Tuesday Morning - October 3, 2017

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues
from SNA

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

Melania Trump Continues White House Vegetable Garden
Moore Beats Strange in Alabama Senate Primary
USDA Offers Options for State Agencies Completing the FNS-640 for SY 2016-17
USDA Comment Request on Study of Non-Response to School Meals Application Verification Process
Celebrate National Farm to School Month in October

State Snapshots

California CEP Bill Passes Legislature

Mark Your Calendars

SNA's Upcoming Webinars
SNF Breakfast Grant Webinar

Cafeteria Chat Corner


Federal Policy

Melania Trump Continues White House Vegetable Garden

On the first day of Autumn, September 22, first lady Melania Trump hosted school children at the White House to tend the garden that Michelle Obama started on the South Lawn. Many in the food and nutrition field were worried that Michelle Obama’s garden would be forgotten and ignored under the new administration, as it is a symbolic piece of the Obama’s food policy legacy, which does not align with the Trump administration’s attitude toward food. The garden, however, continues to be cared for, tended and used in the White House kitchen, and Mrs. Trump encouraged the children to continue developing healthy eating habits, as they harvested lettuce, kale, peas, radishes and mustard. “I’m a big believer in healthy eating because it reflects on your mind and your body,” the First Lady stated in the Kitchen Garden surrounded by about a dozen children. The event concluded with the First Lady sending the children home with gardening kits in addition to honey from the beehive that was also implemented under the Obamas.

Moore Beats Strange in Alabama Senate Primary

The primary for Alabama’s Senate seat was held on September 26. The race for the seat, currently occupied by Senator Luther Strange, resulted in Roy Moore defeating Senator Luther Strange. Strange had been appointed to replace Jeff Sessions, now serving as Attorney General, until a special election could decide who would next fill the seat. Moore had 57 percent of the popular vote, despite the fact that Strange was endorsed by President Trump, and will face Democratic nominee Doug Jones. Strange is on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, and will be vacating that seat when the new Senator is elected after the special general election in December.

USDA Offers Options for State Agencies Completing the FNS-640 for SY 2016-17

Previously, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) issued a memorandum entitled, Administrative Review – Revised Manual, Forms, and Tools (SY 2016-17). The revised manual and forms include the SFA-3, which is a new form created for aggregated site level data collected during the administrative review process and supports data accuracy and seamless data entry when completing the redeveloped FNS-640 report. The new memo issued on September 12, 2017, offers the SY 2016-17 SFA-3 with revised instructions, providing additional information and clarifications to the previously issued instructions. The memo gives two options for State agencies to assist with the burden of completing the SDA-3 using the revised instructions for reviews. The first is reporting SFA-level data on the FNS-640 using the SFA-3 form with the revised instructions; and the second is reporting SFA-level data using other AR forms. More information about the options can be found in the memo.

USDA Comment Request on Study of Non-Response to School Meals Application Verification Process

A Federal Register notice announced that the USDA FNS will be collecting comments in a Study of Non-Response to the School Meals Application Verification Process. The study is intended to examine the accuracy of district verification procedures for students who are eligible to participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), School Breakfast Program (SBP) and to receive free or reduced-price (F/RP) meals through application or direct certification. The data collection will help FNS to analyze and identify potential improvements to the verification process. Comments are due by October 30, 2017.

Celebrate National Farm to School Month in October

October is National Farm to School Month, a time to celebrate connections happening all over the country between schools and local food sources! Farm to school enriches the connection communities have with fresh, healthy food and local food producers by changing food purchasing and education practices at schools and early care and education settings. Farm to school is reaching millions of students in all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and U.S. Territories. This October, get involved and take action to advance farm to school programs in your community and across the country. Learn more about National Farm to School Month, how you can get involved and sign the Take Action pledge to win a package of farm to school prizes by visiting the National Farm to School Network’s website, farmtoschool.org.

State Snapshots

California CEP Bill Passes Legislature

California’s Senate bill, SB 138, passed the Senate as amended and was enrolled and presented to the governor for signature on September 20. The bill requires high poverty schools, including high poverty charter schools, to operate under the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP). The bill exempts a school district if the governing board adopts a resolution stating it is unable to comply due to fiscal hardship. The bill also requires the State Department of Education to share Medi-Cal program data with local educational agencies (LEAs) for purposes of direct certification and requires that LEAs use the participation data to directly certify students beginning with SY 2017-18.

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 #ANC17 2 of 3: USDA Hot Topics: Flexibilities in the School Meal Programs
Wednesday, October 4, 2017, 2:00 pm ET
Register for this webinar to learn about recent changes to the school meal pattern requirement and other guidance as it relates to the school meal program. Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs.

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.

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.

USDA Foods Webinars

An upcoming webinar in the “Demystifying USDA Food Complaints” series hosted by USDA.

Results and Resolutions of USDA Foods in Schools Complaints
1:00 PM ET on Thursday, September 28, 2017
The USDA Foods Complaint Team will present different scenarios as USDA Foods are transported from the vendor to its final destination: school kitchens. The intended audience is Distributing Agencies and Recipient Agencies for USDA Foods in schools, including SDAs as well as schools and warehouses. The USDA Foods Complaint Team’s goals are to provide responsive customer service, investigate and resolve complaints, as well as to provide guidance on how to handle USDA Foods.


Cafeteria Chat Corner

A Look at Agriculture Secretaries of the Past
Arthur Hyde, the 10th United States Secretary of Agriculture, served under President Herbert Hoover from 1929 to 1933. He grew up in Missouri, then went on to graduate from the University of Michigan and got a law degree from the University of Iowa. Upon graduation, he moved back to Missouri to practice law with his father and, additionally, opened a Buick dealership. Eventually, Hyde was elected as Governor of Missouri, serving one term from 1921-25. He returned to practicing law, but stayed active with the Republican Party and was nominated as Secretary of Agriculture. His term was marked with the declining of farm prices, stock market crash and the start of the Great Depression.

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