Tuesday Morning - February 7, 2017

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues
from SNA

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

Last Day to Voice Your Opinion on SNA Legislative Priorities
House Committee on Agriculture Gains Six New Faces 
Former Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Endorses Sonny Perdue
Student Lunch Debts Paid Off Thanks to Tweet
Register for SNA’s Legislative Action Conference

State Snapshots

Hawaii Bills Promote Farm to School and Address Unpaid Balances
Healthy Active Arkansas Initiative
Maryland Proposes Eliminating Reduced Price and Expands Breakfast
New York Bills Would Provide School Breakfast Incentives

Mark Your Calendars

SNA's Upcoming Webinars
FRAC’s Meals Matter Conference Calls

Cafeteria Chat Corner


Federal Policy

Last Day to Voice Your Opinion on SNA Legislative Priorities

Provide your feedback in a short survey to determine the Association’s top legislative and regulatory positions! With the results of this member survey as a guide, on February 15-16, the SNA Public Policy & Legislation Committee (PPL) will meet to draft SNA’s 2017 Position Paper. The Position Paper will serve as the roadmap for SNA's 2017 advocacy efforts.

As an appreciation of your time, respondents will be entered in a drawing to receive one of two free registrations to LAC 2017! More information on the drawing can be found at the end of the survey. If you can’t find the email, contact advocacy@schoolnutrition.org and the survey can be resent to you.

House Committee on Agriculture Gains Six New Faces

The House Agriculture Committee is losing some faces and gaining some new ones for the 115th Congress. This Committee’s jurisdiction includes issues that are important to SNA members, such as nutrition and commodities. Leaving the committee, is Rep. Randy Neugebauer, Rep. Chris Gibson, Rep. Dan Benishek, Rep. Jackie Walorski, Rep. John Moolenaar, and Rep. Dan Newhouse, all of the majority Republican party. Now, meet the six new members who will be their replacements:

SNA Tuesday Morning E-newsletter New House Committee on Agriculture Members

Jodey Arrington (R-TX-19): Newly elected to represent Western Texas, Arrington’s impressive history of political leadership includes serving in George W. Bush’s gubernatorial and presidential administrations, Chief of Staff for the FDIC Chairman, and Vice Chancellor of Research and Commercialization at Texas Tech University. These roles allowed him to shape policy and gain experience in many critical fields, such as agriculture, energy, and economic development.

SNA Tuesday Morning E-newsletter New House Committee on Agriculture Members

Don Bacon (R-NE-02): Coming from a farm and military background, Bacon brings with him a unique perspective to Congress. Bacon served in the U.S Air Force for almost 30 years, retired as a Brigadier General and was deployed to the Middle East several times. He worked for Congressman Jeff Fortenberry as his Military Advisor, and also worked as an as Assistant Professor at Bellevue University. He campaigned on championing Congressional and campaign reform, as well as fixing the budget and strengthening the fight against ISIS.

SNA Tuesday Morning E-newsletter New House Committee on Agriculture Members

James Comer (R-KY-01): Comer studied agriculture at Western Kentucky University, then went on to start his own farm, Comer Family Farms, which is today one of the biggest farming operations in south central Kentucky. He served six terms in the Kentucky State House, and was elected Kentucky’s Commissioner of Agriculture in 2011. He is a pro-business freshman Congressman and a champion for improving infrastructure and implementing regulation reform.

SNA Tuesday Morning E-newsletter New House Committee on Agriculture Members

Neal Dunn (R-FL-02): After graduating from George Washington University Medical School and completing his residency training at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Dunn served his country in the United States Army for 10 years. After this, he settled in north Florida where he started his Urology practice and founded Pana City Urology Center, Bay Regional Cancer Center, and the Advanced Urology Institute. Dunn has an impressive history of charity work and healthcare experience, and prides himself on being a political outsider.

SNA Tuesday Morning E-newsletter New House Committee on Agriculture Members

John Faso (R-NY-19): Faso served in the New York State Assembly from 1987-2002 and was a partner in the law firm Manatt, Phelps & Phillips. He has a proven track record of promoting balanced budgets and education-related reforms. During his 2016 election he was endorsed by his the 19th district’s retiring Congressman, Chris Gibson who also served on the House Agriculture Committee.

SNA Tuesday Morning E-newsletter New House Committee on Agriculture Members

Roger Marshall (R-KS-01): Marshall is another doctor turned politician with his own practice located in Great Bend, KS. He served seven years in the Army Reserves, where he trained a mobile hospital support unit and rose to the rank of Captain. Marshall was raised on a farm, and still maintains his deep agricultural roots by participating in a cattle feeding operation.

These member assignments are based on the House Clerk’s list of Members.

Former Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Endorses Sonny Perdue

Former Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has publicly stated his support of Sonny Perdue, Former Governor of Georgia, to serve as his successor.

“I have had the opportunity to work with Gov. Perdue and know how committed he is to all of our farmers, ranchers and producers, regardless of size or production method," Vilsack said in a written statement. "As a former governor, he knows full well the opportunities and challenges that exist in rural communities. He will, I am sure, work hard to expand opportunity in rural America."

Student Lunch Debts Paid Off Thanks to Tweet

On Wednesday, February 1, 2017, the Today Show featured a story about a tweet that inspired people across the country to help pay off student’s school meal debt in their local districts. The tweet came from Ashley C. Ford, a writer from New York, and read: “A cool thing you can do today is try to find out which of your local schools have kids with overdue lunch accounts and pay them off.” The tweet inspired hundreds of people to reach out to schools and pay off thousands of dollars in lunch debt, such as the $128,000 that Minneapolis (Minn.) School Districts received. The Today Show featured SNA’s research data, which stated that ¾ of school districts in the U.S have meal debt and the median amount of debt is $2,000. It’s amazing how one tweet can have an incredible impact on children from across the country. View the full clip about the story from the Today Show.

