URGENT: Comment on Nutrition Standards for Next School Year!

2022-03-18

SNA has submitted comments in response to USDA’s Child Nutrition Programs: Transitional Standards for Milk, Whole Grains and Sodium for SY 2022/23 and SY 2023/24. We urge all members to take action TODAY to ask USDA to ease rules for schools battling supply chain disruptions.

BACKGROUND:
In February, USDA issued a final rule, with a request for comments, on transitional nutrition standards. At the time, USDA indicated it would extend meal pattern waivers for schools unable to meet these rules due to supply chain disruptions. However, last week Congress failed to give USDA authority to extend pandemic child nutrition waivers, and it remains unclear what meal pattern flexibility USDA will be able to offer after June 30. 

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TAKE ACTION!
Submit your comments in response to the transitional rule through SNA’s Action Network! Comments are due by 11:59 PM on March 24. Consider using the pre-provided, editable text to share your support for SNA’s comments, and add details about the challenges your school meal program or company faces in meeting these standards, as well as concerns about USDA’s plan to propose additional long-term nutrition standards this fall. When you submit your comment to USDA, a second message will be sent to your legislators to emphasize the critical need for their support.  

SNA’s comments highlight ongoing supply chain, labor and cost challenges that impact efforts to meet sodium and whole grain rules. SFAs should not face fiscal action for their inability to meet meal pattern requirements due to supply chain disruptions. The letter stresses “the need for realistic and achievable standards moving forward,” highlighting challenges to additional sodium reductions in school meals.

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