rule, effective in SY 2019-20.

In response, SNA issued a press release commending USDA for the extension and expressing support for greater flexibility under whole grain and sodium mandates to address challenges while maintaining strong standards to benefit students. SNA is assembling a member working group to develop detailed recommendations to improve a final rule.

SNA President Addresses 2020 DGA Listening Session

SNA President Lynn Harvey, Ed.D., RDN, LDN, FAND, SNS, traveled to Washington, D.C., on November 28 to participate in USDA’s 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans Listening Session. The event, held at USDA Headquarters, allowed SNA and other stakeholders to share insight on the Dietary Guideline’s implementation and impact prior to the launch of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) nomination process. In her remarks, Dr. Harvey stressed the importance of permanently including a school nutrition professional on the DGAC.

“We work on the frontlines every day to transform the recommendations from the DGAs into meals students will eat and enjoy while simultaneously teaching them lifelong healthful eating habits that will positively impact their future dietary practices… Including a school nutrition professional on the DGAC could help ensure the guidelines are consistent with goal of planning meals that achieve high nutrition standards, while simultaneously promoting student acceptance and enjoyment of school meals.”

Read Dr. Harvey’s complete comments here.

Rep. Blumenauer Introduces the Food and Farm Act

Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-3) introduced H.R. 4425, or the Food and Farm Act, on November 16, 2017. The bill is intended to “fix the Farm Bill,” reset priorities, promote healthy food, and provide innovative solutions to environmental challenges. The Food and Farm Act amends Sec. 402. Helping Schools Serve Healthier Meals, of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act to make the Pilot Project for Procurement of Unprocessed Vegetables permanent and direct $15 million in funding for each fiscal year from 2019 through 2023 for the program. The bill was referred to the Committee on Agriculture, as well as the Committees on Ways and Means, Education and the Workforce, and Foreign Affairs.

The National Farm to School Network Releases State Farm to School Legislative Survey

The State Farm to School Legislative Survey is a great resource for parties interested in developing Farm to School programs in their own community. The newest version of the survey was released on November 13, 2017 by the National Farm to School Network and reflects state farm to school-related legislation from 2002 through March 31, 2017. This downloadable resource is full of information and offers farm to school advocates a roadmap to learn about and compare existing, potentially replicable, state farm to school laws, policies, and programs in order to advance new legislation in your state.

USDA Policy Update: Donated Food Storage, Distribution, and Product Dating (Revised)

USDA posted a revised policy update titled Donated Food Storage, Distribution, and Product Dating, which affects the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), Child an Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR), The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), and Charitable Institutions. The memo is intended to provide clarification and guidance on policies and procedures for donated food storage and distribution as they relate to product dating. Besides this guidance, more resources can be found on the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service website and on the USDA Foods Complaint Procedure website.

State Snapshots

Bay District California Schools Combat Waste and Serve Local Community

Bay District California Schools Combat Waste and Serve Local Community As schools continue efforts to combat food waste, some districts like Bay District Schools are implementing creative strategies like share tables. At Bay High School, students have partnered with Chautauqua Learn and Serve Charter School to donate uneaten food to the local homeless community.

"Before we started doing this several years ago along with Bay High, we were throwing away maybe 50 pounds of apples and oranges and drinks every week. So now, this is all going to feed the homeless and helping out in the community," Doug Remick, a teacher at Chautauqua who helps with the program, said.

Read more on the WJHG news website.

Mark Your Calendars

SNA's Upcoming Webinar

Learn about hot topics in school nutrition and earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs) with SNA’s popular professional development webinars.

In a Crazy World… There are Simple Solutions for Positive Communication
Wednesday, December 6, 2017, 2:00 pm ET
Communication with those we work with is not always easy but a necessity nonetheless. In this seemingly unhinged world we all need to be reminded that the true quality of both our work and personal lives are a direct result of our relationships. This webinar takes a focused, and sometimes humorous, look at ourselves and how we interact with others. Join us to learn and reinforce simple solutions for positive communications during your day. 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.

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.

USDA Farm to School Grant Program

The purpose of the USDA Farm to School Grant Program is to assist eligible entities in implementing farm to school (F2S) programs that improve access to local foods in eligible schools. On an annual basis, USDA awards up to $5 million in competitive grants for training, supporting operations, planning, purchasing equipment, developing school gardens, developing partnerships and implementing F2S programs. Complete applications must be submitted on Grants.gov by 11:59 p.m. ET on December 8, 2017. Check out F2S resources for applicants and see a list of awardees since the release of our first RFA in 2013!


Cafeteria Chat Corner

Countdown to SNA’s LAC: 89 Days!
There's an exciting new breakout session at SNA’s upcoming Legislative Action Conference to consider! The session, Mastering Forecasting – How to Effectively Utilize Your Entitlement Dollars, will feature a panel that discusses how to effectively use all of your entitlement through forecasting tools to plan, project and manage your USDA Foods. This breakout session with be held on Sunday, March 4, at 9:45 am. Keep a lookout for the full conference schedule, coming soon!

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National Harbor, MD 20745
servicecenter@schoolnutrition.org  

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

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