Tuesday Morning - May 23, 2017

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues
from SNA

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

USDA Releases 2017 Edition of Overcoming the Unpaid Meal Challenge
Secretary Perdue Testifies During House Agriculture Committee Hearing
Transition Period for Updated CACFP, Infant, Preschool Meal Patterns 
USDA Highlights Food Allergy Safety
International Food Information Council Conducts 12th Annual Food and Health Survey  

State Snapshots

Nebraska School Meal Study
Illinois School Meal Resolution and Apple Crunch Day
New State Advocacy Resources  

Mark Your Calendars

SNA's Upcoming Webinars  

Cafeteria Chat Corner


Federal Policy

USDA Releases 2017 Edition of Overcoming the Unpaid Meal Challenge

USDA has released its 2017 edition of Overcoming the Unpaid Meal Challenge: Proven Strategies from Our Nation’s Schools. This new version replaces the 2016 version that was released in September and all new and significantly revised information has been highlighted. The guide is intended to offer best-practice support to state and local stakeholders who work to address the issue of what to do when children want a meal but don’t have money on hand or in their account to pay for it. This 2017 edition is a companion piece to other memorandum regarding unpaid meal charges, such as: Unpaid Meal Charges: Guidance and Q&As , Unpaid Meal Charges: Local Meal Charge Policies, Unpaid Meal Charges: Clarification on Collection of Delinquent Meal Payments.

Secretary Perdue Testifies During House Agriculture Committee Hearing

On Wednesday, May 17, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue testified during a House Agriculture Committee Hearing on the State of the Rural Economy. A few Representatives, such as Rep. Gibbs (R-OH-7) and Rep. Faso (R-NY-19), applauded Secretary Perdue’s reevaluation of the school lunch programs, particularly for allowing 2% and flavored milk back into schools. When asked about more strictly dictating what foods can and can’t be used with SNAP benefits, Secretary Perdue said he preferred a “laissez faire” approach as opposed to a “nanny state” one, and hoped that school nutrition programs would influence kids to prefer fruits and vegetables, and request these at home. There were several themes throughout the questioning: cotton eligibility for commodity support programs, the spread of Foot and Mouth Disease and other viral threats to livestock and food sources, the restructuring of the USDA under Perdue, the future of SNAP, and rural broadband access. Throughout the hearing Secretary Perdue highlighted USDA’s new motto, “Do right and feed everyone,” and promised to use a common-sense approach to any problem USDA may face.

Transition Period for Updated CACFP, Infant, Preschool Meal Patterns

Child Nutrition Program (CNP) operators must comply with the updated Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), infant and preschool meal patterns by October 1, 2017, according to the final rule “Child and Adult Care Food Program: Meal Pattern Revisions Related to the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010,” which was published April 25, 2016. USDA Food and Nutrition Service’s (FNS) latest memo outlines a transition period for the updated meal patterns, and allows CACFP institutions and facilitates and school food authorities a year to adjust to the new requirement without having fiscal actions imposed. The transition period will allow CNP operators to focus on providing technical assistance related to the updated requirements, and therefore remedy non-compliance as best as possible. FNS will continue to monitor any challenges to the implementation of the updated CACFP meal patterns and the updated school meal programs’ infant and preschool meal patterns, and encourages state agencies and CNP operators to provide feedback.

USDA Highlights Food Allergy Safety

On their website, USDA published a blog post titled, “Food Allergies: Supporting Safety in the School Environment.” The post highlights the fact that there are over six million children who have food allergies and that schools play a major role in helping these children manage their allergies. USDA Food and Nutrition Service, Office of Food Safety, provides school nutrition professionals with training resources to help students manage their allergies as well as know what to do in an emergency situations. The Institute for Child Nutrition at the University of Mississippi, which is funded by USDA, offers a popular course called “Managing Food Allergies in Schools” and another great resource is “The Food Allergy Book: What School Employees Need to Know,” which was published by the Office of Food Safety and Healthy Futures at the National Education Association. More information about these resources can be found on the USDA website. As scientists work to find a cure for food allergies, schools must ensure that they are supporting and including that population of students who are affected by the allergies, as well as be prepared to handle any food allergy-related situation that may occur.

International Food Information Council Conducts 12th Annual Food and Health Survey

The International Food Information Council’s (IFIC) 12th Annual Food and Health Survey evaluated 1,002 Americans ages 18-80 on their beliefs and behaviors surrounding food and nutrition. This year’s survey particularly focused on consumer confusion, the food information landscape, health and diet, food components, food production, sustainability and food safety. According to the survey about three-quarters of consumers say they rely on friends and family for nutrition and food safety information, but only 29 percent actually trust them as sources, and Baby Boomers and older Americans have very divergent attitudes towards food decisions. More highlights from the survey and information about the methodology can be found on the IFIC’s website.

State Snapshots

Nebraska School Meal Study

Nebraska LR 148 was introduced May 9th and proposes to study in-state school meal programs in order to determine barriers to participation and potential strategies to maximize the role of school meal programs in addressing child hunger. The study will also examine the policies and procedures schools have in place regarding student’ unpaid food accounts and models for increasing school breakfast participation.

Illinois School Meal Resolution and Apple Crunch Day

Illinois Senate Resolution 492, encourages schools to offer Breakfast After the Bell to students and urges elected leaders to visit one summer meals site in their local area. Also, resolves that the Illinois Senate is opposed to cuts in funding to federal food and nutrition programs.

Illinois Bill, HR 376 designates October 12, 2017, as the “Illinois Great Apple Crunch Day.” The Illinois Great Apple Crunch encourages all schools in the state of Illinois to participate by serving local apples on the lunch tray and crunching into them together as a school. Supplementary Educational Materials and more information is available at illinoisgreatapplecrunch.com.

New State Advocacy Resources

SNA members can now access state advocacy resources available through the State Support Center on the SNA website. This state advocacy portal is a one-stop-shop for tips on your local advocacy efforts, links to ethics and reporting rules, guidance on hiring a lobbyist, template PowerPoints and more.

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.

Gimme Some Feedback: Preventing Conflicts Through Constructive Feedback
Wednesday, May 24, 2017, 2:00 pm EST
Learn more about constructive feedback and how you can use it to make even the most difficult conversations productive and to prevent conflicts from arising or getting out of hand in your school district or SNA chapter. Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs.  

2017 ANC Mobile App and More Webinar
Tuesday, June 20, 2017, 2:00 pm EST
If you are attending SNA’s Annual National Conference (ANC) in Atlanta, you don’t want to miss this webinar. Get the inside scoop on everything you need to know about ANC from exploring the mobile app to building your own agenda to having a unique conference experience. Tune in to find out why ANC is the School Nutrition Event of the Year! No CEUS will be awarded for this webinar.  


Cafeteria Chat Corner

School Nutrition Association

Countdown to ANC: 47 Days!
At ANC 1997, which was held in Orlando, Fla., the Executive Board approved a new logo for the organization, which at the time was still called the American School Food Service Association (ASFSA). The new logo was designed to reflect the Food Guide Pyramid as a sign of the commitment of members to provide nutritious meals to children. The new tagline, “The Voice of Child Nutrition,” intended to emphasize ASFSA’s expertise in school-based nutrition programs. Speaking of branding, one of SNA’s pre-conference workshops for ANC 2017 is titled “Secrets of #SchoolNutrition Branding: Beyond Meals on Trays.” Here, you will learn the most effective strategies for developing a mission, vision and core values, as well as creating logos, a tagline and media content! To learn more about the workshop, and all the other pre-conference workshops, visit www.schoolnutrition.org/anc and don’t forget to register for ANC today!

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