Tuesday Morning - July 4, 2017

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues
from SNA

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

School Nutrition Equipment Funding Considered in FY2018 House Appropriations
Senators Collins and Heitkamp Reintroduce “School Food Modernization Act”
“Nutrition Coordinators for Local Healthy Youth Act” Introduced
SNA PAC Introduces New Way to Donate for ANC!
Federal Register: APEC III, Improper Payments Study
ERS Releases Report: Children’s Food Security and USDA Child Nutrition Programs Report
USDA School Meal Programs Verification Response Rate Challenge Winners Announced 

State Snapshots

California Food as Incentive Restrictions
State Advocacy Tips at ANC

Mark Your Calendars

SNA's Upcoming Webinars
National Farm to School Network Webinar
FRAC Meals Matter Webinars

Cafeteria Chat Corner


Federal Policy

School Nutrition Equipment Funding Considered in FY2018 House Appropriations

On Wednesday, June 28, the U.S. House Appropriations Agriculture Subcommittee marked up its FY 2018 Appropriations bill. Agriculture Appropriations bills are the primary funding source for school nutrition programs. Passage of the bill is the first step in a long process toward finalizing a congressional budget. The bill was unanimously voted out of the subcommittee and will advance to the full Appropriations Committee for further consideration. After passing the full Appropriations Committee it must pass the House in a floor vote and then be reconciled with a Senate version.

The legislation which passed the subcommittee provides $24.28 billion in mandatory funding for child nutrition programs, which is a $1.5 billion increase from the FY 2017 enacted levels. It also continues the $25 million for school cafeteria equipment grants and continues policy provisions that allow waivers for whole grains, prevents further implementation of sodium reduction standards and provides flexibility to schools by allowing schools to serve low-fat flavored milk.

Senators Collins and Heitkamp Reintroduce “School Food Modernization Act”

On Thursday, June 21, 2017, Senator Collins reintroduced the “ School Food Modernization Act,” or S. 1402, on behalf of her and Senator Heitkamp. The bill requires the Secretary of Agriculture to make loan guarantees and grants to finance certain improvement to school lunch facilities, train school foodservice professionals, and for other purposes. These improvements can include remodeling, purchasing durable equipment, and expanding the infrastructure of the school lunch program that will provide healthy meals. The loan guarantees and the equipment grants will be awarded on a competitive basis and up to the discretion of the Secretary of Agriculture, though certain eligible entities will have priority. S. 1402 goes on to outline fees, funding, and Federal share breakdowns for these programs, as well as for the training and technical assistance for school food service personnel. The bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry.

“Nutrition Coordinators for Local Healthy Youth Act” Introduced

On Wednesday, June 20, 2017, Rep. Tim Ryan introduced H.R. 2967, or the “ Nutrition Coordinators for Local Healthy Youth Act,” which was referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. The bill amended the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 to establish a grant program to appoint nutrition coordinators to oversee local school nutrition policies in local education agencies. The Secretary of Agriculture, in consultation with the Secretary of Education, will select local education agencies to receive the grants, based on the applications that they submit, which are up to the Secretary to design. The coordinator role is to ensure compliance with local school wellness policies, conduct trainings and information sharing of best practices and to collaborate with other coordinators.

SNA PAC Introduces New Way to Donate for ANC!

The SNA Political Action Committee (PAC) has set up a new, easy way to donate before and during the Annual National Conference (ANC) in Atlanta next week. Donating to SNA’s PAC is very important, because it allows SNA to continue pursuing our legislative and advocacy goals on Capitol Hill. The goals are to educate Members of Congress about the school nutrition programs, and then contribute to members who support the programs. For this year’s ANC, SNA’s PAC has set up a Text2Give Campaign through Bidpal, where you can simply text “PAC” to 243725 and it will send you a link to donate! There are credit card fees that are associated with each donation, but donors can choose to include those fees in their donations, if they wish. If you don’t want to text the number for the link, you can go directly to the Bidpal website to donate to the PAC today and make our voice on Capitol Hill even stronger!

Federal Register: APEC III, Improper Payments Study

The proposed APEC III study will provide FNS with the information needed to reduce improper payments in the school meals programs. The study will survey a nationally representative sample of school food authorities (SFAs), a sample of schools within each SFA, and a random sample of students within each school that applied or were directly certified for free and reduced-price meals. The data will be used to develop national estimates of the annual error rates and erroneous payments for the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program in School Year 2017-18 and to identify strategies for reducing errors. Comments on this record collection can be sent to Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), by emailing OIRA_Submission@omb.eop.gov, faxing (202) 395-5806, and mailing to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, D.C. 20250-7602. Comments are due by July 26, 2017.

ERS Releases Report: Children’s Food Security and USDA Child Nutrition Programs

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS) released a report in June 2017 titled, Children’s Food Security and USDA Child Nutrition Programs . The report presents updated statistics on food insecurity among school-age children from the Food Security Supplement to the Current Population Survey for 2014 and 2015. 16.6 percent of households with children were classified as food insecure, and children were reported to be food insecure in 7.8 percent of all households with children. The report goes on to summarize recent research on the effects of child nutrition programs on children’s food insecurity and diets. Research shows that these programs reduce food insecurity and contribute to diet quality and academic performance for children from low-income and food-insecure houses. View the full report here.

