Tuesday Morning - August 31, 2021

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues from SNA

Table of Contents

COVID-19 Policy Updates

Federal Register: Information Collection for P-EBT
Take Action: Share SNA's letter to USDA on Critical Supply Chain Disruptions

Federal Policy

Emergency Child and Adult Nutrition Assistance Act of 2021
School Modernizations and Efficient Access to Lunches for Students Act of 2021
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Applauds Advancements for School Meals and Child Nutrition
Office of Community Food Systems Updates Farm to School Fact Sheets

State Snapshots

California Introduces Legislation in Support of the Buy American Provision
Massachusetts Drafts Bill to Promote School Nutrition Programs
South Dakota's Department of Education Published School Nutrition Guidelines

Mark Your Calendars

Upcoming SNA Webinars
Congressional Management Foundation Webinars
Institute of Child Nutrition
Team Nutrition Webinars
Louisiana Fit Kids

Mystery Chat Corner

COVID-19 Policy Updates

Federal Register: Information Collection for P-EBT

On August 24, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) published the Federal Register notice, "Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request." This notice is an information collection regarding the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) for stakeholders such as schools, local operators, families, and administrators. This collection ensures households impacted by COVID-19 receive food assistance and that state agencies and schools receive reimbursement of their administrative costs. All comments are due by September 23, 2021.


Take Action: Share SNA's letter to USDA on Critical Supply Chain Disruptions

SNA needs you to TAKE ACTION! Share SNA's letter of recommendations with your Senators and Representative on how USDA can ease pressure on school nutrition programs struggling with procurement problems. SNA has been consciously monitoring the continued supply chain disruptions and their impact on school meal programs, and last week, SNA sent its letter of recommendations to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack. These recommendations include simplifying various procurement, meal pattern, monitoring and reporting requirements to reduce burdens on school nutrition professionals who are scrambling to secure food and supplies for students while meeting Federal regulatory requirements mandates.  TAKE ACTION NOW!

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The school nutrition, foodservice and transportation team at Dryden Central School District in Central New York served 8,221 school meals to students in their community through their summer feeding program.

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Federal Policy

Emergency Child and Adult Nutrition Assistance Act of 2021

Reps. Alma Adams (D-NC), Marie Newman (D-IL) and David Trone (D-MD) introduced H.R. 4904, the Emergency Child and Adult Nutrition Assistance Act of 2021. This Act will extend COVID-19 relief for the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and the School Food Authorities (SFAs)through the end of the 2021-22 school year to help cover their operational costs. This bill will also extend the availability of funds through September 2022, and each state that carries out a reimbursement program will be required to submit a report on the use of such funds no later than March 2023. Read Rep. Adams' full press release.

School Modernizations and Efficient Access to Lunches for Students Act of 2021

On August 5, Sens. Robert Casey (PA-D) and Sherrod Brown (OH-D) introduced S. 2663, the School Modernization and Efficient Access to Lunches for Students Act of 2021, or the School MEALS Act of 2021. The MEALS Act would eliminate the deadline for school districts to elect to participate in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) for the upcoming school year. Creating an artificial deadline creates an undue administrative burden and limits the ability of high-poverty school districts to adopt the provision. It would also provide grant funding to support states in improving their direct certification processes and additional funding to support USDA technical assistance activities. Read Sen. Casey’s previous one-pagre.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Applauds Advancements for School Meals and Child Nutrition

In a statement published last week, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a nonprofit devoted to improving the health of Americans, stated its strong support for recent policy advancements related to food and nutrition, specifically the expansion of access to school meals under USDA's previous waivers. This statement specifies the importance of providing access to nutritious school meals at no charge as an effective method " to reduce hunger, poverty and childhood obesity." Read the complete statement here.

Office of Community Food Systems Updates Farm to School Fact Sheets

USDA's Food and Nutrition Service's Office of Community Food Systems (OCFS) has updated and released four new fact sheets on farm to school programs. These fact sheets, geared toward various schools, communities and farm to school stakeholders, provide updated guidance, resources and examples from farm to school grantees.

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State Snapshots

California Introduces Legislation in Support of the Buy American Provision

SR 57 expresses California's support for the current administration's requirements under the Buy American Provision, which requires all school food purchases to be within the United States. This bill states that this provision ensures children consume food of the highest quality and safety by supporting local farmers, jobs and the economy, as well as reinforcing California's commitment as a world leader on climate change and labor protection.

Massachusetts Drafts Bill to Promote School Nutrition Programs

HB 715 encourages all educational committees and school districts to adopt a policy to promote access to healthy school meals for all students and to maximize federal reimbursements for meals.

South Dakota's Department of Education Published School Nutrition Guidelines

Last week, South Dakota's Department of Education announced that it’s offering school districts the option to serve all student meals free of charge through the USDA’s National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs. The Department of Education created guidelines for the 2021-22 free milk or free and reduced-price meals programs. These guidelines provide helpful information to parents to prepare for the upcoming school year. This policy applies to students served under the National School Lunch, School Breakfast, Special Milk, or Child and Adult Care Food Programs (CACFP).

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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.

Bringing Nutritious, Affordable, and Delicious School Meals to Life while Managing Common Allergens
3 p.m. EST Wednesday, September 8, 2021
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
3 p.m. EST Wednesday, September 29, 2021
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.

Congressional Management Foundation

Backstage Pass: Behind the Scenes of Congressional Decision Making 
3 p.m. EST Wednesday, September 1, 2021
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.

Institute of Child Nutrition

Back to School: Tools and Strategies to Address Supply Chain Issues (Part One)  
3 p.m. EST Wednesday, September 1, 2021
Program operators across the country are experiencing challenges with purchasing and receiving foods through their usual distribution methods. Join the Institute of Child Nutrition (ICN) for a two-part webinar series on tools and strategies for managing supply chain challenges. This webinar aims to enable participants to identify tools and techniques to address supply chain challenges within their operations and school districts.

Back to School: Tools and Strategies to Address Supply Chain Issues (Part Two)
3 p.m. EST Thursday, September 2, 2021
Program operators across the country are experiencing challenges with purchasing and receiving foods through their usual distribution methods. Join the ICN for the second half of a two-part webinar series on tools and strategies for managing supply chain challenges. These webinars aim to equip participants to identify tools and techniques to address supply chain challenges within their operations and school districts.

Team Nutrition

Master the Professional Standards Training Tracker Tool! 
2 p.m. Thursday, September 23, 2021
The Food and Nutrition Service's (FNS) Team Nutrition presents "Serving Snacks in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)." This webinar will demonstrate to CACFP operators how to plan and prepare snacks for children and adults in their care. Attendees will have the opportunity to submit questions to the presenters and check their knowledge through interactive polling questions.

Louisiana Fit Kids

Understanding Childhood Obesity  
1:30 p.m. CT Tuesday, September 14, 2021
This webinar is part of a series by the Louisiana Department of Education and Pennington Biomedical Research Center as part of a USDA initiative to understand school nutrition and childhood obesity. The goal of this webinar is to help child nutrition personnel, teachers, school administrators, healthcare workers and administrators, social workers, researchers and other interested individuals understand childhood obesity, the most common chronic disease of childhood.

Mystery Chat Corner

On August 31, 2006, which famous painting by Edvard Munch, previously stolen in 2004, was recovered in a raid by the Norwegian police and found in surprisingly "better-than-expected" condition?

A: The Scream

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

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

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