Tuesday Morning - September 22, 2020

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues
from SNA

Table of Contents

COVID-19 Policy Updates

USDA Publishes SFSP Reimbursement Waiver and Q&A on SFSP/SSO
Clarification on NSLP/SBP Meal Pattern Rules for SY 2020-21

Federal Policy

Representative Davis Introduces Operation Feed Our Kids Act
Senator McConnell Responds to Letter from SNA Member

State Snapshots

South Carolina Introduces Resolution to Recognize School Nutrition Director

Mark Your Calendars

Upcoming SNA Webinar

Mystery Chat Corner

COVID-19 Policy Updates

USDA Publishes SFSP Reimbursement Waiver and Q&A on SFSP/SSO

On September 11, 2020, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) released two documents:

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Clarification on NSLP/SBP Meal Pattern Rules for SY 2020-21

SNA continues to receive inquiries regarding meal pattern requirements for school meal programs operating the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs (NSLP/SBP). In April 2020, a federal district court ruling struck down USDA’s 2018 final rule, Child Nutrition Programs: Flexibilities for Milk, Whole Grains, and Sodium Requirements. The ruling eliminated NSLP/SBP meal pattern flexibilities, reverting back to the 2012 meal patterns for grades K-12, which required flavored milk to be fat free; all grains to be whole-grain rich; and school lunches and breakfasts to meet sodium target 2.

However, USDA’s COVID–19: Nationwide Waiver to Allow Meal Pattern Flexibility in the Child Nutrition Programs waived for all states the requirement to serve meals that meet the meal patterns during school year 2020-21. USDA is allowing school meal programs to use this meal pattern flexibility if they cannot meet the 2012 meal pattern requirements. In the August 21, 2020 FNS document, Questions and Answers for the Child Nutrition Programs during School Year 2020-2021 – #5, FNS addresses the issue on pages 5 and 6. School nutrition professionals operating NSLP/SBP should contact their State Agencies for more information on the waiver process.

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In La Crosse, Wisconsin, school nutrition staff at Holmen School District prepare over 2,000 meals each day for home delivery. First, school meals are ordered online by each family, then individually packaged meals are delivered by bus to the community.

Federal Policy

Representative Davis Introduces Operation Feed Our Kids Act

On September 21, 2020, Representatives Rodney Davis (IL-13), Jim Costa (CA-20), Don Bacon (NE-2), and Abigail Spanberger (VA-3) introduced the bipartisan bill H.R.8325, Operation Feed our Kids Act. The bill's title is in reference to the Operation Feed Our Kids Working Group call hosted by SNA this past May on the impacts of COVID-19 on participation, revenue, staffing concerns, and feasible meal service methods. Therefore, this Act directs the USDA to extend child nutrition waivers granted under CARES ACT authority for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year. In addition, this bill extends the waiver authority deadline until December 31, 2021.

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Senator McConnell Responds to Letter from SNA Member

On September 21, 2020, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) sent a letter to an SNA member in Kentucky in response to an action alert on the impact of COVID-19 on child nutrition programs. This letter illustrates Congress's past actions on school nutrition issues, including Senator McConnell signing onto a letter encouraging USDA to provide operators' the flexibility to continue to serve meals. Also, McConnell assures that as a Senate Agriculture Committee member, he will monitor all further efforts to improve child nutrition programs. Read the full letter.

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State Snapshots

South Carolina Introduces Resolution to Recognize School Nutrition Director

SR 1270 or HR 5557 is a resolution to recognize and congratulate School Nutrition Director Cindy Jacobs of Laurens Country School District for her leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since school closures, she and her staff have served over 600,000 meals to students between March and July.

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Mark Your Calendars

Upcoming SNA Webinar

Next week, join us for the first webinar in SNA’s new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Series and learn about the importance of building intentionally inclusive leadership. If you missed a particular webinar, catch up with SNA’s on-demand webinars.

Growing as an Intentional Inclusionist®
Thursday, October 1, 2020, 3:00 PM ET
Viewing diversity and inclusion as a leadership function is vital for teams. During this training, Dr. Nika White will empower and equip participants to build their inclusion leadership competencies. Our first installment in this series is designed specifically for leaders of teams. These may include school nutrition directors, managers, state agency, and industry professionals.

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Mystery Chat Corner

On September 22, 1985, the first annual benefit concert held for American Farmers was hosted in Champaign, Illinois, and founded by which three musicians?
A: Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Neil Young

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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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