Tuesday Morning - August 3, 2021

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues from SNA

Table of Contents

COVID-19 Policy Updates

FNS Publishes List of Approved Processors and NPA for SY2021-22

Federal Policy

Federal Register: CACFP Study on Nutrition and Activity in SNACS-II
House Education and Labor Subcommittee Holds Hearing on CACFP and Federal Nutrition Programs
Federal Register: Value of Donated Foods for NSLP and CACFP
Farm to School Network Issues New Resource on Lessons From COVID-19

State Snapshots

Illinois Hunger Coalition Sends Letter Advocating for Universal School Meals
Iowa Passes Legislation to Establish a Farm to School Program and Grants

Mark Your Calendars

Upcoming SNA Webinars
Food and Nutrition Service (FNS)
Congressional Management Foundation Webinars

Mystery Chat Corner

COVID-19 Policy Updates

FNS Publishes List of Approved Processors and NPA for SY2021-22

On July 29, USDA's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) published the "National Processing Agreement (NPA) Approved Processors" for the 2021-2022 School Year. This guidance aims to provide technical assistance to operators by creating a catalog of approved and available processors. These processors were certified since COVID-19 safety protocols became part of USDA's Foods National Processing Community.

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covid19-image

The school nutrition team at Ridgewood Public Elementary School in New Jersey have prepared lunch bags to-go for the fifth-grade finale.

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Federal Policy

Federal Register: CACFP Study on Nutrition and Activity in SNACS-II

On July 27, USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) published the Federal Register notice, "Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request." This notice is a comment collection regarding the Study of Nutrition and Activity in Child Care Settings II (SNACS-II) for the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). CACFP provides reimbursements for nutritious meals and snacks served to eligible children. SNACS-II is a nationally representative assessment of CACFP providers and the health of those participating. This collection will update the status of CACFP after updated meal pattern requirements went into effect in 2017. All comments are due August 26, 2021.

House Education and Labor Subcommittee Holds Hearing on CACFP and Federal Nutrition Programs

On July 28, the U.S. House Education and Labor Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Human Services held the hearing, "Food for Thought: Examining Federal Nutrition Programs for Young Children and Infants." During this hearing, Committee Chair Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) stated her support to "expand the number of meals covered by the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), as well as simplify program administration so that more care providers can participate." Watch the full Subcommittee hearing.

Federal Register: Value of Donated Foods for NSLP and CACFP

On July 29th, USDA's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) published the Federal Register notice, "Food Distribution Program: Value of Donated Foods From July 1, 2021, Through June 30, 2022." This notice announces the national average value of donated foods for the 2021-2022 School Year for each lunch served by schools in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). In addition to each meal served by those institutions participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). This new value will be in effect until June 30, 2022.

Farm to School Network Issues New Resource on Lessons From COVID-19

Last week, the Policy Equity Group and the National Farm to School Network announced the new resource, "Lessons from the COVID-19 Experience: Innovations and Strategies for Farm to Early Care and Education Implementation in States and Communities." This report captures how farm to early care and education (ECE) efforts at the state and community levels were initially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the full report  here.

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State Snapshots

Illinois Hunger Coalition Sends Letter Advocating for Universal School Meals

Since the passage of universal school meals in Maine and California, there has been an influx, or an increase in pressure, on other states to follow suit. Last week, Diane Doherty, the Director of the Illinois Hunger Coalition, sent a letter to the Chicago Sun-Times entitled, "Every Illinois student should get free school meals." In her letter to the editor, she stated, "Healthful school meals for all students at no charge would be a game-changer. It would support families, schools and neighborhoods by ensuring all students are hunger-free and ready to learn." Read the full article here.

Iowa Passes Legislation to Establish a Farm to School Program and Grants

This month, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed into law SF. 578 to establish the Local Produce and Protein Program to connect schools with farmers and provide students with fresh and locally produced food for inclusion in school meals. This program also consists of three mini-grant programs, including $5,000 for equipment grants to farmers and schools for equipment needed to process or offer local produce. In addition, up to $2,000 was available per school building to purchase Iowa grown or raised farm products, with at least half of the purchase being produced.

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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.

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.

Food and Nutrition Service (FNS)

Everything You Need to Know about GS1 GDSN! Accessing Nutrient, Allergen and Ingredients 
Thursday, August 5, 2021, 2:00 PM EST
This webinar is intended for States Agencies (SA) and school districts that serve USDA Foods as part of their current child nutrition programs. The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) plans to release a new initiative to allow States and school districts to access up-to-date, vendor-specific nutrition, allergen and other ingredient information for direct-delivered USDA Foods. The GS1 GDSN project will inform the ordering decisions of any FNS stakeholders to help manage overall meal planning to ensure it meets USDA nutrition standards. This project will also ensure stakeholders provide safe meals with food allergies and other special dietary needs for students. This webinar will help listeners learn more about this project that will become available after USDA Foods vendors are required to submit specific nutrition, allergen and ingredient information.

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 3, 1984, which American gymnast scored a 10 for her final vault to win the individual all-around competition at the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California, and became the first American woman to win an Olympic gymnastics medal?

A: Mary Lou Retton

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