Tuesday Morning - September 5, 2017

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues
from SNA

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

SNA Submits Comment on Direct Certification Study
USDA Approves Waiver to Serve Expanded School Meals for Areas Affected by Harvey
USDA Awards Grants for School, Child Care Nutrition Efforts

State Snapshots

California Food Advertising Bill Amended
Puerto Rico School Vending Machines

Mark Your Calendars

SNA’s Upcoming Webinars
Food Research and Action Center Webinars

Cafeteria Chat Corner

Federal Policy

SNA Submits Comment on Direct Certification Study

SNA submitted a comment regarding the Submission for OMB review Comment Request on the Evaluation of the DirectCertification with Medicaid for Free and Reduced-Priced (DCM-F/RP) MealsDemonstration. In the comment submission, SNA requested that the designs of that study, as well as the Evaluation ofthe School Meal Data Collection Process, minimize the burden on responders. Child Nutrition Programs overall would greatly benefit from streamlined processes and procedures, including those related to school meal data collections and direct certification, and this was made clear. It was also noted that streamlining meal benefit eligibility requirement procedures should maintain and protect the integrity of the student information. SNA was happy to submit a comment and is looking forward to working with FNS in any way possible to ease meal eligibility procedures.

USDA Approves Waiver to Serve Expanded School Meals for Areas Affected by Harvey

Schools in Texas that have been affected by Tropical Storm Harvey will serve universal free school meals for September. The announcement was made by Texas Agriculture Commissioner, Sid Miller, after the state’s request for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to serve expanded free meals was approved on Tuesday, August 29, 2017. The waiver allows for students who were displaced by the storm and placed in other districts to be eligible for free meals, and allows for meals to be served at different times of the day. The waiver covers 1.3 million students in 18 counties in Texas and works to make sure that children get the food they need, when they need it.

USDA Awards Grants for School, Child Care Nutrition Efforts

On Thursday, August 31, 2017, the USDA announced that 11 states were selected to receive a total of $5.3 million in grants for new resources for nutrition education and food service training. The grants are Team Nutrition Training Grants and are competitive three-year grants of up to $500,000 per state. They are awarded annually and are a part of USDA’s Team Nutrition initiative. The states that will be receiving this year’s grants are Arizona, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Rhode Island, Virginia and Wisconsin. More information about USDA’s Team Nutrition grants can be found on their website

State Snapshots

California Food Advertising Bill Amended

California bill AB 841 was read a third time and amended. The bill provides that all foods served, including a la carte items, are fruit, vegetables, dairy, protein, or whole grain-rich food items. The bill also prohibits a school from advertising, or using as incentive, food or beverages during the school day that do not comply with these same nutritional standards.

Puerto Rico School Vending Machines

Puerto Rico bill PC 483 was referred to the House Calendar. The bill requires that food and beverage vending machines located in public schools only contain products that align with USDA standards.

Mark Your Calendars

SNA's Upcoming Webinars

Registration is open for the September 6th webinar, “Host A Legislator Site Visit.” Read all about it and other upcoming professional development webinars.

Host a Legislator Site Visit
Wednesday, September 6, 2017, 2:00 pm ET
Bringing your legislator in for a behind-the-scenes look at the daily operation of your school cafeteria could make the difference in preventing block grants, preserving funding and expanding commodity support. Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs.

Best of ANC#17 1 of 3: Modifications to Accommodate Disabilities
Wednesday, September 20, 2017, 2:00 pm ET
Register for this webinar and learn important updates to requirements related to accommodating children with disabilities participating in the School Meal Programs. Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs.

Seafood: It's Time to Catch On!
Wednesday, September 27, 2017, 2:00 pm ET
Register for this webinar and learn important updates to requirements related to accommodating children with disabilities participating in the School Meal Programs. Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs.


Food Research & Action Center Webinars

The Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) offers the Meals Matter webinar series to assist school nutrition professionals in the operation of their programs.

Debriefing Summer and Setting Goals for Next Year
Thursday, September 7, 2017, 1:00 pm ET
With summer meals wrapping up, early fall is the perfect time to debrief with partners, identify your program's strengths and weaknesses, and to create goals for next year. Join this call to learn about ways to look back and evaluate your summer program’s challenges and successes and use the knowledge to increase participation next year.

Weekend Meals, Holidays and Emergency Closures
Thursday, September 21, 2017, 1:00 pm ET
Serving meals during weekends and holidays ensures access to nutritious meals for the children attending your program during the week and greatly increases the number of meals you can claim for reimbursement to help maintain the financial health of your afterschool program. Join us to learn more about what it would mean for your afterschool program to extend its service into weekends and school holidays. We will also discuss how to address emergency closures, specifically with vendors, meal storage, and participant communication.

Unpaid School Meal Fees
Thursday, September 14, 2017, 3:00 pm ET
Over the summer, school districts were required by USDA to put into effect an official, unpaid meal policy that addresses what happens when a hungry student cannot pay for their school meal. What is included in the various district policies, and how have several states gotten involved? This webinar will explore the recent outcomes of USDA’s unpaid meal policy mandate and share resources for implementing an effective policy that does not harm or shame students.  


Cafeteria Chat Corner

A Look at Agriculture Secretaries of the Past
Henry A. Wallace was the 11th United States Secretary of Agriculture, serving from 1933-1940 under President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He also went on to serve as the 33rd Vice President of the United States, and 10th Secretary of Commerce. He followed in his father’s footsteps whose name was Henry C. Wallace and served as the 7thSecretary of Agriculture, under Presidents Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge. Henry A. Wallace, was one of three Republicans that Roosevelt appointed to his cabinet.

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servicecenter@schoolnutrition.org  

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