Tuesday Morning - November 28, 2017

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues
from SNA

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

SNA Leadership to Draft 2018 Position Paper
SNA Comments on USDA Study of SAE Formula
USDA Federal Register Notice; Summer Meal Study
Senate to Vote on FY 2018 Budget Today

State Snapshots

New Jersey Bills Head to Hearing

Mark Your Calendars

SNA's Upcoming Webinars
National CACFP Sponsors Association National Conference
SNF/Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom Grants & Webinar
USDA Direct Certification Improvement Grants
USDA Farm to School Grant Program

Cafeteria Chat Corner


Federal Policy

SNA Leadership to Draft 2018 Position Paper

On December 4, the SNA President and President-Elect, alongside the Public Policy & Legislation Committee (PPL), will meet to draft the Association’s 2018 Position Paper. The Position Paper reflects the Association's top legislative/regulatory priorities and will serve as the roadmap for SNA's 2018 advocacy efforts. SNA and members will advocate for these positions to Congress, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Trump Administration during the 2018 Legislative Action Conference's (LAC) “Charge to the Hill” and throughout the year. In early November, an online survey was distributed via email to all SNA members in order to collect feedback on the issues that members feel are most important to include in the Position Paper. The survey was conducted from November 1-15, 2017. A total of 3,646 responses were received.

SNA Comments on USDA Study of SAE Formula

On November 22, 2017, SNA submitted a comment in response to the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service’s (FNS) Federal Register Notice, Assessing the Child Nutrition State Administrative Expense Allocation (SAE) Formula. SNA’s comments addressed the collection of information related to this project and recommendations to improve the collection process.

Suggestions from SNA included: ensuring that there is not a reduction in current state funding levels; considering the number of school food authorities (SFAs) in a state that a State Agency must oversee; and keeping in mind the decrease in grant money that has been available to SFAs to cover expanding administrative costs. SNA also suggested that USDA gather as much input as possible on issues facing State Agencies by reaching out to state directors across the country, hosting a series of focus groups, and reviewing SAE Plans submitted to USDA, which will allow researchers to gather data and minimize the information collection process burden on State agencies. As usual, SNA encourages FNS to streamline the collection process for the respondents so as not to place even more burdens on school meal program administrators.

USDA Federal Register Notice; Summer Meal Study

On November 17, 2017, USDA published a Federal Register Notice announcing a new Summer Meal Study. Legislation regarding the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) Seamless Summer Option (SSO) requires programs participating in them to participate in program research and evaluation. Even though SFSP and SSO served over 3.85 million summer meals in July, there is an opportunity to reduce the gap between children who participate in school meal programs during the school year and those who participate in the summer. The study is intended to help identify strategies to increase participation in summer meals, as well as assess the nutritional quality of the meals served. Comments regarding this information collection must be received by December 18, 2017.

Senate to Vote on FY 2018 Budget Today

Congress returned to Washington D.C. this week and the U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote on the FY 2018 budget Tuesday, November 28, at 2:30pm. To avoid a government shutdown, a continuing resolution or new budget must be passed by December 8. Among controversial issues such as immigration, defense spending and health care, the final budget bill must also reconcile House and Senate language with differing levels of school nutrition equipment and training funding. The House FY 2018 Appropriations Bill, H.R. 3354, includes $25 million in grants for equipment and training needs. The Senate FY 2018 Appropriations Bill, S.1603, provides for $30 million in grants for equipment for school nutrition programs and an additional $2 million for training.

State Snapshots

New Jersey Bills Head to Hearing

Two New Jersey school nutrition bills are scheduled for a hearing Thursday, November 30. "The Smarter Lunchroom Act" requires the Commissioner of Education to make every effort to support schools in implementing the strategies of The Smarter Lunchroom Movement. A 4908 directs the New Jersey Department of Education to establish online applications for the NSLP and School Breakfast Program (SBP).

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.

In a Crazy World… There Are Simple Solutions for Positive Communication
Wednesday, December 6, 2017, 2:00 pm ET
Communication with those we work with is not always easy but a necessity nonetheless. In this seemingly unhinged world we all need to be reminded that the true quality of both our work and personal lives are a direct result of our relationships. This webinar takes a focused, and sometimes humorous, look at ourselves and how we interact with others. Join us to learn and reinforce simple solutions for positive communications during your day. Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs.

National CACFP Sponsors Association National Conference

The annual National CACFP Sponsors Association conference for the Child and Adult Care Food Program, Afterschool Program, and Summer Food Program is open for registration. Visit www.cacfp.org to learn more and to register.

SNF/Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom Grants & Webinar

The School Nutrition Foundation (SNF), along with the Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom, are offering grants for direct delivery, grab n’ go, and second chance breakfast. These grants are available to high-need schools and districts in Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah to cover the upfront costs often associated with the startup and implementation of breakfast in the classroom and grab n’ go programs, such as purchasing equipment, outreach efforts to parents, program promotion, and other related expenses. Grants are flexible, based on need, and accepted on a rolling deadline. Watch an archived webinar highlighting a previously funded district with a great panel of stakeholder perspectives including a school nutrition director, principal, and superintendent.

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.

USDA Farm to School Grant Program

The purpose of the USDA Farm to School Grant Program is to assist eligible entities in implementing farm to school (F2S) programs that improve access to local foods in eligible schools. On an annual basis, USDA awards up to $5 million in competitive grants for training, supporting operations, planning, purchasing equipment, developing school gardens, developing partnerships and implementing F2S programs. Complete applications must be submitted on Grants.gov by 11:59 p.m. ET on December 8, 2017. Check out F2S resources for applicants and see a list of awardees since the release of our first RFA in 2013!


Cafeteria Chat Corner

Countdown to SNA’s LAC: 95 Days!
First year attending SNA’s Legislative Action Conference (LAC)? Have no fear—there is a breakout session for you, entitled LAC 101: Strategies for Successful Hill Visits. During this session, you will learn everything you need to know before “Charging the Hill” to meet with your elected officials to talk about school meal programs! Registration for LAC opens in December.

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

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

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