Tuesday Morning - December 11, 2018

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues
from SNA

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

USDA Announces Final Rule on School Meal Flexibilities
SNA Comments on Uniform Grant Applications
SNA Comments on “Increasing Flexibility for Verification of For-Profit Center CACFP Eligibility”
SNA Has Moved!
FNS Issues Progress Report on Direct Certification
Congress Passes Two-Week Government Funding Bill

State Snapshots

New Jersey Anti-Hunger Link Bill Approved by Committee

Mark Your Calendars

2019 Legislative Action Conference
2019 National Child Nutrition Conference
SNA’s Upcoming Webinars

Mystery Chat Corner

Federal Policy

USDA Announces Final Rule on School Meal Flexibilities

On Thursday, December 6, 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced its final rule on school meal flexibilities. The final rule maintains Target 1 sodium limits for school meals through SY 2023-24, with Target 2 sodium limits taking effect in SY 2024-25 and the Final Target eliminated. It also restores the mandate that at least half of grains offered with school meals be whole-grain-rich, allowing schools to occasionally serve a few refined grain options, as needed, without having to apply for a waiver. In addition, the rule makes permanent the current option to offer flavored 1% milk.

Visit the USDA FNS website to read the final rule.

SNA Comments on Uniform Grant Applications

SNA has provided comments in response to USDA’s comment request on the Uniform Grant Application Package for Discretionary Grant Programs posted to the Federal Register on October 3, 2018. SNA supports the Uniform Grant Application Package and any effort to provide consistency and minimize burden in the grant application process. Furthermore, SNA encourages USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to utilize the Uniform Grant Application Package whenever possible.

SNA Comments on “Increasing Flexibility for Verification of For-Profit Center CACFP Eligibility”

SNA has provided comments in response to USDA’s FNS Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) verification proposed rule published in the Federal Register on October 4, 2018.

As stated in the submitted comments, SNA appreciates the Department’s continued efforts to streamline program regulations and minimize burdens for operators and administrators. In considering this proposed change to the CACFP, SNA urges USDA to work with state agencies that have managed complex CACFP sponsors to assess any new burden to state agencies.

SNA Has Moved!

The Headquarters office for SNA and SNF has moved from Maryland to a new neighborhood in Arlington, Virginia! SNA’s new address is 2900 S. Quincy Street, Suite 700, Arlington, VA 22206. Its new phone number is (703) 824-3000. Its toll-free number remains (800) 877-8822. The SNA email address, servicecenter@schoolnutrition.org, as well as all staff email addresses, will not change. We appreciate your patience over the next week as we unpack and get settled.

FNS Issues Progress Report on Direct Certification

Under direct certification, instead of a parent or guardian submitting a household National School Lunch Program (NSLP) application, states use computer systems to match records from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and other programs to school enrollment lists to establish NSLP eligibility. A new progress report from FNS has found that the national percentage of SNAP-participant children directly certified for free school meals was 92% in both SY 2015-16 and 2016-17, which is up from 91% in SY 2014-15 and 87% in SY 2013-14.

Congress Passes Two-Week Government Funding Bill

Last week, Congress passed a two-week continuing resolution that will keep some departments of the Federal government—not included in earlier spending bills—open through December 21. The bipartisan agreement delays negotiations over the remaining FY 2019 funding bills until after the funeral of former President George H.W. Bush.

SNA has successfully included school nutrition policy priorities in the FY 2019 spending bills, including $30 million in funding for equipment grants and $20 million in commodity support for the School Breakfast Program (SBP). These provisions are included in the spending bills still being considered by Congress, and SNA continues to monitor their progress.

State Snapshots

New Jersey Anti-Hunger Link Bill Approved by Committee

The Human Services Committee of the New Jersey State Assembly has approved a bill that will require the state’s chief technology officer to develop and implement an “anti-hunger link” for all state websites. The link will direct users to a dedicated page listing all emergency food programs in the state, such as: emergency meal providers, food pantries, soup kitchens, child and senior feeding programs, faith-based anti-hunger initiatives and other food programs. A companion bill was introduced in the Senate during the last week of November and referred to the Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee.

Mark Your Calendars

2019 Legislative Action Conference

Keeping our promise to American’s children—it starts here at #LAC19! Join forces with hundreds of SNA members and other school nutrition advocates in Washington, D.C., to advocate for national policy efforts supporting school nutrition programs and meet directly with legislators. SNA’s 47th Legislative Action Conference (LAC) takes place February 24-26, 2019 at the Marriott Marquis.

2019 National Child Nutrition Conference

The National Child Nutrition Conference, scheduled for April 22-26, 2019 in Chicago, Ill., will feature the best educational training and networking opportunities for CACFP, Afterschool Meals and Summer Food Service teams. Join the child nutrition community for three days of education featuring over 175 presenters and 150 hours of workshops.

SNA’s Upcoming Webinars

SNA will be bringing you all new webinars beginning in January 2019, including two new CEP webinars, and one on financial management. You won’t want to miss the Best of #SNIC19 series beginning in February. Missed a particular webinar? Did you know that over 20,000 attendees took advantage of SNA‘s popular live and on-demand webinars? Be sure to take advantage of this member-only benefit.


Mystery Chat Corner

On December 11, 1972, Apollo astronauts landed on the Moon—the last humans to do so.
The Apollo program was the United States’ third human spaceflight program and was responsible for every human Moon landing. The 1972 Apollo 17 mission is the most-recently manned Moon landing and was carried out in order to sample lunar highland material and investigate the possibility of “recent” volcanic activity (that is, volcanic activity more recent than three billion years ago).

Contact Us

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

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

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