Tuesday Morning - January 24, 2017

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues
from SNA

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

SNA Statement on Selection of USDA Secretary
SNA Leaders Meet with Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Stabenow 
$27 Million Available in Grants from USDA for Local Food Sector
Reflections on the 2016 Team Up for School Nutrition Success

State Snapshots

New York Bills Emphasize Farm to School and Food Education
Connecticut Local Foods Bill
Oregon Bill Encourages CEP
California Raises the Universal Meals Discussion
Hawaii Bill Focuses on Farm to School

Mark Your Calendars

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

Cafeteria Chat Corner


Federal Policy

SNA Statement on Selection of USDA Secretary

Last week, SNA issue the following statement regarding then President-elect Donald Trump’s selection of former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“School Nutrition Association looks forward to working with Gov. Perdue to support school meal programs in their mission to expand access to healthy, appealing meals that support student success,” said SNA President Becky Domokos-Bays, PhD, RD, SNS. “School nutrition professionals are committed to continually improving the nutrition and quality of school meals and promoting healthier lifestyles for students. If confirmed, we are hopeful Gov. Perdue will work to strengthen school meal programs and help ease funding and regulatory challenges.”

SNA Leaders Meet with Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Stabenow

On January 18, 2017, SNA representatives met with U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) to discuss the future of child nutrition programs. Present at the meeting were SNA President Becky Domokos-Bays, SNA Public Policy & Legislation (PPL) Committee Chair Doug Davis, SNA At-Large Member and Michigan constituent Lori Adkins, SNA Chief Executive Officer Patricia Montague and Cathy Schuchart, SNA SVP Government Affairs and Media Relations.

Senator Stabenow kicked off the meeting by thanking SNA, noting that “what you do for kids is really important.” The group discussed how the Association could work together with the new Trump Administration and new 115th Congress to address issues related to Child Nutrition Reauthorization and to avoid the Block Grant threat that resurfaced as a major issue during the last Congress. Stabenow noted her opposition to block granting child nutrition programs and added that “to the extent I have any tools to stop it, I will.”

A discussion was also held on the reauthorization of the Farm Bill, which is set to expire in 2018. Both House and Senate Agriculture Committees are beginning to chart their respective courses by gathering constituent input, starting with national “Listening Sessions” scheduled for early spring. SNA reiterated its long time support to obtain funding for Breakfast Commodities and is looking to Ranking Member Stabenow and Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) for their support. SNA also discussed the importance of summer feeding and the need to expand the program.

All these issues will be covered in greater detail as part of SNA’s 45th Legislative Action Conference (LAC), held in Washington, D.C., in early April. Early bird registration rates apply until February 24. SNA members should stay tuned for details on a late-February webinar on LAC programs and opportunities.

Also, SNA members will soon receive an email survey seeking input on issues related to child nutrition operations. All members are strongly encouraged to complete the survey, which will be reviewed and discussed with the SNA Executive Committee and PPL Committee, which meets in February to draft the Association’s 2017 Position Paper.

$27 Million Available in Grants from USDA for Local Food Sector

On January 11, 2017, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced the availability of $27 million in grants for the Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP), the Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP), and the Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP). The AMS announced its request for applications for the grants for innovative projects that keep wealth in rural communities and strengthen market opportunities for local and regional food stakeholders. The FMPP provides funds for direct farmer-to-consumer marketing projects such as farmers markets, community-supported agriculture programs, roadside stands, and agritourism. The LFPP supports projects focused on intermediary supply chain activities, such as aggregation, processing, storage, and distribution for local foods. The FSMIP provides about $1 million in matching funds to state departments of agriculture, state colleges and universities, and other appropriate state agencies to support research projects that address challenges and opportunities in marketing, transporting, and distributing U.S. agricultural products domestically and internationally. For more information about the programs and grants, visit the AMS website to view the full announcement.

Reflections on the 2016 Team Up for School Nutrition Success

The Team Up 2016 state expansion initiative has ended, but was a great success. Throughout the year the program provided 1,800 school food authorities with specialized training and resources from their peers for school nutrition success. 77 allied organizations, including SNA, provided their free resources to workshop attendees and 48 state agencies and territories participated in the expansion as well. For more information about the Team Up for School Nutrition Success, visit the Team Nutrition website.

State Snapshots

New York Bills Emphasize Farm to School and Food Education

New York has introduced several bills encouraging expansion of the farm to school program and one studying the possibility of enacting a food education program.

AB 1081 allows individuals to make a gift to the New York farm to school fund on their personal tax form and establishes that the fund will be used for school gardens and equipment and educational materials promoting consumption of local products.

SB 1430 permits school districts to favor locally sourced goods.

SB 1463 authorizes the commissioner of Education to create an annual award to recognize school staff involved in a farm to school program or school garden.

SB 1904 authorizes the commissioner of Education to create an annual award to recognize students involved in a farm to school program or school garden. Students can be nominated by their principal or teacher.

SB 1471 authorizes the commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Markets to conduct a study on Vermont’s Food Education Every Day (VT-FEED) program and within one year make recommendations on how a similar program may be implemented in New York.

Connecticut Local Foods Bill

HB5601 encourages school districts to use locally grown foods in their school food programs.

Oregon Bill Encourages CEP

HB 2652 allows the Oregon Department of Education to enter into a written agreement with a school district that qualifies under CEP to reimburse the school district for the portion of the cost of providing meals to students that is not reimbursed by USDA.

California Raises the Universal Meals Discussion

The California Senate bill, SB 138, would, on or before September 1, 2018, require a school district that has a very high poverty school to apply for and operate a universal meal service to all pupils at that school. The bill would authorize a school district to stop providing the universal free meal service if the school ceases to be very high poverty. Because the bill would impose additional duties on school districts and county superintendents of schools, it would impose a state-mandated local program. In addition, requires the State Department of Education to share Medi-Cal program participation data with school districts for purposes of direct certification.

Hawaii Bill Focuses on Farm to School

The Hawaii House of Representatives introduced HB 255 which establishes the farm to school grant program to provide grants to farmers participating in the Hawaii farm to school program. It also creates the farm- to -school grant program special fund.

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.

Engaging Teens in the Summer Nutrition Programs
Thursday, February 2, 2017, 1:00 pm EST
Reaching teens with the Summer Nutrition Programs can be challenging, but not impossible! During the summer, teens can often help promote the program, volunteer at meal service, mentor or lead activities – while at the same time participating themselves. This call will explore strategies and promising practices for drawing more teens to summer meal sites and keeping them engaged all summer long.

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: 68 days!
Every year, the SNA Political Action Committee (PAC) makes contributions to members of Congress who have shown leadership in fighting for the health of children. The PAC is governed by SNA volunteer leaders and is made up exclusively of Association members who provide it with financial support. Be sure to stop by the SNA PAC booth during the LAC to help support child nutrition efforts or donate now online!

 

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