Tuesday Morning - February 15, 2022

1 big thing: Countdown to SNA’s 2022 Legislative Action Conference 

SNA Legislative Action Conference 2022

What’s new: #LAC22 kicks-off in less than three weeks!

Whether meeting with your legislators in person or via Zoom, now is the time to start planning your meeting agenda. Below are helpful resources and tools to help you prepare.

  • Visit the  LAC 2022 Resources webpage  which provides critical resources, such as your District Profile sheet, to use during your Hill visits, as well as lobbying tips, and more.

  • Download, print and complete a district profile sheet for each of your schools so that you have your relevant information ready to share with your lawmakers.

  • Bookmark the 2022 Feedback Forms to complete after your visits with your legislators. Your feedback will inform SNA’s advocacy efforts throughout the year.

Don’t forget! Bring photos of your healthy, colorful school lunch trays! Don’t let your legislator think this headline-grabbing photo of an unappealing lunch tray speaks to what’s being served in your school cafeterias.

  • A picture speaks a thousand words, so share a few of the nutritious meals you serve. Need some inspiration? View this slide show that Maryland SNA prepared for their legislator visits.

2. U.S. House passes Continuing Resolution

What’s new: On February 8, the U.S. House passed a Continuing Resolution, H.R. 6617, which would prevent a government shutdown and extend government Federal funding at current levels through March 11.

The big picture: The Government is presently operating under a Continuing Resolution set to expire February 18. H.R. 6617, titled The Further Additional Extending Government Funding Act  [DP1] , does not include language extending USDA school nutrition program waiver authority set to expire in June.

Why it matters: SNA is advocating for Congress to provide additional support by authorizing child nutrition waiver extensions through SY2022-23 to address immediate supply chain issues, higher costs and the need to maintain pandemic safety measures.

3. Apply now: FY 2022 Team Nutrition Training Grants


What’s new: USDA has released a  Request for Applications for the Fiscal Year 2022 Team Nutrition Training Grants for School Nutrition Professional Readiness and Retention. 

State agencies that administer the National School Lunch Program may apply for up to $1 million in competitive grant funding.

Don't miss these important dates:

  • February 24, 2022: Letter of Intent Due by 11:59 pm ET

  • March 14, 2022: Applications Due by 11:59 pm ET

Learn more.

4. State legislative update: Maryland, New Jersey and Kentucky

Map of US

What’s new: State legislation broadening eligibility requirements for students’ access to school meals continue to be introduced.

In Maryland, Delegate Kirill Reznik has introduced legislation requiring eligible schools that receive a per pupil grant under the Concentration of Poverty Grant Program to provide students with free lunch. This measure has been referred to the Ways and Means Committee and a hearing has been scheduled for March 3, 2022.

In New Jersey, Assemblyman Craig Coughlin, as well as Assemblywomen Pamela Lampitt and Mila Jasey, have introduced legislation requiring schools to offer free breakfast and lunch to students from working class and middle-income families, regardless of the percentage of students at the school that meet federal eligibility requirements.

  • This bill also requires schools to provide school meals to middle-income students through the Breakfast After the Bell program or an emergency meals distribution program.

  • This measure was referred to the Assembly Agriculture and Food Security Committee. An identical bill has been introduced in the Senate by Senator Teresa Ruiz.

Also in New Jersey, Senator Teresa Ruiz introduced a bill to assist students with school meal bills in arrears. This legislation requires school districts to institute a "School Meal Fund."

  • An identical bill has been introduced in the Assembly by Assemblywomen Pamela Lampitt and Verlina Reynolds-Jackson, as well as Assemblyman Ralph Caputo.

In Kentucky, Senator Jason Howell introduced a bill authorizing a school-based decision making council or a principal of a school that participates in the Federal School Breakfast Program to authorize up to 15 minutes to provide the opportunity for children to eat breakfast during instructional time.

  • A similar measure was introduced last week in the House by Representatives Steve Riley and Killian Timoney.

5. State legislation trends

SNA 2021 Fourth Quarter State Legislative Report Graphic

What’s new: State legislatures have reconvened and are ready to discuss and advance new legislation.

Why it matters:  You can get ahead of the game by beginning your local advocacy efforts now. Legislation moves quickly at the local level with bills often introduced and passed within a few weeks.

What’s next: Review the trends in your area in SNA’s 2021 4th Quarter State Legislative Report.

  • You can also check for your state’s convene and adjourn dates here.

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