Tuesday Morning - December 10, 2019

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues
from SNA

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

The Expanding Access to School Meals Act
Julian Castro Unveils Anti-Hunger Plan
The School Modernization and Efficient Access to Lunches for Students Act of 2019

State Snapshots

SNA 2019-20 State School Meal Mandates and Reimbursements Report
Michigan Legislature Introduces Lunch Shaming Bill
New Jersey Introduces Bill on Income Eligibility Requirement for School Nutrition Programs

Mark Your Calendars

SNA Webinars Return in the New Year - Catch Up Now on Everything You Missed!
FRAC Meals Matter Webinars

Mystery Chat Corner

Federal Policy

The Expanding Access to School Meals Act

On December 5, 2019, Representative Tim Ryan (D-OH13) introduced H.R. 5308, the Expanding Access to School Meals Act. The bill expands the poverty threshold for free school lunch and breakfast, eliminates the reduced-price category, expands CEP and allows States to use Medicaid and CHIP participation data to directly certify students. This bill has been referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor.

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Julian Castro Unveils Anti-Hunger Plan

Presidential Candidate Julian Castro announced his People First Plan to End Hunger in America. In addition to expanding SNAP and WIC, the widely encompassing plan increases school meal reimbursement rates, lowers the Identified Student Percentage threshold to participate in CEP to zero percent, and expands summer meals. The plan also rolls back meal pattern flexibilities granted since passage of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. In addition, the Plan expands certain tax credits and benefits and establishes universal pre-K and childcare.

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The School Modernization and Efficient Access to Lunches for Students Act of 2019

On December 3, 2019, Representative Marcia Fudge (D-OH11) introduced the School Modernization and Efficient Access to Lunches for Students Act of 2019 or School MEALS Act. H.R. 5283 expands access to school nutrition programs through grants, technical assistance and administrative changes. In a press release, Representative Fudge stated, “Improvements to direct certification and community eligibility will help to reduce barriers that prevent eligible students from receiving the nutritious school meals they deserve.” This bill has been referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor.

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State Snapshots

SNA 2019-20 State School Meal Mandates and Reimbursements Report

SNA has updated its State School Meal Mandates and Reimbursements Rates Report for School Year 2019-20. The report is a comprehensive summary of each state’s mandates and financial support, accompanied by a detailed reference table for all state child nutrition laws. This report also includes visual maps and information on current seat time laws, funding and other mandates.

Each year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) sets rates to reimburse schools for the cost of free, reduced-price and paid meals. Many states provide additional funding, which can range from per meal reimbursements and salary support, to general funds that assist with program operations. It is up to each state to decide if participation in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program is optional or mandated, and there is variability among states.

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Michigan Legislature Introduces Lunch Shaming Bill

On December 4, 2019, SB 668 was introduced in Michigan’s state legislature. The bill would create requirements and protocol regarding pupils who are unable to pay for a school meal or owe school meal debts. This legislation would prohibit school administrators or personnel from disposing of a meal or taking disciplinary actions against the students. This bill also instructs all school boards or administrators to first contact the parents or legal guardians regarding unpaid meal charges. This bill has been referred to Michigan’s Committee on Education and Career Readiness.

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New Jersey Introduces Bill on Income Eligibility Requirement for School Nutrition Programs

New Jersey’s legislature has pre-filled AJR232, a resolution that urges the U.S. Congress to pass legislation to create a regional income eligibility requirement for all school nutrition programs. This legislation is a joint resolution respectfully urging the U.S. Congress to pass legislation to increase access to school nutrition programs. This bill has not yet been referred to a committee.

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Mark Your Calendars

SNA Webinars Return in the New Year - Catch Up Now on Everything You Missed!

SNA will be returning with a webinar on Procurement Do’s and Don’ts on January 22, 2020. Barry Sackin, SNS will continue the conversation about important tools and tips recommended for a fair, open and competitive procurement. By February we’ll be back in full swing with a new webinar each week. Missed a recent webinar? Check out SNA’s on-demand library and catch up on the hottest topics in school nutrition; available to SNA members 24/7.

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FRAC Meals Matter Webinars

The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) Meals Matter Webinar series provides best practices and tips for the administration of child nutrition programs.

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Mystery Chat Corner

On this day (December 10th) in 1964, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to this civil rights activist.
A: Martin Luther King, Jr.

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