Tuesday Morning - March 14, 2017

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues
from SNA

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

School Nutrition Block Grants Then & Now
Summer Food Service Program; 2017 Reimbursement Rates 
SNA Submits Official Comments on Added Sugars Labeling
A Closer Look at School Breakfast Service Times
It’s National CACFP Week!
SNA Releases 2017 Position Paper
Don’t Forget to Register for SNA’s Legislative Action Conference!

State Snapshots

Arkansas Local Food, Farms, and Jobs Act
Colorado Food Systems Advisory Council
Minnesota Farm to School Training and Grant Program
Ohio Summer Food Service Use of Facility
School Gardens in Florida
New York Bill Makes Space for Local Foods

Mark Your Calendars

SNA's Upcoming Webinars
USDA Unpaid Meals Webinar
Action for Healthy Kid’s Breakfast Webinar
FRAC Community Eligibility Adoption Webinar

Cafeteria Chat Corner


Federal Policy

School Nutrition Block Grants Then & Now

School Nutrition Block Grants Then & Now

In 1995 Republican Congressional Members and candidates had developed “The Contract with America,” which was a pledge to support the principle of smaller government and to introduce a list of 10 specific bills in the next Congress. One of the “Acts” included a provision to replace federal school-based child nutrition programs with block grants made to states. That year, the Association’s LAC drew a record 800 attendees and included powerful Washington politicos, making them a difficult force to ignore when they took to the Hill. It was the issue of school lunches that eventually lead to President Clinton vetoing the bill even after it had passed the House and Senate. Today, block grants are still a threat to school nutrition programs, and SNA remains dedicated in fighting against this change. One way to join the fight is to register for SNA’s Legislative Action Conference (LAC), which will run from April 2-4, 2017, at the J.W. Marriott in Washington, D.C.

Summer Food Service Program; 2017 Reimbursement Rates

USDA released a notice informing the public of the annual adjustments to the reimbursement rates for meals served in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) for children. The adjustments are due to changes in the Consumer Price Index, which is required under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act. The notice contains three tables expressing the rate changes to reflect the effect of the Consumer Price Index adjustment on each rate. One table shows the Operating Component of 2017 Reimbursement Rates, another shows the Administrative Component of 2017 Reimbursement Rates, and another shows the combined SFSP 2017 Reimbursement Rates of the two. To view the rates and read more about the adjustments, read the USDA notice.

SNA Submits Official Comments on Added Sugars Labeling

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) posted a Federal Register notice on Thursday, January 5, 2017, related to a request for comments on draft guidance for nutritional labeling of added sugars. SNA provided several recommendations. Among them, SNA recommended that the guidance should be written clearly to be easily understood, reference amounts and serving sizes should be flexible to accommodate various federal nutrition programs, naturally occurring sugars in products such as dairy products should be noted, and the FDA should work with the USDA to develop guidance and training for school nutrition operators. Read the full comments here.

A Closer Look at School Breakfast Service Times

The School Nutrition Foundation spotlights findings from the 2016 School Nutrition Operations Report on how timing the morning meal can have impact on participation. Spoiler Alert: The data suggests that participation will increase if you serve breakfast after the start of the school day.

It’s National CACFP Week!

CACFP Week is a national education and information campaign sponsored annually by the National CACFP Sponsors Association. The campaign is designed to raise awareness of how the USDA's Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) works to combat hunger and bring healthy foods to the table for adults in day care and children in child care homes, centers, and in afterschool and summer feeding programs across the country. Visit the National CACFP Sponsors Association website to read more and download state specific resources.

SNA Releases 2017 Position Paper

SNA has released its 2017 Position Paper, which urges Congress to protect and strengthen school meal programs. The Paper takes a firm stand in opposition to any effort to block grant school meal programs and calls for greater support to preserve the financial stability of school meal programs. SNA requests an expansion of USDA Foods for the School Breakfast Program and practical flexibility under federal nutrition standards for school meals. To ease menu planning challenges and appeal to diverse student tastes, SNA asks Congress and USDA to maintain Target 1 sodium levels and restore the initial requirement that at least half of grains offered through school meals be whole grain rich. SNA also calls for an independent study of the federal child nutrition programs to reduce regulatory and administrative complexities.

The Position Paper will be the focus of SNA’s 45th annual Legislative Action Conference (LAC), which runs from April 2-4, 2017, in Washington, D.C. SNA members are encouraged to visit the LAC Resources page for talking points on the Paper and other tools to help advocate on behalf of school meal programs.

On Tuesday, March 21, at 2:00 pm EST, SNA will host the webinar, "2017 SNA Position Paper, What You Need to Know!," to discuss the Paper, including a detailed Q&A on the various components so SNA members are well-equipped to explain the Association’s priority goals during LAC’s “Charge to the Hill.” Register today!

Don’t Forget to Register for SNA’s Legislative Action Conference!

