Tuesday Morning - September 25, 2018

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues
from SNA

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

SNA Meets with Secretary Perdue to Discuss School Meal Programs
USDA Announces Free School Meals for North Carolina Children Impacted by Florence
Alliance for a Healthier Generation Releases 2018 “Healthiest Schools” Rankings
Research Finds Positive Impact of CEP on Student Disciplinary Outcomes

State Snapshots

Two School Meals Bills Introduced in New Jersey
Florida High School to Provide Vegan Entrée Options

Mark Your Calendars

SNA's Upcoming Webinars

Mystery Chat Corner


Federal Policy

SNA Meets with Secretary Perdue to Discuss School Meal Programs

Last week, SNA was invited to participate in a roundtable with USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue to discuss ways the Department can improve the administration of school meal programs. Along with SNA, representatives from the Council of the Great City Schools, the National School Boards Association and the School Superintendents Association were in attendance.

The group discussed complex and burdensome administrative and reporting requirements and the need to streamline mandates so that school nutrition professionals can focus on feeding students. According to the Secretary, increasing program efficiency and accountability is a priority for USDA. Department officials also stressed that a final rule on school meal flexibilities is forthcoming.

USDA Announces Free School Meals for North Carolina Children Impacted by Florence

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced last week that all children living in disaster areas in North Carolina will have access to free school meals through the National School Lunch Program through October 26th. The Department estimates this will benefit 284,000 children in 31 school districts.

In addition to providing free school meals, the Department is also temporarily allowing meals to be served that vary from menu planning or meal pattern requirements through October 19th. In response to unanticipated school closures resulting from the storm, USDA is also allowing the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina to operate summer meal programs, serve meals that vary from normal program standards and allow children to take meals home.

Alliance for a Healthier Generation Releases 2018 “Healthiest Schools” Rankings

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a nonprofit initiative aimed at encouraging lifelong healthy lifestyles for children, released its annual report on “America’s Healthiest Schools.” In total 461 schools were recognized across 26 states and the District of Columbia. The schools were evaluated on a number of criteria including nutritional goals, such as: meeting or exceeding federal nutritional standards; offering breakfast daily; and nutrition education and promotion.

Research Finds Positive Impact of CEP on Student Disciplinary Outcomes

A working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research examined the relationship between the adoption of CEP and disciplinary outcomes. They found that elementary and middle schools that participate in the program saw a reduction in suspension rates. This reduction was concentrated in areas with higher levels of estimated child food insecurity.

State Snapshots

Two School Meals Bills Introduced in New Jersey

Members of the New Jersey General Assembly introduced two school meals bills into the state’s lower house. A4360 would prohibit actions that would publicly identify or stigmatize a student who carries meal debt or who cannot afford a meal, such as requiring the student to wear a wristband, prohibiting their participation in school activities or requiring the student to work or perform chores. A4396 requires the Departments of Agriculture and Education to work together to create a marketing campaign promoting school meal programs.

Florida High School to Provide Vegan Entrée Options

In response to inquiries from students, cafeteria manager Robin Brown of Fort Walton Beach High School has begun offering vegan entrée options, becoming the first school in the area to do so. The school’s new vegan options have included chickpea curry and black bean burgers, and both students and staff members have responded positively to the new offerings. The school is joining a growing trend: according to SNA’s 2018 Operations Report, nearly 14% of school districts surveyed offered vegan meal options, up 2.4% from 2016.

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 #ANC18: PLEASE Stop Working on Your Weaknesses!
Wednesday, September 26, 2018, 2:00 pm ET
As presented at #ANC18, this leadership session webinar makes the concept of “working in your strength zone” practical and simple to understand and implement. Learn to develop your strengths while understanding how to work in an environment where you can’t do everything perfectly. Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs.

Best of #ANC18: A Director's Guide to SLAY the Administrative Review!
Wednesday, October 3, 2018, 2:00 pm ET
Does the thought of an Administrative Review (AR) frighten you? Hear from directors who have created the “Successful, Logical, Accurate, Yielding positive results” method (SLAY) to achieve a successful AR. Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs.

Best of #ANC18: Rolling the Dice with Mobile Buses
Wednesday, October 10, 2018, 2:00 pm ET
Thinking about rolling the dice on a mobile feeding bus? As presented at #ANC18, join this webinar to learn how to design a mobile feeding bus and how to effectively integrate it throughout your program. Bring your chips and be ready to ante up so your program can go all-in with mobile feeding! Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs.

Back to School: New SNA Resources & Tools to Benefit Your Program
Wednesday, October 11, 2018, 2:00 pm ET
Join SNA Staff to learn about all of the new SNA resources designed to help you and your program. Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs.

Mushrooms in Schools: Creating On-Trend Meals with More Flavor and Less Sodium
Wednesday, October 24, 2018, 2:00 pm ET
Learn how large and small districts are utilizing blended commercial products as well as local mushrooms and new IQF options on breakfast menus, lunch trays and salad bars. Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs.

Missed a webinar? Check out our webinars on-demand and catch up on the hottest topics in school nutrition.

Mystery Chat Corner

Whose history making Supreme Court appointment occurred on this day thirty-seven years ago?
On September 25, 1981, following the first televised confirmation hearing, Sandra Day O’Connor was sworn in as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. Justice O’Connor was nominated by President Ronald Reagan and was the first woman to serve on the Court. Before joining the Court, Justice O’Connor served in the Arizona Senate and as a Judge of the Arizona Court of Appeals. Following her retirement in 2006, she served as the 23rd Chancellor of the College of William and Mary until 2012.

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