Tuesday Morning - February 6, 2018

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues
from SNA

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

SNA of SC Past President Joins Roundtable Discussion with Secretary Perdue
SNA Introduces Block Grant Calculator
Unpaid Meal Charge Talking Points
SNA Receives Comment Back from USDA on Data Collection

State Snapshots

Maryland Cares for Kids Act
West Virginia Legislates Eight-Hour Work Day

Mark Your Calendars

SNA's Upcoming Webinars
USDA Direct Certification Improvement Grants

Cafeteria Chat Corner


Federal Policy

SNA of SC Past President Joins Roundtable Discussion with Secretary Perdue

Todd A. Bedenbaugh, Past President of the School Nutrition Association of South Carolina, had the opportunity to participate in a roundtable discussion with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue at City Roots Farm in Columbia, South Carolina. The event took place on Saturday, January 27, 2018, and the discussion centered around: the 2018 Farm Bill, specialty crops, horticulture and the Farm to School Program.

“It is a tremendous honor to be at the table with USDA Secretary of Agriculture Perdue,” Bedenbaugh said. “Farm to School has been a passion of mine and an arena I have been blessed to be involved in all Child Nutrition Programs. It was great to find out more about the upcoming farm bill. South Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture, Hugh Weathers, and I updated Secretary Perdue about the great things we are doing in South Carolina with the Farm to School Program.” As the 2018 Farm Bill begins to take shape, SNA continues to work and communicate with USDA officials to ensure that Child Nutrition Programs (CNPs) are advocated for and considered in the bill.

SNA Introduces Block Grant Calculator

School meal block grants are the biggest threat to school nutrition programs today, but what does this mean for your schools and your students? SNA has put together a Block Grant Calculator*, which allows you to see a best-case-scenario estimate of funding cuts to your program. Under a block grant, loss of entitlement funding—along with the elimination of six cent certification, paid meal reimbursements and adjustments for inflation—would be detrimental to the overall well-being and academic success of students. Input your information to see how the change would affect your schools, then share your results with all interested stakeholders, such as state and federal legislators, school board members and superintendents. Check out SNA’s block grant flyer for more information!

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.

Contact us at advocacy@schoolnutrition.org if you have any questions!
*The calculator was updated to reflect more comprehensive loss of funds. Please ensure you are using the latest version.

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.

SNA Receives Comment Back from USDA on Data Collection

At the beginning of January, 2018, SNA submitted a comment in response to the Federal Register Notice of November 2, 2017, Collection of Contact Information of Schools That Participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and Organizations That Participate in the USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) for Sharing Team Nutrition’s Nutrition Education, Training, and Technical Assistance Resources. On January 31, SNA received a response from the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) acknowledging our request to ensure that contact information in the current Team Nutrition Schools Database is properly transferred so schools won’t have to re-enter their information. The letter also stated that, during the transfer period, the Team Nutrition Schools Database will not be available for several days, and once the new system is ready, FNS will announce it through the proper channels.

State Snapshots

Maryland Cares for Kids Act

HB315 eliminates the reduced-price category and requires the State to be responsible for the eligible student’s share of the costs of breakfast and lunches.

West Virginia Legislates Eight-Hour Work Day

HB 4224, introduced January 19, defines employment terms and requirements for school service personnel. The work day is defined as eight hours, and any amount of time exceeding the eight-hour work day shall be considered overtime and paid accordingly.

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:
Community Eligibility Series, Part 1: Community Eligibility Provision 101
Wednesday, February 7, 2018, 2:00 pm ET
Join this webinar to learn the nuts, bolts and many benefits community eligibility offers to students, schools and communities.
Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs.

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
Join this webinar to 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.

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: 26 Days!
Every year, the last day of the Legislative Action Conference (LAC) consists of members “Charging the Hill” to meet with their representatives and advocate on behalf of school meal programs. LAC’s Closing General Session, titled Presentation of the SNA 2018 Position Paper and Charge to the Hill!, will help members prepare for this signature event. This session will go over all you need to know to meet with your Members of Congress, from the Position Paper itself to Hill etiquette, this presentation will cover everything. Register for LAC to secure your spot at the conference today!

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National Harbor, MD 20745
servicecenter@schoolnutrition.org  

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

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