Tuesday Morning - April 21, 2020

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues
from SNA

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

Federal Court Rules in School Meal Flexibility Suit
SNA Urges USDA to Restore School Meal Flexibilities

State Snapshots

USDA Approves New Program to Feed Kids in Rhode Island
Connecticut Creates Task Force to Examine USDA's Final Rule
New Jersey Proposes Bill to Measure Impact of Virtual Learning on School Meal Programs
Minnesota Introduces Legislation on School Meal Programs
Utah Introduces Bill to Honor Healthcare and Foodservice Workers
Virginia Governor Signs Bill Requiring Participation in NSLP and SBP

Mark Your Calendars

SNA's Upcoming Webinars
FRAC Meals Matter Webinars

Mystery Chat Corner

COVID-19 Policy Updates

SNA Advocacy Feedback Forms

SNA has appreciated your reaching out and sharing your challenges. We are always interested in learning what you are experiencing as we navigate this unprecedented crisis. In order to ensure that we are collecting all the information relative to your districts and states, we are providing these advocacy feedback forms.

If you have any specific policy questions, SNA’s Government Affairs and Media Relations team is available to help at advocacy@schoolnutriiton.org.

New USDA COVID-19 Policy Memos

USDA Food and Nutrition Service has released a series of Q&A memos to provide clarification to school closures.

SP 11: Q&A related to Monitoring and Reporting Nationwide Waivers
SP 12: Q&A related to operation of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP)
SP 13: Q&A related to Meal Service Time, Non-Congregate Feeding, and Activity Requirement Nationwide Waivers
SP 14: Q&A related to Child Nutrition Program Meal Service, including clarification on meal service requirements

SNA and United Fresh Partner to Assist Schools with Produce Needs

SNA and the United Fresh Produce Association (UFPA) have partnered to connect produce distributors to school foodservice authorities requesting single-serve, individually wrapped produce as part of their COVID-19 meal distributions. Read more in SNA’s press release.

covid19-imagejpg COVID-19 Stories From the Front Line

“Counties all over the nation, all over Florida are coming together to make sure they can provide these meals to our students so they at least have some sense of normalcy, some sense of security, through the school meals that they’re used to receiving every day.“ - School District of Lee County 

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Federal Policy

Federal Court Rules on School Meal Flexibility Suit

On April 13th, the federal district court in Maryland ruled in a lawsuit challenging USDA’s 2018 Final Rule Child Nutrition Programs: Flexibilities for Milk, Whole Grains, and Sodium Requirements. The ruling effectively strikes down the Final Rule and sends it back to USDA for further action. Read more in SNA’s press release.

SNA Urges USDA to Restore School Meal Flexibilities

In a letter to USDA, SNA emphasized the Court’s findings that the Final Rule was “not inconsistent” with federal statute and that “USDA used its expertise to balance the nutrition science in the Dietary Guidelines with the practical considerations of implementation.” SNA also highlighted the urgency of preserving these flexibilities given COVID-19 procurement challenges and the financial impact of closures on school meal programs. Read more in SNA’s press release.

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State Snapshots

USDA Approves New Program to Feed Kids in Rhode Island

On April 13th, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that Rhode Island is approved to operate Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT).This new program provides assistance to families of children that are eligible for free or reduced-price meals dealing with school closures.

Connecticut Creates Task Force to Examine USDA's Final Rule

SB 288 would establish a task force to examine the impact of the USDA's Final Rule concerning simplifying meal service and monitoring requirements in the NSLP and SBP.

New Jersey Proposes Bill to Measure Impact of Virtual Learning on School Meal Programs

S 2337 permits the use of virtual or remote instruction and requires the Superintendent and Board of Education to measure the impact of virtual or remote instruction on the school lunch and school breakfast programs.

Minnesota Introduces Legislation on School Meal Programs

  • HF 4542 adjusts current education finance and increases funding to school lunch and breakfast aid under Minnesota Statutes.
  • HF 4538 provides $100,000 in the first year and $100,000 the second year to expand staffing and market opportunities for farm-to-school sales.

Utah Introduces Bill to Honor Healthcare and Foodservice Workers

HCR 301 is a concurrent resolution to honor healthcare and food service workers that are maintaining services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Virginia Governor Signs Bill Requiring Participation in NSLP and SBP

HB 1426 requires each public elementary and secondary school to participate in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program. This bill also requires each school to serve a meal to any student who requests one regardless of whether the student can pay or has incurred unpaid meal debt.

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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.

Rewind & Repeat: Science-Based Basics to Food Safety: Part II
Thursday, April 23, 2020, 3:00 pm ET
Experts with the Center for Food Safety in Child Nutrition Programs at Kansas State University will reiterate the importance of food safety standards in schools. View our latest simulation video to inspire and refresh your knowledge about effective sanitation practices. Learn from the latest findings about foods served offsite and science-based best practices for time and temperature control.

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.

Mystery Chat Corner

In 1922 (April 21st) which sharpshooter set the women’s record by breaking 100 clay targets in a row?
A: Annie Oakley

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Arlington, VA 22206
servicecenter@schoolnutrition.org  

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

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SNA State Associations

The School Nutrition Association has a presence in every state across the country. View links to many of the state associations to find out more about what SNA is doing nationwide. 

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