Register for SNA’s Legislative Action Conference

We have a new president and a new Congress. 2017 means many changes in Washington, D.C., which is why you need to make attending SNA’s 45th Legislative Action Conference (LAC) a top priority this spring. Register now and save with the early bird registration rates!

Attending the LAC Pre-Conference Session, Breakout Sessions, General Sessions and Fireside Chat, will bring you up to speed on school meal legislation and regulatory issues and help you to discover new ideas for your program. LAC’s Charge to the Hill puts the power of grassroots advocacy for school nutrition into your hands by giving you the chance to meet with your representatives and share your school nutrition stories. Plus, the LAC is a great opportunity to network and collaborate with other operators.

“Attending LAC in Washington, D.C., [in 2016] was an eye-opening experience for me,” said Patti Brandt, manager of food services at Eyestone Elementary School in Wellington, Colo. “There is so much that goes on behind the scenes of serving school meals. Learning just a small part of policy and procedure gave me a new appreciation for our director’s job.”

“It was a thrill also to meet other ‘lunch ladies’ who are passionate about not only feeding our nation’s kids healthy meals but doing it with love. We can make a difference in their lives. I came away energized and excited about my job.”.

State Snapshots

Hawaii Bills Promote Farm to School and Address Unpaid Balances

SB807 is a companion to the previously introduced HB 255. It establishes the Farm to School Grant Program to provide grants to farmers participating in the Hawaii farm to school program. HB 1016 and its companion SB 882 , designate October as “Farm to School Month in Hawaii.”

HB 992 was introduced on January 25th, and prohibits denying a student a meal for the first 30 days of the first semester of a school year while the student’s application for free or reduced meals is being processed. And also for the first week the student’s meal fund balance is zero or negative. In addition, it authorizes the Hawaii Department of Education to adopt rules or policies on the collection of funds for negative student meal balances.

Healthy Active Arkansas Initiative

HCR 1005 is a House Resolution recognizing and declaring support for the Healthy Active Arkansas initiative by the Arkansas Department of Health. The initiative includes combating childhood obesity by supporting nutritious school meals.

Maryland Proposes Eliminating Reduced Price and Expands Breakfast

Companion bills HB 288 and SB 360, would eliminate the reduced price category for both breakfast and lunch.

HB 257 and SB 359 authorize participating secondary schools to serve breakfast in any part of the school, including “Grab and Go” carts. Further, they clarify when breakfast in the classroom should be served.

New York Bills Would Provide School Breakfast Incentives

AB 3299 authorizes the Commissioner of Education to establish a school breakfast incentive program to provide grants to eligible school buildings or programs that increase participation in the school breakfast program by removing barriers to participation.

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. Participation in each of the following webinars is worth 1 SNA CEU.

Best of #SNIC17 1 of 3: Fats in Vogue, Wheat Woes, Uh-oh GMOs
Wednesday, February 8, 2017, 2:00 pm EST
Join Dr. Jim Painter for a fresh take on some of the biggest trends in the food industry! In case, you don’t make it to SNIC 2017 be sure to attend this webinar to broaden your perspectives on the latest information and research on fats, the gluten-free movement and the use of GMOs in our foods.

5 Ways to Capture the Minds & Taste Buds of Your Students
Wednesday, February 22, 2017, 2:00 pm EST
Join Dayle Hayes from School Meals Rock and Kevin Frank from Detroit (Mich.) Public Schools to learn more about your students and their taste preferences, improve your social savvy and ensure your district is making the most of your USDA Foods dollars.

Best of #SNIC17 2 of 3: Kellogg’s Innovative Solution
Wednesday, March 8, 2017, 2:00 pm EST
Registration and more details coming soon!

Ask the Allergist
Wednesday, March 15, 2017, 2:00 pm EST
Registration and more details coming soon!

FRAC’s Meals Matter Conference Calls

The Food Research & Action Center's (FRAC) Meals Matter conference calls assist school meal operators in expanding their programs.

New CACFP Meal Standards and the Afterschool Meal Program
Thursday, February 16, 2017, 1:00 pm EST
USDA recently issued rules updating the nutrition standards for meals served through CACFP. Afterschool programs providing meals through CACFP must have the new meal pattern in place by October 1, 2017 – but programs shouldn’t wait until then to start making healthy changes! Join this call to understand and plan for the new meal pattern and identify supporting nutrition enrichment activities to empower families, support staff and engage children.

Cafeteria Chat Corner

Countdown to LAC: 54 days!
This year, Walter Oleszek is back by popular demand to speak at LAC! On April 1, 2017, Oleszek will be leading a pre-conference session from 1:00 to 4:00 pm discussing “Advocacy and the New Congress.” This session will cover the various rules and procedures of Congress, as well as strategies for dealing with the newly-elected Congress. For more information about the pre-conference session and to register to attend, visit the LAC site.

Speaking of Congress...
The House Committee on Agriculture was created on May 3, 1820, and the jurisdiction was originally defined to cover “subjects relating to agriculture.” The role and scope of the Committee has evolved over the years, and the jurisdiction is now ranges from commodity exchanges to human nutrition and home economics, with five subcommittees as well. Today the committee has 46 members, with the Chairman being Michael Conaway, a Republican from Texas.

Sneak peek for next week: Who is the current Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry?

 

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