Tuesday Morning - October 10, 2017

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues
from SNA

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

SNA’s 2017 School Nutrition Trends Report
Censky and McKinney Confirmed by the Senate
SNF’s 2018 Josephine Martin National Policy Fellow
USDA’s 2018 Farm to School Grant RFA Goes Live
USDA Launches Energize Your Day with School Breakfast

State Snapshots

Florida Pre-files Unpaid Meal Bill for 2018
D.C. Universal Meals

Mark Your Calendars

SNA's Upcoming Webinars
SNF Breakfast Grant Webinar
National Farm to School Webinars

Cafeteria Chat Corner


Federal Policy

SNA’s 2017 School Nutrition Trends Report

SNA released its 2017 School Nutrition Trends Report, a summary of findings from a survey conducted with SNA members. The report contains information on menu trends related to student customization, flavor trends and clean label ingredients. 60% of responding districts are offering new menu items that feature international flavors, 56% report serving cleaner label choices and over half offer made-to-order or self-serve entrée bars! The survey also revealed that school nutrition professionals have employed a wide range of tactics to meet sodium and whole grain regulations, but continue to face challenges and express concerns about meeting those particular mandates. For more information, check out SNA’s press release on the report, or read the report summary here.

Censky and McKinney Confirmed by the Senate

On the evening of Tuesday, October 3, 2017, the Senate confirmed Stephen Censky and Ted McKinney for their top positions in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Censky is now USDA deputy secretary and Ted McKinney becomes the first undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs, a newly created position. The pair were advanced by a voice vote by the Senate Agriculture Committee the night before, and were cleared by a voice vote by the entire Senate as part of a package of nominations. Censky and McKinney are the first Senate-confirmed nominees to join the USDA since Agriculture Secretary Perdue took office in April.

SNF’s 2018 Josephine Martin National Policy Fellow

Dr. Josephine Martin, a pioneer in the field of child nutrition, is a vocal advocate for child nutrition at the community, state and federal levels. The Josephine Martin National Policy Fellow is named in her honor, and the recipient attends and is recognized at SNA’s Legislative Action Conference (LAC). All travel expenses are paid, up to $3,000, and the expenses include: airfare, ground transportation, hotel accommodations, conference registration and a per diem for meals. To apply, you must be an active SNA employee or manager section member, have been an SNA member since no later than April 1, 2015, have previously never attended LAC and be interested in child nutrition policy. The 2018 application is currently open for submittals. The application deadline is November 17, 2017, and the selected 2018 Fellow will be announced in January 2018.

USDA’s 2018 Farm to School Grant RFA Goes Live

October is Farm to School Month, and thus the perfect time for USDA’s FY 2018 Farm to School Request for Applications (RFA). The Farm to School Grant Program rewards up to $5 million in competitive grants to help eligible entities implement farm to school programs that improve access to local foods. There are three types of grants—implementation grants, planning grants and training grants—with awards ranging from $20,000 - $50,000. Applications must be submitted by 11:59 pm ET on December 8, 2017. Be sure to check out the Local Food Compass Map to connect with local partners, as well as the USDA Farm to School Census for data from your community, both of which can help to boost your application! More resources for applicants are available, in addition to a list of past awardees since the first RFA in 2013.

USDA Launches Energize Your Day with School Breakfast

Energize Your Day with School Breakfast is a collection of digital resources available on the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) website. The collection can be used by program operators and other stakeholders to establish or expand the breakfast service within their school. The three modules on the website are: “Getting Started with School Breakfast,” “Implementing Your Program,” and “Marketing Your Program.” The toolkit is intended to help schools determine which type of meal service is best for them, calculate costs of operation in conjunction with helping to develop both menus and a marketing plan to encourage student participation. SNA also provides several School Breakfast Program (SBP) resources, such as the archived Operating a Breakfast in the Classroom Program: Everything You Want to Know About Implementation webinar and this report on school breakfast service times.

State Snapshots

Florida Pre-files Unpaid Meal Bill for 2018

Florida House legislator, Rep. Katie Edwards, prefiled an unpaid meals bill for consideration in the 2018 legislative session. HB129, titled “The Hunger-Free Students’ Bill of Rights Act” requires that any student that requests a meal shall receive a USDA reimbursable meal regardless of their ability to pay or status of an unpaid meal balance. The bill also specifies certain steps a school must take for ensuring that every child that is eligible for a free or reduced-price meal completes an application.

D.C. Universal Meals

D.C. Council member Brandon Todd introduced the “Universal Free Lunch for All Amendment Act of 2017” on September 26. Under this bill, all students in District of Columbia public schools, charter schools and participating private schools would be eligible to receive a free school meal.

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.

Community Eligibility: Strategies to Improve Your ISP
Wednesday, October 11, 2017, 2:00 pm ET
Register for this webinar to learn how to take the steps to improve your districts ISP and make community eligibility a more viable option. Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs.

Ask the Expert: Food Allergies Edition
Wednesday, October 18, 2017, 2:00 pm ET
Register for this webinar and join JJ Levenstein, MD, and Jessica Gerdes, RN, for an informative Q&A session on food allergies. Questions submitted to SNA’s Food Allergy Resource Center will be answered. Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs.

Excite and Inspire Students with Fruit
Wednesday, November 1, 2017, 2:00 pm ET
Register for this webinar to learn more about produce and fruit trends on school foodservice menus. Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs.

SNF Breakfast Grant Webinar

The School Nutrition Foundation (SNF) is excited to share that there are still funds available for eligible districts to expand their grab ’n go and direct delivery to the classroom breakfast programs! Join the Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom on Tuesday, October 10 from 2:00-3:30 pm ET for the Talk Tuesday webinar, “Funding Available for Grab N’ Go and Direct Delivery to the Classroom Breakfast Programs!” During this webinar, you will to hear from previously funded districts on how the grant funding helped support their universal free breakfast programs.

National Farm to School Webinars

In the spirit of National Farm to School Month, check out these upcoming webinars hosted by the National Farm to School Network.

Farm to Early Care and Education in Head Start – A Natural Alignment
Tuesday, October 10, 2017, 3:00 pm ET
Explore the National Farm to School Network’s exciting new resource, Growing Head Start Success with Farm to Early Care and Education, and hear from Head Start practitioners about best practices and successes in implementing farm to ECE in the Head Start setting.

Results and Resolutions of USDA Foods in Schools Complaints
Wednesday, October 11, 2017, 12:00 pm ET
This webinar is part of a wider effort to promote the release of the associated report, “Economic Impacts of Farm to School: Case Studies and Assessment Tools” (a collaborative project of the National Farm to School Network and Colorado State University). Panelists will discuss findings of the new report; highlight the use of two key resources for conducting economic impact studies of food system initiatives and their application to farm to school economic impact assessment; and discuss continuing work to better understand the impacts of farm to school activities. Additional panelists include representatives from USDA Office of Community Food Systems, USDA Agricultural Marketing Service and Cornell University.


Cafeteria Chat Corner

A Look at Agriculture Secretaries of the Past
Ann Veneman was the first and only woman to hold the position of U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. Veneman held office from January 2001 until January 2005, leaving to become the Executive Director of UNICEF. As Secretary of Agriculture, she managed outbreaks of several diseases within the U.S. and abroad, incentivizing her to strengthen the USDA’s regulatory oversight and protections. She also oversaw the transition from paper food stamps to electronic debit cards, and released new Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which formed the basis for USDA’s MyPyramid. Currently, Ann Veneman serves as co-leader of the Nutrition and Physical Activity Initiative at the Bipartisan Policy Center and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

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