Be sure to register for SNA’s Legislative Action Conference (LAC), which will run from April 2-4, 2017, at the J.W. Marriott in Washington, D.C. The conference gathers school nutrition professionals from across the country to share their stories and learn valuable advocacy skills. This year’s LAC will feature a “Fireside Chat with Washington Insiders.” This talk-show style session provides insight from panelists, including former Secretary of Agriculture, Dan Glickman, and Senior Vice President of the Bipartisan Policy Center, William Hoagland. There will be educational sessions on topics like Successful State Lobbying Strategies, Hot Topics in School Nutrition, and Recruit and Retain School Nutrition Young Professionals. On the last day of the conference, attendees “Charge the Hill” in order to put their advocacy to the test and speak out about school nutrition issues. Visit www.schoolnutrition.org/lac for more details and to register for the conference.

State Snapshots

Arkansas Local Food, Farms, and Jobs Act

The Local Food, Farms, and Jobs Act is intended to strengthen local farm and food economies. The bill also creates a Program Coordinator position with duties that include encouraging and facilitating involvement and participation in the Farm to School Program.

Colorado Food Systems Advisory Council

HB 1192 ends the term of current members and appoints new members and duties to the Colorado Food Systems Advisory Council. Among other duties, the Council will collaborate with relevant agencies and provide recommendations for the farm-to-school program.

Minnesota Farm to School Training and Grant Program

HF 2049 and its companion, SF 1657, establish a Farm to School administrative support, technical assistance, training, and grant program to facilitate procurement of Minnesota-grown food and increase children’s access to healthy fresh food. The bills also appropriates funds for the program.

Ohio Summer Food Service Use of Facility

HB 80 and its companion, SB 54, require all schools with at least 50% free or reduced eligibility to allow an approved summer food service program sponsor to use school facilities to provide meals. The Department of Education must post a list of approved summer food service program sponsors that may use school facilities.

School Gardens in Florida

HB 1247 requires the Department of Education, in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, to annually provide school districts with information regarding school garden programs. The bill also allows schools with garden programs to select one day a week to allow students who qualify for free or reduced lunch to select and receive produce from the garden. SB 1692 is a companion bill to HB 1247.

New York Bill Makes Space for Local Foods

S 4980 directs the Office of General Services to implement a pilot program that provides warehouse space and technical assistance for the aggregation, storage and distribution of locally grown foods to regional school services through the NSLP.

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.

Food Allergy: Discussing the Science Behind the Facts
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Learn important basic information about food allergies and hear how school nutrition professionals can support strategies to improve quality of life for those with food allergies. Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs.

2017 SNA Position Paper, What You Need to Know!
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Come get a preview of SNA’s 2017 Position Paper! Participants will be guided through the various components so that they are well-equipped to explain the Association’s priority goals during LAC’s “Charge to the Hill!” No CEUs are available for this webinar.

Schools As Nutrition Hubs: The Business Savvy Strategy to Reduce Childhood Hunger
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
In this interactive session, learn tips and how-to lessons from and brainstorm with expert school nutrition directors who operate Nutrition Hubs. Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs.

Buy American Act
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Learn more about the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act’s (NSLA) Buy American provision, including an overview of the history and current regulations of Buy American in the NSLP. Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs.

USDA Unpaid Meals Webinar

SFA’s are required to have an unpaid meal policy in place by SY 2017-18. On Tuesday, April 4, 2017, 2:30 pm EST, USDA will host the webinar about local charge policies. Entitled, Unpaid Meal Charges: Local Charge Policy Requirement , this webinar will include an overview of USDA’s work around unpaid meal charges, a detailed overview of local meal charge policies, and time for questions. Interaction and participation is encouraged during the webinar. USDA’s Unpaid Meal Charges Website houses their current resources, including guidance, handbooks, checklists, and a Q&A.

Action for Healthy Kid’s Breakfast Webinar

Join the Action for Healthy Kids’ webinar, “Making Breakfast Part of the School Day,” on Tuesday, March 14, 4:00 pm EST, and learn how teachers, principals, district administrators, and states have found ways to make breakfast after the bell part of the instructional day.

FRAC Community Eligibility Adoption Webinar

The Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) is hosting the webinar, “Community Eligibility Adoption in the 2016-2017 School Year,” on Thursday, March 23, 3:00 pm EST. FRAC will be releasing new data on schools and districts participating in the Community Eligibility Provision for the 2016-17 school year. Hear how your state compares in take up of community eligibility and trends that are emerging in the third year of nationwide availability.


Cafeteria Chat Corner

Countdown to LAC: 19 days!
The School Nutrition Foundation’s 2017 Celebration of School Nutrition Heroes will be held on April 3, 2017, in conjunction with LAC at the J.W. Marriott. This special event, which requires separate registration, honors the extraordinary commitment of five School Nutrition Heroes. Attendees will hear inspiring stories of heroes while enjoying a delicious dinner on the Grand Ballroom. To learn more about the Celebration of School Nutrition Heroes, www.schoolnutrition.org/snheroescelebration.

Speaking of School Nutrition Heroes...
Last week we asked: Which SNA members benefit from attending LAC? The answer: everyone! From school nutrition directors and cafeteria employees to industry members, the conference offers valuable resources and information for everyone involved in the school nutrition process. LAC is an opportunity to bring together all kinds of school nutrition professionals from across the country to advocate on behalf of the kids they help to feed.

Sneak peek for next week: Which LAC session will help you learn more about the tools SNA provides its members?

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servicecenter@schoolnutrition.org  

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

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