Tuesday Morning - January 23, 2018

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues
from SNA

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

SNA Submits Comment on USDA School Meal Rule
Take Action: Submit Your Comment to USDA!
House Forms Bipartisan Nutrition Group
Update on H.R. 3738, “The Healthy Breakfasts Help Kids Learn Act”

State Snapshots

New Jersey School Nutrition Bills Introduced
New York School Breakfast Legislation

Mark Your Calendars

SNA's Upcoming Webinars
National CACFP Sponsors Association National Conference
USDA Direct Certification Improvement Grants

Cafeteria Chat Corner


Federal Policy

SNA Submits Comment on USDA School Meal Rule

On Friday, January 19, SNA submitted an official comment to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in response to the interim final rule on "Child Nutrition Programs: Flexibilities for Milk, Whole Grains and Sodium," published in the Federal Register on November 30, 2017. In the comment, SNA expressed appreciation for the Department’s efforts to address the challenges school districts have confronted in transitioning to updated meal pattern requirements. SNA also reminded USDA that school districts are looking forward to a permanent solution eliminating the onerous management of temporary rules and, where allowed, annual waivers. You can read the complete comment here.

Take Action: Submit Your Comment to USDA!

Please take a moment to submit your comments in response to USDA’s interim final rule on “Child Nutrition Programs: Flexibilities for Milk, Whole Grains and Sodium.” The interim final rule maintains Target 1 sodium limits through SY 2018-19 and allows States the option to offer hardship waivers for specific whole grain rich foods. These flexibilities are a step in the right direction but a permanent solution is still needed.

As a school nutrition professional, you are the most well-equipped to make a difference and, as part of the SNA Action Network, making your voice heard is only a few clicks away. Submit your comment encouraging USDA to permanently address challenges with whole-grain mandates and future sodium limits. Comments are due on or before January 29, 2018.

House Forms Bipartisan Nutrition Group

The Food is Medicine Working Group formally launched in the House of Representatives last week and is focused on emphasizing the link between nutrition programs and health outcomes. The group is part of the House Hunger Caucus and is led by Reps. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.), Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) and Roger Marshall (R-Kan.). The group has come together as the 2018 Farm Bill is taking shape, and their goal of using nutrition to improve the nation’s health will certainly have some influence on the Bill. Some policies that Rep. McGovern indicated the Group will focus on include incentivizing the purchase of fruits and vegetables and bolstering the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Update on H.R. 3738, “The Healthy Breakfasts Help Kids Learn Act”

When H.R. 3738, or “The Healthy Breakfasts Helps Kids Learn Act of 2017,” was introduced on September 12, 2017, SNA launched a grassroots advocacy campaign to get our members to send letters to their Representatives asking them to support the bill. At the time of our last update on the bill, there were 18 cosponsors, and now that number has grown to 31! H.R. 3738 provides an additional six cents in commodity support for every breakfast served through the School Breakfast Program (SBP), which would be extremely beneficial to school nutrition professionals. Find the full list of cosponsors here, as well as the full text of the “Healthy Breakfasts Helps Kids Learn Act of 2017” bill. Keep taking action today and ask your Representatives to support the bill!

State Snapshots

New Jersey School Nutrition Bills Introduced

AB 334 requires the State Department of Agriculture and State Department of Education to develop and administer an incentive fund that will provide an additional 10 cents in reimbursement to school districts with 20 % and above free and reduced-price eligibility.

S 642 requires all schools with 5% or more free and reduced-price eligibility to establish the SBP. The bill specifies steps for the design and implementation of a breakfast program.

The Smarter Lunchroom Act requires the Commissioner of Education to “make every effort to assist, guide, and support school districts and nonpublic schools in planning, establishing, and implementing the strategies of the Smarter Lunchroom Movement.”

New York School Breakfast Legislation

AO 3299 authorizes the Commissioner of Education to establish the school breakfast incentive program to provide grants to eligible school buildings that increase participation in school breakfast 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.

Register Now:
Advocacy in 2018: Prepare to Charge the Hill
Thursday, February 1, 2018, 2:00 pm ET
Attend this webinar to get insider tips from the SNA’s Public Policy & Legislation Committee Chair, Doug Davis, SNS, and Co-Chair, Sara Gasiorowski, SNS. Your school nutrition policy and legislation experts will provide a run down on the 2018 Position Paper and prepare you to make the most of your time at LAC 2018.

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.

Registration Coming Soon:
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.

Best of #SNIC18: When it Comes to Food and Ingredients, What Do Consumers Really Want?
Wednesday, February 28, 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 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.

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.


Cafeteria Chat Corner

Countdown to SNA’s LAC: 40 Days!
The 46th annual Legislative Action Conference (LAC) is quickly approaching! And, every year, officials from USDA attend LAC and provide an update on child nutrition program activities, research, USDA Foods and more. This year, that presentation will take place during the Second General Session on Monday, March 5, from 8:30-10:00 am.

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National Harbor, MD 20745
servicecenter@schoolnutrition.org  

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

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