Tuesday Morning - February 16, 2021

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues from SNA

Table of Contents

COVID-19 Policy Updates

SNA Joins Allied Letter in Support of Children’s Access to School Meals
FNS Publishes State Guidance on COVID P-EBT 

Federal Policy

Register for the 49th Legislative Action Conference: March 8-10, 2021 
#LAC21 Zoom the Hill: Schedule Your Meeting

State Snapshots

Arkansas Introduces Community Schools Act
California Presents Bill to Eliminate the Reduced Price Co-pay 
Hawaii Proposes Bill to Increase Locally Sourced Meals in Schools
Kentucky Presents Bill Permitting Breakfast During Instructional Time
Maryland Introduces Legislation to Address Food Insecurity
Minnesota Drafts Bill to Create Debt Forgiveness Fund

New Hampshire Bill Allocates Funds to Reimburse Drivers for Delivering School Meals

New York Bill Appropriates Funds to Reimburse School Districts for Meals

North Dakota Drafts Bill to Provide Grants to Offset Costs of Free School Meals

Oregon Presents Bill Directing Funds to Expand School Meal Programs

Tennessee Introduces Anti-Lunch Shaming Act
Virginia Creates Bill to Commend Prince William County Public Schools’ Nutrition Services Staff

Mark Your Calendars

Upcoming SNA Webinars

Mystery Chat Corner

COVID-19 Policy Updates

SNA Joins Allied Letter in Support of Children’s Access to School Meals

SNA, along with 80 other organizations, including the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and Feeding America, signed onto the Child Nutrition Forum and National Alliance for Nutrition Activity (NANA) Joint Statement on COVID-19 recovery priorities. This statement highlights the necessity and importance of strong nutrition policies that improve children’s access to healthy meals to address health disparities exacerbated by this crisis.  Read the full joint statement.

FNS Publishes State Guidance on COVID P-EBT

On February 9, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) published State Guidance on Coronavirus Pandemic EBT (P-EBT). P-EBT provides eligible school children with temporary emergency nutrition benefits for purchasing food. This guidance includes a Questions and Answers (Q&A) and State Template Plan to assist State Agencies administering this program.  

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covid19-image 

School nutrition staff at Greene-Hills Schools in Connecticut preparing meals-to-go for students to take home for virtual learning.

Federal Policy

Register for the 49th Legislative Action Conference: March 8-10, 2021

Registration is open for the 49th Legislative Action Conference, March 8-10, 2021—a virtual event—to experience The Power of One: The Impact of Many. As part of this year’s “ZOOM the Hill," LAC attendees will join their colleagues in advocating for SNA’s new 2021 Position Paper. LAC resources, including Position Paper fact sheets and talking points can be found here. Stay tuned for more details about this exciting event! Register now for #LAC21!

#LAC21 Zoom the Hill: Schedule Your Meeting

The  school nutrition advocacy event of the year is only four weeks away. Schedule your meeting with your legislators during the March 10th Zoom the Hill. View SNA’s step-by-step guide on how to contact the Hill and get the meeting in their calendars! 

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State Snapshots

Arkansas Introduces Community Schools Act 

SB 291 outlines food insecurity among children in Arkansas and establishes the Community Schools approach to promote better education, nutrition and health programs.

California Presents Bill to Eliminate the Reduced Price Co-pay

AB 508 requires a school district or superintendent to provide any student that is eligible for a reduced price meal with a meal free of charge, thus creating a state-mandated program that provides funding to school districts to cover the costs of eliminating the reduced price meal category.

Hawaii Proposes Bill to Increase Locally Sourced Meals in Schools

SB 1385 requires Hawaii's Department of Education to develop a plan to provide students with more locally produced foods in school meals.

Kentucky Presents Bill Permitting Breakfast During Instructional Time

HB 384 permits schools that participate in the School Breakfast Program to authorize 15 minutes of instructional time to provide students the opportunity to eat breakfast at the start of the school day. 

Maryland Introduces Legislation to Address Food Insecurity

SB 723 establishes the Maryland Food System Resiliency Council to address the food insecurity crisis, including public school systems experiencing food insecurity and local procurement issues.

Minnesota Drafts Bill to Create Debt Forgiveness Fun

HF 784 appropriates $40 million from the general fund to the Minnesota Department of Education to create a school breakfast and lunch debt forgiveness fund for school districts incurring unpaid meal costs.

New Hampshire Bill Allocates Funds to Reimburse Drivers for Delivering School Meal

SB 155 provides reimbursements to private school bus owners delivering free and reduced-price lunch services to students learning remotely. 

New York Bill Appropriates Funds to Reimburse School Districts for Meals

S 4561 provides School Food Authorities with reimbursements for all meals served under the National School Lunch Program, Summer Seamless Option or the Summer Food Service Program during the COVID-19 state of emergency.

North Dakota Drafts Bill to Provide Grants to Offset Costs of Free School Meals

HB 1413 provides funding to the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction to provide grants to school districts to offset expenses associated with providing breakfast and lunch to all students, free of charge.

Oregon Presents Bill Directing Funds to Expand School Meal Programs

HB 3104 directs the Oregon Department of Education to use the Statewide Education Initiatives Account to provide funding for statewide education initiatives, including expanding school breakfast and lunch programs.

Tennessee Introduces Anti-Lunch Shaming Act

SB 674 establishes the “Tennessee Anti-Lunch Shaming Act” which prohibits a school from taking action against any student who cannot pay for a meal or who has accumulated a meal debt.

Virginia Creates Bill to Commend Prince William County Public Schools’ Nutrition Services Staff 

HR 323 commends Prince William Country Public Schools (PWCPS) nutrition services for their exceptional dedication to provide meals to students despite the challenges presented by COVID-19. The PWCPS nutrition team has managed to serve more than 12.5 million meals since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020.

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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.

#LAC21: Legislator Meeting Checklist  
Wednesday, February 24, 2021, 3:00 PM ET 
The Congressional Management Foundation (CMF) and SNA partner up for this presentation to help prepare LAC participants to meet Congress members and their staff virtually during this year's "Zoom the Hill." The webinar informs participants about how to research their legislators before visits, identify and map their "economic footprints" to demonstrate their organizations' impact in their communities; and create their personal stories connecting their issue areas to public policy.

School Nutrition, Food Allergies & Food Insecurity in the Pandemic 
Wednesday, March 17, 2021, 3:00 PM ET
In this session, speakers will review the basics of food allergy management during the pandemic based on expert guidance; the intersection of food insecurity and food allergies; and the role of the school nutrition team. Sherry Coleman Collins is a registered dietitian, former school nutrition professional, and expert in food allergy management and will review the latest guidance from AAAAI on managing food allergies during the pandemic. Emily Brown is the president of Food Equality Initiative and the mother of a child with food allergies who works to help advocate for families managing food allergies who are also struggling with food insecurity and hunger. Jeremy Bergman is the Food Service Director of the New Castle Area Schools in New Castle, PA. He serves a diverse population of students and will share best practices and practical considerations for managing food allergens during the pandemic.

Mystery Chat Corner

On February 16, 1923, which famous British archaeologist discovered the Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun's sarcophagus?

A: Howard Carter

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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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