USDA School Meal Programs Verification Response Rate Challenge Winners Announced

USDA hosted a 2017 Verification Response Rate Challenge that took place from May 4, 2017 to June 15, 2017 and called for the submission of ideas for increasing NSLP/SBP verification response rates. Over 25 solutions were submitted and on June 30th, the winners were posted. The judges included SNA’s own President, Becky Domokos-Bays, and the judging criteria categories were: demonstrated effectiveness (35%), research and creativity (35%) and presentation, clarity and persuasiveness (30%). There were three categories of winners, as well as Honorable Mention, and the winners broke down like this:

Potential Game Changer:
• “Verification Improvements” - Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District, TX – Submitted by Kristen Hess
• “Meeting the Challenges and Creating Solutions for Verification” - Gwinnett County Public Schools System, GA – Submitted by Jeannette Morris
• “Rolling Verification Process” - Orange County Public Schools, FL

Popular Choice:
• “Meeting the Challenges and Creating Solutions for Verification” - Gwinnett County Public Schools System, GA – Submitted by Jeannette Morris

Best Documented:
• “Rolling Verification Process” - Orange County Public Schools, FL

More information and the other contest submissions can be viewed on the Government Challenges website.

State Snapshots

California Food as Incentive Restrictions

After passing the California Assembly and the Senate Committee on Education, AB 841 is one step closer to law. The bill prohibits schools from advertising food and beverage that do not meet USDA reimbursable standards on school campuses during the school day, and from participating in corporate student incentive programs involving non-compliant food and beverages.

State Advocacy Tips at ANC

Looking for tips on inviting your state legislator to your cafeteria? Don’t miss this exciting session at the SNA’s Annual National Conference:

Invite Your State Legislator to Lunch
Sunday 9:15-10:15 am; Key Area 4
Getting to know those who represent you in the state legislature is crucial to giving your school nutrition program a voice. Michigan SNA developed a comprehensive program designed to assist directors with legislative visits. Attendees will leave this session empowered with templates and easy procedures to walk you through the invitation, planning, implementation and follow up of a successful state legislator visit.

Mark Your Calendars

SNA's Upcoming Webinars

Learn what’s on the agenda for SNA’s upcoming popular professional development webinars. Successful completion of each of the following webinars and quiz is worth 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs. Registration opens this fall.

Host a Legislator Site Visit
Wednesday, September 6, 2017, 2:00 pm ET

Webinar (title coming soon!) sponsored by the National Watermelon Promotion Board
Wednesday, September 13, 2017, 2:00 pm ET

“Best of ANC#17” 1 of 3: Modifications to Accommodate Disabilities
Wednesday, September 20, 2017, 2:00 pm ET

National Farm to School Network Webinar

Join the National Farm to School Network on Thursday, July 6, 2017, 2:00 pm ET, for the webinar, “ Trending Topics in Farm to School: Farm to School Partnerships with Your SNA.” Learn about how four states are partnering with their SNA state affiliate to expand farm to school efforts. This webinar is part of NFSN’s new monthly webinar series, Trending Topics in Farm to School, which will be held the first Thursday of every month from 2:00-3:00 pm ET. These webinars are open to anyone interested in learning about emerging issues and innovation in the farm to school movement. Help spread the word, and register for the July webinar here.

FRAC Meals Matter Webinars

The Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) provides its Meals Matter webinar series to assist in the operation and expansion of school meal programs.

Developing Menus and Serving High-Quality Meals
Thursday, July 6, 2017, 1:00 pm ET
Menus that include variety and healthy food while addressing cultural preferences are important to incorporate into your summer program. Other considerations that come into play as you design your menus are how to budget for the best quality meal and what to do about curbing waste. Hear from program providers on what they do to develop their summer menus, how they’ve improved quality, and how to get feedback from the children being served at sites.

Engaging Educators in Breakfast After the Bell
Thursday, July 13, 2017, 3:00 pm ET
Educators are key to implementing successful breakfast after the bell programs. Join this webinar to learn how you can engage teachers, principals, and administrators to create effective and sustainable programs, such as breakfast in the classroom, “grab and go,” and second chance. Resources will also be shared to help ensure your school’s transition to a breakfast after the bell program is smooth and successful.

Innovative Afterschool Partnerships
Thursday July 20, 2017, 1:00 pm ET
School is around the corner and it is an excellent time to reach out to potential partners who can assist you in building a stronger Afterschool Meal Program. Libraries are moving from serving summer meals to also participating in the Afterschool Meal Program. Mayors are running city-wide efforts to increase participation in Afterschool Meals and there are opportunities to partner with groups that are offering innovative afterschool programming. Join this call to learn more about the innovative partnerships that are happening across the country.


Cafeteria Chat Corner

Countdown to ANC: 5 Days!
ANC 2017 is almost here! Our last journey through time to past ANC’s brings us to ANC 2007 in Chicago. During this time, the School Nutrition Foundation introduced Eat Smart, Get Moving (ESGM), an interactive personal-wellness program to help members track daily food choices and physical activity on a weekly basis. Points were accumulated and top performers were eligible for prizes and recognition at ANC. Similarly, today, SNA has the STEPS Challenge, which is a personal wellness program designed just for school nutrition professionals. It’s a free program that gives you access to healthy recipes, simple fitness ideas, challenges, prize drawings and more. This year, at #ANC17 Atlanta, there will be a STEPS Challenge Wellness Event on Monday, July 10, at 6:45 am, so be sure to check that out! We’re excited to see you at ANC!

Contact Us

120 Waterfront Street, Suite 300
National Harbor, MD 20745
servicecenter@schoolnutrition.org  

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

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