Tuesday Morning - April 3, 2018

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues
from SNA

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

SNA Submits Comments on Dietary Guidelines
USDA Amplifies Program Integrity Efforts
“Eggciting” Breakfast Program Grants Available
List of Breakfast Commodities Bill Cosponsors Grows
New Funding for Nutrition Programs in Omnibus Spending Bill
Registration Open for National Farm to Cafeteria Conference

State Snapshots

Hawaii Equal Access and Farm to School Bills
Connecticut Food Allergy Plan Implementation
Maine Unpaid Meals Bill Passes House

Mark Your Calendars

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

Cafeteria Chat Corner


Federal Policy

SNA Submits Comments on Dietary Guidelines

SNA submitted comments March 30, 2018 in response to a Federal Register Notice published on February 28, 2018 – Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA): Request for Comments on Topics and Questions. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) are proposing a life stage approach for the 2020-2025 edition of DGA.

The topics proposed by USDA and HHS are based on four criteria: Relevance, Importance, Potential Federal Impact and Avoiding Duplication. 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.

USDA Amplifies Program Integrity Efforts

The USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) announced in a press release that there would be an increased focus on program integrity across the board on all nutrition programs. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said that part of his strategic goal is “ensuring that our programs are delivered efficiently, effectively and with integrity.” Acting Under Secretary for USDA Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, Brandon Lipps announced that he would be developing a new position of Chief Integrity Officer to manage and oversee the creation of an enhanced program integrity strategy. The newly created position will be located in the Office of the Administrator at FNS.

“Eggciting” Breakfast Program Grants Available

Good news for school districts eager to expand school breakfast programs: Action for Healthy Kids, a nonprofit dedicated to fighting childhood obesity and undernourishment, is now offering grant funding opportunities to support alternative breakfast service models, such as breakfast after the bell, second-chance breakfast and breakfast in the classroom. Eligible schools must be participating in the School Breakfast program, meet designated participation and free/reduced-price enrollment targets and be able to demonstrate specific funding goals (such as equipment needs) for alternate breakfast service. Grants range from $2,000 to $3,0000, for SY 2018-19. Nearly 300 schools are expected to receive grant awards.

To see if your school is eligible for a breakfast grant, Action for Healthy Kids is offering an online survey, with recommendations to take prior to filling out a paper application. Don’t delay! Applications are due by Friday, April 6. Award notifications will be made in mid-May. Action for Healthy Kids also offers grants to support other physical activity and nutrition initiatives.

List of Breakfast Commodities Bill Cosponsors Grows

H.R. 3738, The Healthy Breakfasts Help Kids Learn Act of 2017, continues to gain cosponsors. The bill, which would provide 6 cents in commodities for breakfast, now has 46 cosponsors.

New Funding for Nutrition Programs in Omnibus Spending Bill

On Friday, March 23, 2018, President Trump signed H.R. 1625 (115), otherwise known as Congress’ massive fiscal year 2018 spending bill. The over 2,000-page, $1.3 trillion dollar bill was introduced in the House on Wednesday night and passed on Thursday in a 256-167 vote, then went to the Senate where it was passed on Friday morning on a 65-32 vote. The bill needed to be signed into law before midnight on Friday to avoid a government shutdown.

The massive funding bill included $2 million for training school food service personnel. The funds may be accessed by a professional organization, such as SNA, to develop a training program for school nutrition personnel that focuses on school food service meal preparation and workforce development. The bill also provides $30 million for competitive grants to State agencies for sub grants to local educational agencies and schools to purchase equipment with a value of at least $1,000. The grants may be used to facilitate serving healthier meals, improve food safety, and to help support the establishment, maintenance, or expansion of school breakfast. In addition, the Omnibus bill included $5 million in funding for the USDA Farm to School Grant Program, which doubles current available funding.

At a time when funding is hard to come by, the inclusion of our critical school nutrition programs is a recognition by Congress of the important role our programs play in the lives of hungry children.

Registration Open for National Farm to Cafeteria Conference

The 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference is a national gathering of stakeholders from across the Farm to School movement, making it a premier professional development and networking opportunity for school nutrition professionals who are working to source local food for cafeterias and foster a culture of agricultural literacy in their communities. Join more than 1,000 food service professionals, local food leaders and community health advocates in Cincinnati, Ohio, April 25-27, 2018 for three energizing days of learning, networking and movement building. Registration closes April 9. Learn more at farmtocafeteriaconference.org.

State Snapshots

Hawaii Equal Access and Farm to School Bills

SB 2387 authorizes the Hawaii Department of Education to establish a Farm to School Program and designate a Farm to School Coordinator to work in collaboration with the head of the Department of Agriculture’s Hawaii Farm to School Program. Appropriates funds for staff. Passed Senate. Referred to House Committee on Finance 3/28/18

SB 2928 establishes and appropriates funds for a farm to school grant pilot program within the Hawaii Department of Agriculture to provide grants to schools and other establishments.Passed House and Senate 3/28/2018

SCR 194 urges the Hawaii Department of Education to ensure that all public school students, including public charter school students have equal access to education facilities and food service.Passed Senate Education Committee 3/28/2018

Connecticut Food Allergy Plan Implementation

HB 5452 requires that each local and regional board of education shall implement a plan on or after October 1, 2019, based on previously developed guidelines for the management of students with life-threatening food allergies or glycogen storage disease enrolled in school. The bill also requires that the plan is available through the board’s website and include the plans in any programs relating to school climate or wellness..

Maine Unpaid Meals Bill Passes House

SB 1684 requires that any student that requests a meal must receive a USDA reimbursable meal regardless of ability to pay or status of an unpaid meal balance and also specifies further steps for notification and collection of unpaid meal debt. The bill passed the Maine House legislature on March 28.

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:

Best of #SNIC18: When it Comes to Food and Ingredients, What Do Consumers Really Want?
Wednesday, April 4, 2018, 2:00 pm ET
Good value. Convenient. Clean label. Locally sourced. What do consumers really want? Join strategic nutrition marketer Mark Cornthwaite who will help you uncover different consumer segments, their specific needs and how you can address those needs as a school nutrition program operator or industry professional.
Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs.

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.

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.

Getting the Word Out About Summer Meals
Thursday, April 5, 2018, 1:00 pm ET
State agencies, summer programs, and advocates can boost participation by utilizing different strategies for spreading the word about the availability of summer meals to families leading up to summer and once programs begin. On this call you will hear about effective methods and resources to promote programs, raise awareness, and ensure more families are connected to summer meals this year.

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

“I have the audacity to believe that people everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for the minds and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits.” Martin Luther King, Jr.


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servicecenter@schoolnutrition.org  

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