Tuesday Morning - April 12, 2022

1 big thing: New school nutrition waivers bill introduced

Veggies

What’s new: U.S. Representative Jackie Walorski (R-IN) introduced H.R. 7373, the Securing Nutrition for American Communities and Kids (SNACK) Act. on April 1, 2022. The SNACK Act extends certain waivers for school nutrition programs continuing to struggle with supply chain disruptions. 

Why it matters: The bill would amend the Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020 to allow schools to continue non-congregate summer food service, which enables programs to offer meals to individual students either in-person or by pickup rather than in a group setting, through September 30, 2022. Additionally, the SNACK Act would extend “supply chain waivers” through the upcoming school year, until June 2024. 

Go deeper: For a complete list of federal school nutrition bills and information on which legislation SNA is endorsing download the 117th Congress Bills spreadsheet in the Action Network

2. The latest in USDA research

USDA Building in DC

What’s new: The USDA released the latest results of research efforts on child nutrition topics including Medicaid Direct Certification, Supply Chain Disruptions and implementation and impact of CEP. Links to the research results and a brief summary of key findings are listed below. 

Results of School Food Authority Survey on Supply Chain Disruption 

  • According to the survey, 90 percent of SFAs are using the Seamless Summer Option Waiver to serve meals in SY2021-22. Ninety two percent of SFAs are experiencing challenges due to supply chain disruptions. Procuring meal service supplies, meat/meat alternates and whole grain items are among the main challenges SFAs are facing, and they reported these as getting worse compared to the beginning of SY2021-22. 

    📝TAKE ACTION and urge Congress to provide USDA authority to extend waivers for school nutrition programs struggling with supply chain disruptions. 

Direct Certification with Medicaid for Free and Reduced-Price Meals Demonstration, SY 2019-20 

  • In SY2019-20, more than 1.2 million students eligible for free meals and 240,000 students eligible for reduced price meals were directly certified based on Medicaid data in the 13 states for which this outcome was measured. State administrative costs decreased over the course of the demonstration, and only three states reported administrative costs for DCM-F/RP above $5,000 in SY2019–20. 

 USDA Community Eligibility Provision Characteristics Study, SY 2016-17 

  • CEP participation increased both student school meal participation and level of federal reimbursements. The LEA-wide Identified Student Percentage (ISP) was the most important perceived factor in CEP election. Eligible, non-participating LEAs indicated that CEP would be more appealing if the factor used to determine meal reimbursement levels were increased. 

 

3. SNA 2022 1st Quarter State Legislative Report

SNA logo

What’s new: SNA’s 2021 First Quarter State Legislative Summary is now available.

Why it matters: During this first quarter, state legislatures introduced 35 key bills pertaining to school nutrition. Trends across states include universal school meals, increasing time to eat and alleviating administrative burdens. State legislation and policies usually trickle down to other states and eventually make their way to Congress.

What’s next: Please visit SNA’s website to learn more about our state advocacy resources and find guidance to develop an effective message and stay informed on legislative updates. 

4. State legislative update

Map of US

🔎Let’s look at the latest state updates…

Minnesota State Senator D. Scott Dibble introduced legislation to amend the current statute and require schools that participate in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) School Breakfast Program to provide, at no cost, a federally reimbursable breakfast to all enrolled students each school day. The Department of Education would have to provide funding equal to the difference between the federal reimbursement and the average cost of a school breakfast as annually defined by USDA. This bill was referred to the Education Finance and Policy Committee.

  • A companion bill has been filed by Representative Jamie Long, to provide to all schools participating in the federal School Breakfast Program funding equal to the difference between the federal reimbursement and the average cost of a school breakfast as annually defined by the USDA.  

The Vermont Senate Committee on Agriculture introduced the “Universal School Breakfast and Creation of the Task Force on Universal School Lunch Act” to provide universal school breakfast for all public school students at no cost to the students or their families with funding provided to school districts from the Education Fund. The bill also establishes a task force whose purpose is to advise the legislature on how to make school food programs universally available to all public school students at no cost to the students or their families. The task force is required to submit their recommendation by no later than the 2026-27 school year. This bill has passed the Senate and has been referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.  

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