Tuesday Morning - August 10, 2021

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues from SNA

Table of Contents

COVID-19 Policy Updates

FNS Publishes a Guide to School Meals Service Options and Flexibilities
FNS Posts New State Guidance on COVID P-EBT

Federal Policy

Senate Appropriations Bill Includes Provision to Maintain Target 1 Sodium and Whole Grain Standards
Federal Register: Request for Information on Buy American Provision
Federal Register: Information Collection for APEC IV Study

State Snapshots

FNS Announces Project to Evaluate Direct Certification for School Meals Through Medicaid
New York Introduces the Schedules That Work Act

Mark Your Calendars

Upcoming SNA Webinars
Team Nutrition
Congressional Management Foundation Webinars

Mystery Chat Corner

COVID-19 Policy Updates

FNS Publishes a Guide to School Meals Service Options and Flexibilities

On August 6, the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) published a Guide to School Meals for School Food Authorities (SFAs), including a Table of Flexibilities. In the wake of COVID-19, some schools will return to their regular meal service this year; some may continue with socially distant meal service models, such as grab-and-go meals or meals in the classroom. Therefore, this guide and table summarize the options available for schools under several different in-person or virtual protocols.


FNS Posts New State Guidance on COVID P-EBT

On August 5, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) published updated state guidance on Coronavirus Pandemic EBT (P-EBT). P-EBT provides eligible school children with temporary emergency nutrition benefits for purchasing food. This guidance includes Questions and Answers (Q&A) and a Template Plan to assist State agencies administering this program.

Back-Arrow-Blue Back to the top 

covid19-image

The school nutrition team at San Francisco Unified Public Schools in California prepared hundreds of meals for a day of Grab & Go meal distribution to students in need!

Back-Arrow-Blue Back to the top 

Federal Policy

Senate Appropriations Bill Includes Provision to Maintain Target 1 Sodium and Whole Grain Standards

On Wednesday, August 4, the full U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee advanced a set of spending bills, including appropriations for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for the 2022 Fiscal Year. The allocations for USDA contain provisions to assist school nutrition programs such as "the Secretary of Agriculture may grant exemptions to School Food Authorities (SFAs) that demonstrate financial or procurement hardship specific to whole grains." It also states, "no funds shall be made available to implement any regulation under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 that requires a reduction in the quantity of sodium for meals, food, or snacks sold in schools below Target 1." The bill passed on Wednesday, also invests $3.6 billion in agriculture research programs, including $1.675 billion for the Agricultural Research Service and $1.656 billion for the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, a $10 million increase for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative..

Federal Register: Request for Information on Buy American Provision

On August 4, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) published the Federal Register notice, “Request for Information: Buy American in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program.” This notice requests information from stakeholders, including local operators, State administrators, industry and producers, about the Buy American Provision and its effect on the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the School Breakfast Program (SBP). All comments are due by November 2, 2021.

Federal Register: Information Collection for APEC IV Study

On August 4, USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) published the Federal Register notice, “Agency Information Collection Activities: Fourth Access, Participation, Eligibility and Certification Study Series (APEC IV).” FNS is seeking information on the APEC study series to provide reliable, national estimates of errors and improper payments made to school districts that operate the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP). All comments are due October 4, 2021.

Back-Arrow-Blue Back to the top 

State Snapshots

FNS Announces Project to Evaluate Direct Certification for School Meals Through Medicaid

The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) announced expanding the current Administration's efforts to streamline students' access to nutritious meals by expanding the pilot project, "Demonstration Projects to Evaluate Direct Certification with Medicaid." Currently, there are 19 State Agencies already directly certifying income-eligible children that receive Medicaid benefits to receive free or reduced-price school meals as part of FNS demonstration projects. This announcement invites additional State Agencies to participate in this project and use Direct Certification through Medicaid to certify eligible students during the 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 school years. State agencies that administer the NSLP and SBP may apply to participate in the demonstration project and conduct direct certification with Medicaid for school meals in a portion of the Local Education Agencies (LEAs) within their state or statewide.

New York Introduces the Schedules That Work Act

S 1214 establishes the Schedules That Work Act, requiring employers to report time pay, split shift pay and advance notice of work schedules for retail, foodservice or sanitation employees, including school foodservice employees.

Back-Arrow-Blue Back to the top 

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.

Community Eligibility: Last Chance to Lock in Free Meals for Four Years
Wednesday, August 11, 2021, 3:00 PM EST
Community Eligibility adoption season is upon us! As the September 30 adoption deadline for the 2021-22 school year approaches, community eligibility provides a unique opportunity to offer free meals to all students in high-poverty schools. The dramatic increase in need and SNAP participation driven by the pandemic will help make community eligibility financially viable for more school districts and schools. Even as many schools operate their nutrition programs under the summer waivers, adopting CEP for the 2021-22 school year will allow schools to lock in higher Identified Student Percentages for four years to serve as many meals free of charge as possible beyond the pandemic. Join us to discuss helpful tools and tips for implementing community eligibility and making it work financially for your school nutrition operations.

Get WILD with Global Flavors
Wednesday, September 29, 2021, 3:00 PM EST
Increasing meal participation is critical for all programs. One of the driving questions many operators have is how to keep their menus relevant to the new generations of students while embracing the diversity of their students. Thanks to the adventurous palates of today's parents, your students have been exposed to, and come to love, many more dishes with global flavors than previous generations. Join us for an exciting panel discussion where we will show you how you can easily incorporate international flavors in your menu while keeping your food costs down, utilizing USDA Foods and basic pantry staples you likely have on hand.

Team Nutrition

Procurement Strategies for School Year 2021-2022: A Webinar for School Food Authorities 
Friday, August 13, 2021, 3:00 PM EST
Team Nutrition is hosting a webinar for School Food Authorities and program operators on "Procurement Strategies for School Year 2021-2022." This webinar will discuss school meal procurement strategies, program flexibilities, waivers, and training resources for School Year 2021-2022. This webinar will have closed captioning available during the presentation.

Congressional Management Foundation

Backstage Pass: Behind the Scenes of Congressional Decision-Making 
Wednesday, September 21, 2021, 3:00 PM EST
Many Americans believe that lawmakers are unreachable–that they don't care about what constituents think and influencing legislative outcomes is impossible and a waste of time. Yet CMF research shows that Members of Congress strongly believe that constituents are a valuable and informative resource in the decision-making process. Your "backstage pass" will dispel myths about Congress and provide practical strategies on how decisions are really made and by whom.

Mystery Chat Corner

On August 10, 1993, who became the first Jewish female and the second female to ever be sworn in as a Supreme Court Justice?

A: Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Back-Arrow-Blue Back to the top

Contact Us

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

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

> For The Media
> Work With US

Sign Up for Our Newsletters

Read the latest news and developments facing the school nutrition industry, as well as stay on top of important trends and resources.

 

> Read the Latest Newsletters

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. 

> Learn More