Tuesday Morning - April 27, 2021

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues from SNA

Table of Contents

COVID-19 Policy Updates

Extension of COVID-19 Nationwide Waivers for 2021-2022 School Year

Federal Policy

House Appropriations Subcommittee Holds Hearing on FNS Budget Priorities
Federal Register: School Meals Operations Study
The SWEET Act

State Snapshots

Illinois Introduces Legislation to Establish Unused Food Program for Students
Massachusetts Drafts Bill to Establish Farm to School Grant Program
Michigan Creates Legislation on School Waste Disposal
Rhode Island Drafts Bill to Expand School Meals at No Charge

Mark Your Calendars

Upcoming SNA Webinars
Congressional Management Foundation

Mystery Chat Corner

COVID-19 Policy Updates

Extension of COVID-19 Nationwide Waivers for 2021-2022 School Year

On April 20, U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the extension of critical COVID-19 waivers for school nutrition programs so that students can continue to safely receive free school meals for the 2021-2022 School Year. Under the waivers, school nutrition programs can maintain grab-and-go meal options, protect student and staff health through pandemic safety measures, and continue curbside meal pick-up services for distance learners as needed. The waivers also allow schools to continue receiving the higher per-meal reimbursement rate offered under the Summer Food Service Program. Read SNA's press release.

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covid19-image 

The enthusiastic school nutrition team at Eastern High School in Middletown, Kentucky, provides meals-to-go to the students in their community.

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Federal Policy

House Appropriations Subcommittee Holds Hearing on FNS Budget Priorities

On April 20, the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies held a hearing on USDA's Food and Nutrition Service's (FNS) priorities for Fiscal Year 2022. During the hearing, Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Service Stacy Dean testified before the Subcommittee concerning FNS's budget and policy priorities. In her testimony, she expressed support for expanding USDA's Farm to School Program. She also stated FNS would be examining current administrative requirements for school districts and nutrition standards during the upcoming Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR).


Federal Register: School Meals Operations Study

On April 21, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) published the Federal Register notice, "Agency Information Collection Activities: School Meals Operations Study: Evaluation of the COVID-19 Child Nutrition Waivers and Child Nutrition Programs." This comment collection seeks input from State agencies and school food authorities (SFAs) on disaggregated administrative data and information on the continued use and effectiveness of COVID-19 waivers. All comments are due by June 21, 2021.


The SWEET Act

On April 22, U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) introduced H.R. 2772, the SWEET Act. This legislation would levy a federal excise tax on sugary drinks such as soda that contain more than 7.5 grams of sugar, but less than 30 grams per 12 ounces. The revenue garnered from this proposed federal tax would go toward helping schools curb “sugary foods” in the School Breakfast Program.

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State Snapshots

Illinois Introduces Legislation to Establish Unused Food Program for Students

SB 805 directs the Illinois Board of Education to develop and implement a School Unused Food Program that will allow public schools to provide food, previously unused by the school, to needy children of that school.

Massachusetts Presents Bill to Study Salt and Sugar Served in Meals

HB 2226 creates a state commission to study the need to reduce salt and sugar content in meals served in restaurants, schools and the public.

Michigan Creates Legislation on School Waste Disposal

HB 4454 requires all public schools to comply with waste disposal, recycling and composting laws and promotes nonperishable food donations.

Rhode Island Drafts Bill to Expand School Meals at No Charge

S 824 amends the Rhode Island Board of Education Act to require all schools to provide breakfast and lunch at no charge to any student in attendance; specifically directing districts to maximize federal funds for the cost of school meals; the Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education shall reimburse schools for the remaining costs.

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Mark Your Calendars

Upcoming SNA 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.

LEAD to Succeed™: Facilitating “LEARN to Master Difficult Conversations” Training Your Staff
Wednesday, April 28, 2021, 3:00 PM EST
In this session, Sandra Ford, SNS, will take participants on a “guided tour” of the new Facilitator Guide that accompanies the first module of the LEAD to Succeed™ training program for school nutrition professionals. The Facilitator Guide for “LEARN to Master Difficult Conversations” will help you explain the critical nature of communication skills, provide training to help staff develop skills to engage in difficult conversations, and improve productive discussions in the workplace. You will also hear from directors who have taken Module 1 training and hear insight on how you can bring these materials back to your staff.

Congressional Management Foundation

Grassroots’ Return on Investment: Advocacy is an Asset for Your Network
Tuesday, May 4, 2021, 3:00 PM EST
Why do so many nonprofits, associations and companies have headquarters in Washington, D.C., or a Washington office? (Hint: this is not a trick question.) These groups understand the decisions taking place in Washington, D.C., significantly impact members, agencies, employees and operations. This webinar will unpack results from the Congressional Management Foundation's survey of national advocacy groups and the government relations professionals who represent them. It will also examine advocacy strategies that groups primarily invest in, why, and how much those strategies influence congressional decisions. The program also presents research on how advocacy adds value to an organization's legislative agenda and the financial bottom line of the group and its network.

Mystery Chat Corner

On April 27, 1964, which famous British musician published his personal novel "In His Own Write"?

A: John Lennon

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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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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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