Tuesday Morning - August 17, 2021

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues from SNA

Table of Contents

COVID-19 Policy Updates

ICN Launches Back-to-School Toolbox

Federal Policy

The Food Labeling Modernization Act of 2021
USDA Releases New Fact Sheet on the Farm to School Grant Program
FNS Announces the Reinstatement of the Turnip the Beet Award
CSPI Publishes New School Food Ingredient Guide

State Snapshots

Colorado Anti-Hunger Coalition Advocates for Permanent School Meals
Texas Presents Bill Requiring Inspection of School Foodservice Products
Virginia Passes Legislation Applauding the Food Service Team at Montclair Elementary School

Mark Your Calendars

Upcoming SNA Webinars
The Common Market Mid-Atlantic
Congressional Management Foundation Webinars
Food Research & Action Center

Mystery Chat Corner

COVID-19 Policy Updates

ICN Launches Back-to-School Toolbox

Last week, the Institute of Child Nutrition (ICN) launched its Back-to-School Toolbox. This toolkit offers educational resources, training, and supplemental materials to assist nutrition staff and administrators in preparation for the upcoming school year. Designed with school nutrition professionals in mind, the ICN Back-to-School Toolkit aims to help schools reopen safely and provide staff with the necessary tools and training for a successful school year. Users may also participate in online courses, join instructor-led virtual training, or download free education posters.

Back-Arrow-Blue Back to the top 

covid19-image

The school nutrition team at Brindlee Mountain Elementary School in Arab, Alabama, serves up school meals with spidey-like reflexes!

Back-Arrow-Blue Back to the top 

Federal Policy

The Food Labeling Modernization Act of 2021

On August 3, Senators Richard Blumenthal (CT-D), Sheldon Whitehouse (RI-D) and Edward Markey (MA-D) introduced S. 2594, the Food Labeling Modernization Act. This act requires the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to establish a standard front-of-pack labeling system to present nutritional information. It would also establish new FDA guidelines for what can legally be marketed as "healthy." Read Senator Blumenthal's full press release.

USDA Releases New Fact Sheet on the Farm to School Grant Program

On August 11, USDA's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) released a new fact sheet for the Farm to School Grant Program. This fact sheet displays USDA's annual awards grants and helpful information to connect students to their food sources through education, taste tests, school gardens, field trips, and local food sourcing for school meals. This fact sheet also provides a general overview of the Farm to School Grant Program and highlights Farm to School grantee projects.

FNS Announces the Reinstatement of the Turnip the Beet Award

Last week, the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) announced it was bringing back the Turnip the Beet Award for School Summer Food Program. This award recognizes outstanding summer meal programs and their operators across the country, dedicated to offering students high-quality, tasty, appealing, and nutritious meals during the summer months. All Summer Meal Programs’ sponsors in good standing, including Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) sponsors and National School Lunch Program Seamless Summer Option (SSO) sponsors are eligible for a Turnip the Beet Award. See FNS’s Nomination Form for Program Year 2021 to apply.

CSPI Publishes New School Food Ingredient Guide

This week, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) released a new School Food Ingredient Guide. This resource serves as a guide for school food leaders, manufacturers and administrators to improve the overall quality, nutritional value and safety of food provided to students during school. This guide is a science-based tool created primarily by school nutrition professionals in partnership with CSPI to help identify unwanted ingredients for potential elimination and other food elements to watch out for as new products continue to develop.

Back-Arrow-Blue Back to the top 

State Snapshots

Colorado Anti-Hunger Coalition Advocates for Permanent School Meals

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent release of waivers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for school nutrition programs, there has been an influx or an increase in pressure to make the current status of universal school meals permanent. Last week, in an interview with the Public News Service, the Director of Public Policy with Hunger Free Colorado, Ashley Wheeland, urged Congress to make universal free meals permanent as part of its COVID-19 Pandemic recovery legislation. Specifically, she stated, "it's really important that we ensure that every kid has the food that they need to succeed, and in the end, that will help all of us." Read the full article here.

Texas Presents Bill Requiring Inspection of School Foodservice Products

HB 150 establishes the Family Educational Relief Program, requiring the state’s Comptroller to set a process for preapproval for any education service providers, distributors, and vendors, including an inspection of school food service items.

Virginia Passes Legislation Applauding the Food Service Team at Montclair Elementary School

SR 510 commends the school nutrition team at Montclair Elementary School in Dumfries, Virginia, for their efforts and dedication to ensuring the Montclair Cardinal community and its students had access to school meals while schools were closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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.

Bringing Nutritious, Affordable, and Delicious School Meals to Life while Managing Common Allergens
Wednesday, September 8, 2021, 3:00 PM EST
Join Speakers Sherry Coleman Collins, a registered dietitian, Chef Vahista Ussery, MS, MBA, RDN, and Dr. Samara Sterling as attendees hear creative ideas to meet the needs of today's savvy students while also providing an affordable, delicious meal. In this webinar, you will hear from nutrition experts as each review important nutrition considerations for menu planning and potential product selection while considering current supply chain challenges. Speakers will also offer best practices for managing common allergens in school meals.

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.

The Common Market Mid-Atlantic

Farm to School with The Common Market 
Thursday, August 19, 2021, 1:00 PM EST
The Common Market, a nonprofit regional food distributor, is thrilled to invite schools and their foodservice teams to a fun, informational webinar in preparation for Farm to School Month this October! Join their Farm to School Specialist and Outreach Coordinator—Margo Robertson—as she explores ways to introduce students to the stories and farmers behind their food and much more! This webinar is free and intended for foodservice directors, nutrition teams and anyone within the school community that takes interest in farm to school initiatives! The Common Market actively partners with school communities throughout the Mid-Atlantic, Southeast and Texas regions.

Congressional Management Foundation

Backstage Pass: Behind the Scenes of Congressional Decision Making 
Wednesday, September 1, 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.

Food Research & Action Center

Offering School Meals to All Students at No Charge this School Year 
Thursday, August 19, 2021, 3:00 PM EST
The Seamless Summer Option Waiver allows schools to offer breakfast and lunch to all students at no charge during the 2021-22 school year. Offering free meals to all students ensures that all kids are hunger-free and ready to learn, eliminates stigma and eases administrative work for school staff. Now is the time for school district staff and anti-hunger advocates to prepare for the upcoming school year so school meals programs can be successful for students, families and schools. Join us for a webinar with speakers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to learn more about the waiver and the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) options for Title I.

Mystery Chat Corner

On August 17, 2008, at the Beijing Olympics, which U.S. Olympic swimmer won his eighth gold medal for the 4x100-meter medley relay, breaking the former Olympic swimmer Mark Spitz's 1972 record for the most gold medals for men's swimming?

A: Michael Phelps

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