Tuesday Morning - April 14, 2020

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues
from SNA

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

SNA Comments on Turnip the Beet Program
SNA Comments on Information Collection for CPI
Dietary Guidelines Committee Update

State Snapshots

Hawaii Introduces Bill to Modify Procurement Practices During COVID-19

Mark Your Calendars

SNA's Upcoming Webinars
FRAC Meals Matter Webinars

Mystery Chat Corner

COVID-19 Policy Updates

SNA continues to advocate on behalf of members working to safely serve students during COVID-19 closures. Read details on the latest policy updates in this section of Tuesday Morning and on the SNA Coronavirus Resources Policy Updates  webpage

USDA Releases FFVP COVID-19 Memo

The USDA has released a new memo regarding flexibilities in the operation of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) during COVID-19 school closures. 

Food Assistance for Kids and Families During COVID-19Act

On April 3rd, U.S. Representative Jahana Hayes (D-CT5) introduced H.R 6445, the Food Assistance for Kids and Families During COVID-19 Act. This bill would modify nutrition programs to address the Ccoronavirus; specifically, it would protect access to food for children and families across the United States by easing administrative barriers for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and The Emergency Feeding Assistance Program (TEFAP). This bill has been referred to the House Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management. 

Advocacy Feedback through SNA’s Polls

As SNA communicates with members about top COVID-19 policy concerns, we respectfully ask that you feedback through our short advocacy polls. Receiving information in this way will allow us to more accurately advocate on your behalf.  

USDA Launches New Program in Michigan to Feed Kids

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that Michigan is the first state to be approved to operate the Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT). EBT is a new supplemental food purchasing benefit program to offset the costs of providing meals.

Shenae-RoweCOVID-19 Stories From the Front Line

"The community has been incredibly supportive of our efforts, kids decorate cars with "Thank You" and "We Love Our Lunch Ladies"… Parents have emailed and called me to thank us for our services. They said this has been so important for the mental health of their kids. Overall, it has been a great thing even through the difficult times and nervous breakdowns (haha). I am so proud of what I do each and every day.”   -Shenae Rowe, WCSC Food & Nutrition Director.

Federal Policy

SNA Comments on Turnip the Beet Program

SNA has submitted comments to the U.S Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Services for the Federal Register notice Agency Information Collection Activities: Turnip the Beet! High Quality Summer Meals Award Program. While “Turnip the Beet” is a very beneficial program for feeding students through the summer, these comments express that there are also barriers and challenges to improving the quality of meals. SNA recommends the incorporation of a multi-step approach to assessment using State agency professionals to allow for input and verification from personnel who are aware of the expectations and outcomes.

SNA Comments on Information Collection for CPI

On April 2, 2020, SNA submitted comments to the U.S Department of Labor’s Request for Comment on the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The CPI is used by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to establish income eligibility guidelines and levels of support for free and reduced-price school meal benefits, program reimbursement rates (National Average Payments) and USDA Foods support rate.

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Dietary Guidelines Committee Update

The 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee's schedule has been extended in consideration of new demands on Committee members' schedules due to COVID-19. The ongoing period for public comments to the Committee, which opened in March 2019, will now close on June 1, 2020. USDA and HHS continue to plan for the release of the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans by the end of the year.

State Snapshots

Hawaii Introduces Bill to Modify Procurement Practices During COVID-19

SR 181 urges the Hawaii State Department of Education Food Services Branch to adopt an addendum that will allow for the procurement of foods and services from food hubs. The food that is procured goes into serving nutritionally balanced and affordable meals statewide in meal programs that comply with federal and state child nutrition standards.

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. If you missed a particular webinar, catch up with SNA’s on-demand webinars.

Adjusting to Remote Work During COVID-19: Tools for Virtual Conferencing
Wednesday, April 15, 2020, 2:00 pm ET
Virtual conferencing has become the 'new normal' for school nutrition teams. Still, many of us had limited experience with these tools before COVID-19. Whether you're hosting or attending video chat meetings, we will share tools and tips to ensure your team is prepared and meetings are productive. These programs can also be applied to your state or regional associations and committees, further cultivating collaboration for SNA members.

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FRAC Meals Matter Webinars

Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) Meals Matter webinar series assist school nutrition professionals in the operation of school meal programs.

Growing Stronger, Sustainable Year-Round Programs
Thursday, April 16, 2020, 1:00 pm ET
Sponsors and children both benefit when year-round meals are provided seamlessly in communities through the Summer Food Service Program and Afterschool Meal Program, and March is the perfect time to finalize plans for moving from afterschool to summer meals. This webinar will cover best practices, streamlining opportunities, and new resources for establishing strong, financially viable year-round meal programs.

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Mystery Chat Corner

On this day (April 14th) in 1886, the Civil Rights Bill passes over which U.S. President’s veto?
A: Andrew Johnson

Contact Us

2900 S. Quincy Street, Suite 700
Arlington, VA 22206
servicecenter@schoolnutrition.org  

Tel (703) 824-3000
Fax (703) 824-3015

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