Tuesday Morning - March 7, 2017

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues
from SNA

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

SNA Releases 2017 Position Paper
SNA Submits Comments on a Proposed Verification Study 
SNA Supports 2018 Farm Bill Letter to House and Senate Budget and Appropriations Committees
Don’t Forget to Register for SNA’s Legislative Action Conference!

State Snapshots

Iowa Proposes Supplemental Aid
Massachusetts Breakfast After the Bell Bill

Mark Your Calendars

SNA's Upcoming Webinars
USDA Unpaid Meals Webinar

Cafeteria Chat Corner


Federal Policy

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!

SNA Submits Comments on a Proposed Verification Study

The proposed study will examine the accuracy of district verification procedures. The study team will select 20 participation school districts, describe the districts’ verification outcomes, and independently verify eligibility for two samples of households approved by application on the basis of income. As required, USDA solicited comments on the study and SNA responded in this letter.

In the letter, SNA underscores that the process to determine eligibility for free or reduced price meals and the subsequent income verification process is very complex, labor intensive, and that District approaches may vary. SNA also requests that USDA recognize the challenges of communication with households and make resources available to participating districts with language and literacy variances. Finally, SNA urges USDA to consider that there are several studies and data collections currently under way and that the burden of these multiple collections should be minimized.

SNA Supports 2018 Farm Bill Letter to House and Senate Budget and Appropriations Committees

SNA took part in a coalition letter that was sent to the House and Senate Budget and Appropriations Committees on behalf of over 500 organization representing America’s agriculture, nutrition, conservation, rural development, and labor sectors. The letter urged the Committees to reject any calls for cuts to policies within the jurisdiction of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry or the House Committee on Agriculture. The letter draws attention to the fact that the 2014 Farm Bill made a significant contribution to deficit reduction and was the only reauthorization bill to voluntarily reduce spending before Congress began considering the bill. As 2018 Farm Bill preparations begin, any further budget or appropriations cuts to any farm bill program would debilitate the process and further impair the already struggling agriculture and rural communities.

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

Iowa Proposes Aid for Unusual Increase in Free/Reduced Eligibility

HF 411 authorizes the school budget review committee to grant supplemental aid or establish a modified supplemental amount for a school district with an unusual increase in students eligible for free and reduced price meals and including applicability provisions.

Massachusetts Breakfast After the Bell Bill

SB 242 requires all K-12 schools where at least sixty percent of students are eligible for free or reduced meals to offer all students breakfast after the bell. Time spent by students consuming breakfast is considered instructional time when it is consumed in the students’ classroom and instruction is being provided. Before September 2018 the State Department of Elementary and Secondary Education shall develop procedures for implementation of this initiative and shall annually collect

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.

Best of #SNIC17 2 of 3: Kellogg’s Innovative Solution
Wednesday, March 8, 2017, 2:00 pm EST
With increased pressure to serve less processed foods, this webinar will provide insight to food production from farm to bowl and its impact on the nutrition quality. Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs.

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.


Cafeteria Chat Corner

Countdown to LAC: 26 days!
The Third General Session on Monday, April 3, at 10:30 am, will consist of a “Fireside Chat with Washington Insiders.” These insiders include former USDA Secretary Dan Glickman, former USDA Deputy Secretary Chuck Conner, former USDA Food and Nutrition Service administrator William Hoagland, and former U.S. Representative Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin (D-SD). The moderator will be Senior Editor at Agri-Pulse, Philip Brasher, who will help to lead an insightful and well-informed discussion.

Speaking of Washington Insiders...
Senator Pat Roberts from Kansas is the current Chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry. Roberts has been in Congress since 1981 and in the Senate since 1997 and is the longest-serving member of the Kansas Delegation.

Sneak peek for next week: Which SNA members benefit from attending LAC?

LAC 1990 Theme “Set Sail for the ‘90s: Charting Our Course

LAC Then & Now:
ASFSA’s 18th annual Legislative Action Conference theme was, “Set Sail for the ‘90s: Charting Our Course,” and took place in February of 1990. The conference lasted for four days (including a pre-conference session) and featured guest speakers Congresswoman Nita Lowey of New York and Senator Wyche Fowler of Georgia. During this LAC, ASFSA members also testified before the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. Recently, LAC has also been shortened to last for three days.

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