Tuesday Morning - April 10, 2018

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues
from SNA

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

SNA Comments on Review of Applications Process
FDA Announces Nutrition Plan
SNA Submits Comments on Dietary Guidelines

State Snapshots

2018 First Quarter State Legislative Report
Maryland Legislature Eliminates Reduced-Price Category

Mark Your Calendars

SNA's Upcoming Webinars
USDA Summer Meals Webinars
Food Research & Action Center Webinars

Cafeteria Chat Corner


Federal Policy

SNA Comments on Review of Applications Process

SNA submitted comments April 9, 2018, in response to a Federal Register Notice: Agency Collection Activities: Evaluation of the Independent Review of Applications Process for School Meals. This is a proposed new collection published in the Federal Register on February 6, 2018.

The intention is to provide the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) with information on the effectiveness of the Independent Review of Applications (IRA) requirement that is conducted in designated Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) that are high risk for administrative error in the certification of free and reduced-price meal applications. Read SNA’s full comments.

FDA Announces Nutrition Plan

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottleib recently introduced an initiative called the Nutrition Innovation Strategy, that is intended to be a multiyear, comprehensive effort in improving the health of Americans who are increasingly dealing with issues such as obesity and high blood pressure. Gottlieb introduced a plan that includes reducing the amount of sodium people consume, and the FDA also plans to update its short-term voluntary sodium targets in 2019. Gottlieb said he would also direct the agency to continue to discuss longer-term reduction efforts.

As part of the effort, the agency will take a "fresh look" at current standards of identity — which regulate what can and cannot be in foods — by taking into account marketing trends and the latest nutritional science, he said. "The standards of identity for certain cheeses don't always permit the use of salt substitutes, which could be used to lower the sodium content of cheese," he said. He added that the agency wanted to maintain nutritional quality of products while also giving the industry flexibility to innovate.

"I think the most important thing that we can do is get back to public health basics: Reduce smoking rates, promote healthy diets, promote vaccination rates," he said in a Wednesday interview on CNBC, hinting that nutrition would get more attention. "If we can actually make significant progress in those three things, the public health gains would dwarf any single invention that we could come up with. So we've said what we're going to do on tobacco. I think we're going to start talking a lot more about nutrition starting tomorrow."

SNA Submits Comments on Dietary Guidelines

SNA submitted comments March 30, 2018, in response to a Federal Register Notice – Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA): Request for Comments on Topics and Questions. Once USDA and HHS consider public comments, they will post a public notice for recommendations for appointees to the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC). The areas of expertise needed will be based on the final topics and supporting scientific questions. When the topics are finalized and posted, SNA will form a working group to develop recommendations for nominees to the DGAC.

State Snapshots

2018 First Quarter State Legislative Report

SNA’s 2018 First Quarter State Legislative Report takes a look at the key legislation trending across the country and provides the latest updates on their status. Every school nutrition program is different because, despite baseline federal requirements, each must navigate the state and local policies as well. Catch up on what issues might be simmering in your state, and neighboring states, in this report.

Maryland Legislature Eliminates Reduced-Price Category

The Maryland Cares for Kids Act, HB 315, passed the Maryland House on March 19th and the Maryland Senate on April 2nd. As of July 2019, Maryland will cover the school meal reduced-price copay for parents. The state will begin partial funding in the form of 10 cents per breakfast and lunch for Fiscal Year 2020, and continue implementation over four years until the complete copay is covered.

Mark Your Calendars

SNA's Upcoming Webinars

Learn about hot topics in school nutrition and earn Continuing Education Units with SNA’s popular professional development webinars.

Register Now:

Community Eligibility Series, Part 3: Strategies for Partial Implementation
Wednesday, April 11, 2018, 2:00 pm ET
SNA and the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) have partnered to bring you this webinar. Learn more about the flexibility of school districts in implementing CEP.
Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs.

Natural Disasters: Preparation and Impact
Wednesday, May 2, 2018, 2:00 pm ET
In the wake of a natural disaster, school nutrition professionals are often first responders. Join this webinar to learn about year-round preparation efforts and direct solutions from school nutrition directors and state agency officials who have experienced the effects of recent record-breaking climate events. 
Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs.

Emotional Intelligence: The Leadership Edge
Wednesday, May 9, 2018, 2:00 pm ET
 In the webinar, we will focus on the mindset and skill set for enhancing your social and emotional intelligence. The sessions will help you better understand interpersonal differences and your influence or impact on others.
Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs.

USDA Summer Meals Webinars

USDA is hosting a series of Summer Meals Program webinars.

What Cities Can Teach Us About Summer Meals
Tuesday, April 17, 2018, 1:00 pm ET

Boosting Your Budget – Summer Meals Financial Planning
Tuesday, May 15, 2018, 1:00 pm ET

Middle of Summer Strategies
Thursday, June 14, 2018, 1:00 pm EST

Food Research & Action Center Webinars

The Food Research & Action Center provides their Meals Matter Webinar Series to assist school nutrition operators in their meal programs.

Improving Afterschool Meal Quality and Reducing Waste
Thursday, April 19, 2018, 1:00 pm ET
Healthy, high-quality meals help to attract children to educational and enrichment programming and keep them coming throughout the school year, while also reducing waste. Communicating with vendors, incorporating feedback from children, and farm to school initiatives are just some successful strategies. Join us to learn how afterschool programs, advocates, and community partners can improve meal quality and appeal while being conscious of ways to reduce food waste.


Cafeteria Chat Corner

“Research shows that many children who do not have enough to eat wind up with diminished capacity to understand and learn. Children don’t have to be starving for this to happen. Even mild undernutrition – the kind most common among poor people in America – can do it.” Carl Sagan


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