Tuesday Morning - October 6, 2020

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues
from SNA

Table of Contents

COVID-19 Policy Updates

U.S. Senate Passes Funding and Extends USDA Authority to Grant Waivers
U.S. House Passes Updated HEROES Act

Federal Policy

Federal Register: Information Collection for the Child Nutrition Database
National Farm to School Month
FNS Publishes Evaluation of Direct Certification for School Meals

State Snapshots

Louisiana Introduces Bill to Separate Students’ Lunch from Instructional Time

Mark Your Calendars

Upcoming SNA Webinar
Upcoming FRAC Webinar

Mystery Chat Corner

COVID-19 Policy Updates

U.S. Senate Passes Funding and Extends USDA Authority to Grant Waivers

On September 30, 2020, the U.S. Senate passed H.R. 8337, Continuing Appropriations Act of 2021, a short-term funding bill that provides $1.4 trillion in continuing FY2021 appropriations for Federal agencies through December 11, 2020. This bill also extends the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) authority to issue and extend nationwide child nutrition waivers until September 20, 2021. USDA's authority was first granted back in March under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. President Trump has now signed the bill into law.

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U.S. House Passes Updated HEROES Act

On October 1, 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives passed an updated HEROES Act. Among other provisions, the bill provides “as much funding as necessary” for school meal programs, provides increased flexibility for the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) in low-income communities, ensures that commodity allocations and other child nutrition program calculations are held harmless during months severely impacted by COVID-19, and requires the Secretary of Agriculture to make waiver applications, approvals and denials public in a timely manner. Read a summary of the bill.

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School nutrition staff at Groton Middle School in Groton, Connecticut, preparing an assortment of box meals for students to take home as they start a week of distance learning.

Federal Policy

Federal Register: Information Collection for the Child Nutrition Database

On September 29, 2020, the USDA published the Federal Register notice, "Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request-Child Nutrition (CN) Database." This notice is for a voluntary submission of data, including nutrient data from the food industry, to update and expand the CN Database. The CN Database is a USDA-approved software that allows schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) to analyze meals and measure compliance with USDA nutrition standards. Comments for this collection are due November 30, 2020.

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National Farm to School Month

October is National Farm to School Month. As schools, communities, and food system continue to be impacted by the pandemic, the Farm to School Network is taking the opportunity to honor all those who contribute to feeding students. This year's National Farm to School Month is about expressing gratitude to those who help provide nutritious meals to students, including farmers, harvesters, distributors, school nutrition professionals, garden coordinators, and bus drivers. Nominate a Community Food Champion or check out other Farm to School resources to get involved locally!

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FNS Publishes Evaluation of Direct Certification for School Meals

The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has published the report "An Evaluation of the Direct Certification with Medicaid for Free and Reduced-Price Meals (DCM-F/RP) Demonstrations." This report examines the impact of using Medicaid data to directly certify students for free and reduced-price school meals in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP). This report found that during the 2017-18 school year, DCM-F/RP implementation was generally successful, but with longer timelines than expected. Read the full report.

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State Snapshots

Louisiana Introduces Bill to Separate Students’ Lunch from Instructional Time

HB 58 establishes instructional time requirements for students in public schools; this bill specifically separates a students' instructional time from time spent for lunch.

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Mark Your Calendars

Upcoming SNA Webinar

Next month, join us for the next webinar in SNA’s new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Series and learn about creating a more inclusive environment. If you missed a particular webinar, catch up with SNA’s on-demand webinars.

How to Become a More Inclusive Team Member
Thursday, November 5, 2020, 3:00 pm ET
Everyone wants to work on a team where they feel welcome, respected, and valued. Join us for a webinar designed to do just that—and created especially for the heart of every K-12 foodservice team—school nutrition employees and frontline staff. Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) expert, Dr. Nika White, will provide guidance to help you create a more inclusive environment. She’ll also unlock the secrets to great teamwork and share how you can take small steps that will make a BIG difference every day!

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Upcoming FRAC Webinar

In light of virtual school day models and reduced capacity for in-person afterschool programs, many schools and out-of-school time partners are innovating and tweaking operations in order to continue providing enrichment and nutrition, regardless of the physical setting. On Thursday, October 22, 2020, 3:00 pm ET, join the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) for the webinar "Adding Afterschool Meals to Your Operations." Learn how to leverage existing afterschool nutrition waivers and flexibilities to expand the reach of afterschool suppers and snacks, as well as tips and tricks for planning for the rest of the school year.

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Mystery Chat Corner

In 1889, on October 6th, which inventor showed his first motion picture?
A: Thomas Edison

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Contact Us

2900 S. Quincy Street, Suite 700
Arlington, VA 22206
servicecenter@schoolnutrition.org  

Tel (703) 824-3000
Fax (703) 824-3015

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