Tuesday Morning - February 13, 2018

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues
from SNA

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

Federal Register: Study of the Independent Review of Applications Process
National Farm to Cafeteria Conference Coming this April
National School Breakfast Week, March 5-9, 2018
USDA’s Evaluation of Demonstration Projects to End Childhood Hunger Interim Report Available
Use SNA’s Block Grant Calculator!
Unpaid Meal Charge Talking Points

State Snapshots

California and Illinois Unpaid Meals Legislation
Hawaii On-Site Food Composting for Schools
New Mexico Analysis of School Meal Programs and Debt
Lead Testing for Iowa Schools

Mark Your Calendars

SNA's Upcoming Webinars

Cafeteria Chat Corner


Federal Policy

Federal Register: Study of the Independent Review of Applications Process

In a Federal Register notice on February 6, 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a new information collection to study the effectiveness of the Independent Review of Applications (IRA) requirement. The IRAs are conducted by local educational agencies (LEAs), which are identified by the state agency as demonstrating high levels of, or a high risk for, administrative error in the verification of free and reduced-price applications. This study will provide USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) with valuable information about the IRA process at the state and LEA levels. Results will allow FNS to identify best practices and improvements for the IRA. Comments are due April 9, and can be submitted via the Regulations.gov website.

National Farm to Cafeteria Conference Coming this April

On April 25-27, 2018, more than 1,000 people will converge on Cincinnati, Ohio, for the 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference. The biennial event, hosted by the National Farm to School Network, is the only national gathering of farm to cafeteria professionals working to break down barriers to sourcing healthy, local food for institutional cafeterias and connect communities and children to where their food comes from. Attendees of the National Farm to Cafeteria Conference will learn best practices, network with likeminded communities and bring home creative solutions that will help to nourish people and the economy. Early Bird registration is open until March 9. Learn more at http://farmtocafeteriaconference.org.

National School Breakfast Week, March 5-9, 2018

It’s almost National School Breakfast Week (NSBW)! Each school celebrates in its own way, from decorations to inviting special guests for breakfast, but overall, the goal of the week is to raise awareness of the School Breakfast Program (SBP) and to increase participation! This year’s NSBW is March 5-9, 2018, and the theme is “I Heart School Breakfast.” For ideas to get started, SNA’s NSBW resources provide a #NSBW18 Toolkit, a Certificate of Recognition, and many other tools to make your week a success. Promote #NSBW18 celebrations on all your social media pages!

USDA’s Evaluation of Demonstration Projects to End Childhood Hunger Interim Report Available

In the 2010 Child Nutrition Act, a study to test innovative strategies to end childhood hunger and food insecurity, was authorized. USDA implemented projects in Chickasaw Nation, Kentucky, Nevada and Virginia, using findings from the baseline data collection from these projects to put together the Evaluation of Demonstration Projects to End Childhood Hunger (EDECH): Final Interim Evaluation Report . The report also explains the different projects, in addition to the planning and early implementation activities that went into them. A final evaluation report for each project will include the main intended outcome, which is the change in the rate of child food insecurity among demonstration participants compared to the control group. The full Final Interim Evaluation Report is available, as well as a summary.

Use SNA’s Block Grant Calculator!

By now, you’ve heard of the potential damage that a school meal block grant could inflict on school nutrition programs. SNA’s easy to use, printable block grant calculator can you give you a clearer estimate of how much your local schools and students stand to lose. Attendees of SNA’s Legislative Action Conference (LAC) are encouraged to bring their eye-opening results to share with their respective legislators.

To use the Block Grant Calculator:

  • Complete the green fields.
  • Part one shows immediate loss of funds to your program.
  • Part two shows percent decrease in funds over three years.
  • Part three shows the cumulative losses over three years.

Check out SNA’s block grant flyer for more information. Contact us at advocacy@schoolnutrition.org if you have any questions!

Unpaid Meal Charge Talking Points

National news stories and recently introduced state legislative proposals have brought renewed attention to “school lunch shaming” and unpaid meal charge policies. Given heightened interest in this issue, SNA members should be prepared to discuss local meal charge policies. SNA has updated unpaid meal charge talking points to assist members in responding to questions about meal charge policies and to educate parents, reporters and legislators on the challenges school nutrition professionals face when students are unable to pay for their school meals. The talking points also link to SNA’s 2017 press statement on the issue and survey data on the extent of unpaid meal charge debt nationwide.

State Snapshots

California and Illinois Unpaid Meals Legislation

California’s AB 1974 builds on the Child Hunger Prevention and Fair Treatment Act of 2017 by outlining specific debt collection rules for unpaid school meal debt. Titled the Primary Education Fair Debt Collection Act, the bill prohibits a school from taking action against a pupil or former pupil because their parent or guardian owes a debt and prohibits the use of a debt collector.

Illinois’ SB 2428 creates the Hunger-Free Students’ Bill of Rights Act. Among other provisions, it requires that every school provide a federally reimbursable lunch to a student who requests one regardless of their ability to pay or status of an unpaid meal balance.

A quick rundown of the nine states that have introduced unpaid meals legislation in 2018:






Hawaii On-Site Food Composting for Schools

HB 2025 establishes a composting grant pilot project in the Hawaii Department of Education schools. The goals are to: address opportunities for waste diversion; engage students in compositing methods; develop nutrient-rich soil for school gardens; decrease waste dumped in landfills; and decrease trash hauling cost to taxpayers.

New Mexico Analysis of School Meal Programs and Debt

SJM 16 requests that the New Mexico Education Department identify the availability of additional federal programs to improve New Mexico school meals, student health, as well as program funding and training. The measure also requests that the department conduct an analysis of the impact that increased applications for funding from federal school lunch or breakfast programs would have on school lunch debt.

Lead Testing for Iowa Schools

HF 2271 would require lead testing in the water supply systems of schools and child care centers. The bill was introduced in early February.

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.

Register Now:
Best of #SNIC18: Simple Tech Tools from Your Nerdy Best Friend
Wednesday, February 21, 2018, 2:00 pm ET
In today's high-tech world, apps can solve all kinds of challenges in your School Nutrition Puzzle! We've brainstormed some of the toughest tasks in your typical day for this practical webinar with tech tools you just can't miss.
Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs.

Registration Coming Soon:
Community Eligibility Series, Part 2: Making It Work With ISPs Below 60%
Wednesday, March 14, 2018, 2:00 pm ET
SNA and the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) have partnered to bring you this webinar. Learn how other districts have operated community eligibility with ISPs below 60% to see if you can make it work in your district.
Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs.

Best of #SNIC18: When it Comes to Food and Ingredients, What Do Consumers Really Want?
Wednesday, April 4, 2018, 2:00 pm ET
Good value. Convenient. Clean label. Locally sourced. What do consumers really want? Join strategic nutrition marketer Mark Cornthwaite who will help you uncover different consumer segments, their specific needs and how you can address those needs as a school nutrition program operator or industry professional.
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
SNA and the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) have partnered to bring you this webinar. Learn more about the flexibility of school districts in implementing CEP.
Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs.


Cafeteria Chat Corner

Countdown to SNA’s LAC: 19 Days!
As LAC quickly approaches, now is the time to prepare! Check out SNA’s LAC 2018 Resources page to get a head start on prepping for the conference. Review and utilize the resources available to maximize your conference experience and make the most of your time. Keep checking the site for updates and more valuable tools as the date of the conference draws nearer. And, if you are interested in coming but haven’t registered yet, you can still register!

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servicecenter@schoolnutrition.org  

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

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