Tuesday Morning - January 30, 2018

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues
from SNA

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

Summer Food Service Program 2018 Reimbursement Rates
USDA Memo on Child Nutrition Programs and Disasters
Secretary Perdue Announces USDA’s Farm Bill and Legislative Principles for 2018
USDA Releases Food Buying Guide Mobile App
National CACFP Week is March 11-17!

State Snapshots

California Charter Schools Requirements
New Mexico Produce in School Meals
Tennessee and Virginia’s Unpaid Meals Bills

Mark Your Calendars

SNA's Upcoming Webinars
USDA Direct Certification Improvement Grants

Cafeteria Chat Corner


Federal Policy

Summer Food Service Program 2018 Reimbursement Rates

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) released a notice announcing the annual adjustments to the reimbursement rates for meals served in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). These adjustments are based on changes in the Consumer Price Index and are required by the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act. The memo presents the rates in three tables: operations rates, administrative rates and the combined rates of the two, and, additionally, breaks the tables down into breakfast, lunch/supper and snack. The rates and accompanying information on calculations can be found in the Federal Register notice.

USDA Memo on Child Nutrition Programs and Disasters

USDA has released a memo, " Providing Child Nutrition Program Benefits to Disaster Survivor Evacuees," which summarizes the options available to school food authorities and institutions participating in child nutrition programs for disaster evacuees. The memo details eligibility determinations and duration of eligibility in the wake of disasters, as well as additional resources. These options and informational resources are intended to help program operators provide needed meals to survivor evacuees in the timeframe within the parameters of statutory requirements. At SNA’s Legislative Action Conference (LAC) this year, March 4-6 in Washington, D.C., there is a relevant breakout session, entitled Natural Disasters: Preparation and Impact, including a panel of school nutrition professionals who have first-hand experience! Be sure to register today for LAC!

Secretary Perdue Announces USDA’s Farm Bill and Legislative Principles for 2018

On Wednesday, January 24, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the USDA’s Farm Bill and Legislative Principles for 2018 at a town hall in Pennsylvania. The agenda broke the goals up into nine categories. Under the “Food, Nutrition & Consumer Services” heading, USDA says they will support legislation that will encourage state and local innovations in training, case management and program design, which also promote self-sufficiency and achieve long-term stability in employment. Furthermore, USDA plans to harness America’s agriculture abundance to support nutrition assistance for those truly in need. Visit this link to view USDA’s 2018 Farm Bill & Legislative Principles.

USDA Releases Food Buying Guide Mobile App

USDA’s FNS announced its first-ever mobile application, the Food Buying Guide Mobile app, which is intended to help child nutrition programs. The app is available to the public and will assist the over-280,000 program operators responsible for FNS’ child nutrition programs with purchasing the correct amounts of foods for meal programs and determining the contribution that each food product makes toward meal pattern requirements. USDA's press release outlines all the benefits the app will have for school nutrition professionals who will now have critical information about food for their programs anywhere, anytime. The web-based Interactive Food Guide is available online and provides both an Interactive Product Formulation Statement Workbook and Recipe Analysis Workbook, while the Food Buying Guide Mobile app is available in the Apple Store.

National CACFP Week is March 11-17!

The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) serves healthy meals and snacks to over 4 million children, and CACFP Week is a campaign aimed at raising awareness of how the program works to combat hunger. CACFP Week, to be held March 11-17, 2018, is sponsored by the National CACFP Sponsors Association and is an educational, informational campaign. The National CACFP Sponsors Association website features great resources to start planning for the week now, such as toolkit resources and sample letters to get local and state governments to proclaim and acknowledge National CACFP Week. Start planning today!

State Snapshots

California Charter Schools Requirements

AB 1871 requires charter schools to provide each eligible student with a “nutritionally adequate” meal each school day. The bill was introduced into the California Assembly on January 16, 2018.

New Mexico Produce in School Meals

New Mexico’s House and Senate have introduced bills making an appropriation to provide New Mexico-grown fresh fruits and fresh vegetables for school meals. $400,000 is appropriated to the public education department in FY 2019, as well as in subsequent fiscal years. HB 62 was introduced by state Representative Jimmie Hall on January 16, 2018 and referred to committee. SB 106 was introduced by state Senator John Woods on January 20, 2018.

Tennessee and Virginia’s Unpaid Meals Bills

The “Tennessee Hunger-Free Students Act,” HB 1690, requires schools to provide a reimbursable meal to any student who requests one, regardless of their ability to pay. Among other provisions, the bill specifies action steps if a student carries an unpaid meal balance greater than five meals and prohibits public identification of the student.

Virginia’s HB 1477 directs each Virginia school board to require every public elementary and secondary school in the local school division to participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP). The bill also requires that every student who requests a meal receives a reimbursable meal, regardless of their ability to pay, and prohibits public identification of the student.

The addition of Tennessee and Virginia’s bills make six unpaid meals bills introduced in state legislatures in 2018. See the rest of the bills here.

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.

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: 33 Days!
“Block grants” is a term that most school nutrition professionals are generally aware of, but what exactly are they and why would they be a bad thing for school nutrition programs? During the Third General Session at the 2018 Legislative Action Conference (LAC), speakers Stacy Dean and Rebecca Vallas from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities will be explaining just that! This session will explore the dangers, likelihood and impact “block granting” would have on child nutrition programs. Register for LAC today to become informed about this and other school nutrition legislative and advocacy issues!

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