Tuesday Morning - February 21, 2017

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues
from SNA

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

SNA PPL Committee Meets to Draft 2017 Position Paper
SNA Headquarters Hosts Block Grant Summit 
FRAC Releases Reports on School Breakfast Participation
USDA’s What’s Shaking? Initiative Celebrates American Heart Month

State Snapshots

California Child Hunger Prevention and Fair Treatment Act of 2017
Illinois and Nevada Get Behind School Gardens
Minnesota Increased Reimbursement Bill Introduced
New Mexico Hunger-Free Students Bill of Rights Act

Mark Your Calendars

SNA's Upcoming Webinars

Cafeteria Chat Corner


Federal Policy

SNA PPL Committee Meets to Draft 2017 Position Paper

SNA PPL Committee Meets to Draft 2017 Position Paper

Every year the Public Policy & Legislation (PPL) Committee meets to draft a Position Paper for the new year. The meeting takes place over two days and during that time, the Committee discusses various topics, legislation, and regulations that have impacted child nutrition programs, as well as issues that have occurred. This year, SNA had over 2,400 members turn in surveys that were sent out to evaluate issues within the field. These surveys directly help to shape the Paper. The Position Paper is typically made up of four or five requests to Congress that work to improve child nutrition programs. This is important because it unites SNA’s 57,000 members behind common issues and outlines the policy agenda for the year. SNA’s Position Papers from the last 5 years can be in the Legislative Action Center. Stay tuned for the 2017 Position Paper to be released by the end of the month.

SNA Headquarters Hosts Block Grant Summit

A large gathering of hunger advocacy groups and associations are meeting today, February 21, for a block grant summit at SNA Headquarters in National Harbor, Md. Block grants resurfaced as a potential threat to child nutrition programs during the last Congress, when H.R. 5003 was proposed. Block grants are a problem because they could cut funds for school meal programs and abolish federal nutrition standards and meal eligibility mandates. SNA is constantly working to make sure that members of Congress are aware of the consequences of block grants and that SNA members are aware of the threat. This is an example of why advocacy is so important, and why Congress needs to hear directly from you! To stay informed and engaged in school nutrition policy issues, be sure to regularly check SNA’s Action Network website and sign up for Action Alerts to make sure your voice is heard about issues that you care about.

FRAC Releases Reports on School Breakfast Participation

The Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) released two reports last week that measured the reach of the School Breakfast Program (SBP) in the 2015-16 school year on both the national and state level. The first report, School Breakfast Scorecard, used a variety of metrics to measure the reach of the SBP, and also examine the impact of select trends and policies on program participation. The School Breakfast Scorecard ranks West Virginia, New Mexico, and the District of Columbia as the states with the highest participation of low-income children in the SBP. FRAC set a goal of having 70 low-income children participate in the SBP for every 100 that participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), and this year the national average rose to 56 kids for every hundred, up from the 54.3 in the previous year. The report also found that nationally, 12.1 million students eligible to receive free and reduced-price school meals participated in school breakfast, which is a 3.7% increase, or 433,000 more children, compared to the previous year. To see where your state ranks, view the full FRAC report.

The other report, School Breakfast: Making it Work in Large School Districts, examines SBP participation rates and trends in 73 of America’s largest school districts. 26 of the schools met FRAC’s ambitious goal of 70 low-income children participating in the SBP for every 100 children participating in the NSLP, and the report asserts that the most successful schools use two strategies to feed children: offer school breakfast free of charge to all students and incorporate breakfast into the school day. For more information, view the full FRAC report.

USDA’s What’s Shaking? Initiative Celebrates American Heart Month

The USDA’s What’s Shaking? Creative Ways to Boost Flavor with Less Sodium is a national collaborative sodium reduction initiative that offers resources on creative ways to boost flavor and maximize taste in school meals. In their latest e-newsletter, in honor of February being American Heart Month, the initiative highlights some of their partners’ resources for healthy, low-sodium recipes:

State Snapshots

California Child Hunger Prevention and Fair Treatment Act of 2017

Unpaid Meals bill, SB250, requires California schools to take measures to directly certify any student with an unpaid meals balance exceeding the total of five full-priced meals. The bill also requires schools to reimburse parents or guardians of students found to be eligible for any meal fees paid and requires the state to reimburse school districts for this added cost.

Illinois and Nevada Supports School Gardens

HB 2993, in the Illinois state legislature, allows school districts to serve students produce grown and harvested by students in school-owned or community gardens if the produce meets requirements adopted by the Department of Public Health.

SB 167, a Nevada Senate bill, makes appropriations for the creation and maintenance of school gardens.

Minnesota Increased Reimbursement Bill Introduced

HF 1217, introduced February 15, 2017, would increase state reimbursements for each school lunch served by five cents.

New Mexico Hunger-Free Students Bill of Rights Act

SB374 requires each school participating in the National School Lunch Program to provide a free printed meal application in every school enrollment packet, instructions in a language the parents and guardians can understand and the offer of assistance in understanding. The bill would also require that a school take certain measures to ensure all students eligible for a free/reduced lunch has applied and is receiving one.

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.

5 Ways to Capture the Minds & Taste Buds of Your Students
Wednesday, February 22, 2017, 2:00 pm EST
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. Participation in this webinar is worth 1 SNA CEU.

What to Expect at LAC
Thursday, February 23, 2017, 2:00 pm EST
Come gain insider insights into SNA’s upcoming 2017 Legislative Action Conference (LAC) in order to make the most of your time in the nation’s capital! No CEUs are offered for this webinar.

Best of #SNIC17 2 of 3: Kellogg’s Innovative Solution
Wednesday, March 8, 2017, 2:00 pm EST
With increased pressure to serve less processed foods, this webinar will provide insight to food production from farm to bowl and its impact on the nutrition quality. Participation in this webinar is worth 1 SNA CEU.

Food Allergy: Discussing the Science Behind the Facts
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Learn important basic information about food allergies and hear how school nutrition professionals can support strategies to improve quality of life for those with food allergies. Participation in this webinar is worth 1 SNA CEU.


Cafeteria Chat Corner

Countdown to LAC: 40 days!
On Thursday, February 23rd, SNA will be hosting the “What to Expect at LAC” webinar. This e-learning event will get into what LAC attendees can expect during the conference in April, including the breakout sessions, and will also provide participants with pointers for how to speak to their elected officials during LAC’s Charge to the Hill.

Speaking of Technology...
The post-World War II era led to an unprecedented economic expansion and technological revolution that greatly impacted the agriculture industry. Starting in 1945 and lasting until the 70s, the revolution resulted in the development of new farm machinery, modernized chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and better seeds, which allowed farms to become larger and more specialized.

Sneak peek for next week: How many children does the NSLP feed daily?

LAC Then & Now:
In 1993, the American School Food Service Association (ASFSA, the former name for SNA) published their Legislative Issue Paper, which offered recommendations for “reinventing” child nutrition programs. Some of these recommendations included improving access to the USDA Child Nutrition Programs and reducing the paperwork associated with administering them. Last year, SNA’s 2016 Position Paper contained a similar recommendation to the latter, by asking for an independent study that would evaluate the complex reporting requirements and encourage program simplification for child nutrition programs.

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