Tuesday Morning - February 2, 2021

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues from SNA

Table of Contents

COVID-19 Policy Updates

FNS Publishes Emergency Operating Costs Guidance for State Agencies

Federal Policy

President Biden Signs Buy American Executive Order
Applications Open for SNA's Child Nutrition Reauthorization Task Force 

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

#LAC21 Zoom the Hill: Schedule Your Meeting


State Snapshots

Connecticut Introduces Four School Nutrition Related Bills  
Hawaii Introduces Five Bills on School Meals and Farm to School Programs

Indiana Creates Legislation to Change Administrative Authority for School Meal Programs

Iowa Introduces Two Bills to Help Expand School Nutrition Programs

Kentucky Introduces Legislation Seeking Federal Reimbursement for School Meals

Nebraska Proposes Bill to Establish the Hunger-Free Schools Act

New York Creates Legislation to Outline School Lunch Periods

Montana Presents Legislation to Eliminate the Reduced Price Co-pay 

South Carolina Defines Unpaid Meal Debt and Collection Procedures

Vermont Introduces Bill to Provide Free Meals to All Student

Mark Your Calendars

Upcoming SNA Webinars
Congressional Management Foundation Webinar

Mystery Chat Corner

COVID-19 Policy Updates

FNS Publishes Emergency Operating Costs Guidance for State Agencies

On January 26, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) published the policy memo "Child Nutrition Program Emergency Operating Costs During COVID-19: Implementation Guidance for State Agencies." This memo outlines how state agencies can apply for additional funding through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), School Breakfast Program (SBP) and the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). This supplemental funding provides eligible program operators with additional reimbursements for emergency operating costs they incurred during the public health emergency.

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Covid-1.12 

This week, school nutrition staff at Chesterfield County Public Schools in Virginia created meals with fresh, locally sourced fruits and vegetables for students through one of its community partners, Kirby Farms.

Federal Policy

President Biden Signs Buy American Executive Order

On January 25th, President Biden signed an Executive Order to update and strengthen Buy American requirements across the federal government agencies. The White House released a fact sheet specifying that the order directs Federal agencies to close loopholes in existing Buy American rules, appoints a Director of Made-in-America to oversee implementation of the Executive Order, and increases oversight of waivers to domestic preference laws, among other provisions. Read the full story.

Applications Open for SNA's Child Nutrition Reauthorization Task Force 

SNA, through its conversations with Congressional staff of the Senate Agriculture and the House Education & Labor Committees, has learned that Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR) will be a priority for the new Congress. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) celebrated its 10th anniversary in December 2020. Although there have been numerous pieces of legislation that have been introduced to amend the HHFKA over the last decade, the current law remains intact with no changes to date.

On January 21, 2021, SNA's Executive Committee approved the creation of the Child Nutrition Task Force 2021. The Task Force's purpose is to gather a group of Association members to review the various sections of HHFKA and identify proposed changes and recommendations for a future CNR bill that would benefit school nutrition programs. SNA will then be share these priorities with members of Congress and the new Administration. 

The Task Force will be composed of five Subcommittees, with five members in each for a total of 25 Task Force members. All interest forms are due tomorrow, February 3, 2021.

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

Connecticut Introduces Four School Nutrition Related Bills  

  • SB 222 establishes a task force to examine the impact of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Final Rule impact concerning simplifying meal service and monitoring requirements in the National School Lunch Program and National School Breakfast Program. 
  • SB 36 prohibits any disciplinary action against public school children for unpaid school lunch charges and allows any public or private parties to donate to pay off such debt.  
  • HB 5678 requires the Connecticut Commissioner of Social Services to seek approval from the Federal government to eliminate the requirement that a municipality that participates in the Community Eligibility Provision option also files the additional paperwork required to participate in The Emergency Food Assistance Program. 
  • HB 5778 requires any public school that receives a grant for a new construction project or renovation project to include the instillation of water bottle filling stations to increase student's access to free, easily accessible, and safe drinking water.

Hawaii Introduces Five Bills on School Meals and Farm to School Programs

  • SB 1251 establishes goals for Hawaii's Department of Agriculture's Farm to School program, including expanding the relationships between public schools and agricultural communities; also aiming to have 15% of the food served in public schools to locally source products by 2025.
  • SB 1311 establishes the Sustainable School Initiative that requires Hawaii's Department of Education to meet long-term food waste and sustainability targets, including locally sourcing 60% of school meals by 2035.
  • SB 943 or HB 443 requires Hawaii's Department of Education to conduct a comprehensive cost analysis of the department's food services and School Meals Programs to increase the use of locally grown agricultural products. 
  • HB 767 moves Hawaii's Farm to School program from its Department of Agriculture to the Department of Education. 
  • HB 515 requires the auditing of Hawaii's Department of Education's school food services branch to determine how much local produce is being purchased and served to students.

Indiana Creates Legislation to Change Administrative Authority for School Meal Programs

HB 1564 moves the administrative duties and authority of school lunch programs from Indiana's State Superintendent to its Secretary of Education.

Iowa Presents Two Bills to Help Expand School Nutrition Programs 

  • HF 239 establishes “Local Farm Produce Program” to assist schools and districts with the purchasing fresh farm produce for school meals.
  • HF 114 directs Iowa’s Department of Education to create a nutrition advisory panel to provide educational resources and technical assistance to schools related to school nutrition standards and guidelines.

Kentucky Introduces Legislation Seeking Federal Reimbursement for School Meals

HB 208 directs the Kentucky Department of Education to seek waivers from the Federal government to reimburse school districts for meals or meal supplements served by the district, including waivers allowing service in non-congregate settings and reducing the mandatory wait times between serving meals to students during COVID-19.

Nebraska Proposes Bill to Establish the Hunger-Free Schools Act  

LB 117  would adopt the Hunger-Free Schools Act. This Act would require all public schools to offer all eligible students’ breakfast and lunches at no cost through the breakfast program or school lunch program.

New York Creates Legislation to Outline School Lunch Periods 

S 2894 requires all public schools to schedule lunch periods between two and one-half hours to consume lunch and no later than four hours after the start of the school day.

Montana Presents Legislation to Eliminate the Reduced Price Co-pay 

HB 69 provides state funding to eliminate the reduced price copayments for breakfast and lunch for all students in Montana.

South Carolina Defines Unpaid Meal Debt and Collection Procedures 

HB 3006 prohibits any public school or district from using a debt collection service or assigning additional fees while collecting outstanding debt from students for school meals.

Vermont Introduces Bill to Provide Free Meals to All Student

H 32 requires all public schools in Vermont to make school breakfast and lunch available to all students at no charge. Vermont's Education Fund will bear any meal cost that is not reimbursed through Federal funds. 

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Mark Your Calendars

Upcoming SNA Webinars

Next month, join us for our Webinar Wednesday and learn about USDA Foods. If you missed a particular webinar, catch up with SNA’s on-demand webinars.

Celebrate Black History Month with SNA
Wednesday, February 4, 2021, 3:00 PM ET
In celebration of Black History Month, join SNA leaders who have shaped the school nutrition profession and meet rising stars. You’ll hear inspiring leadership journeys, celebrate the work of school nutrition professionals, and discuss the critical role school nutrition programs play to fuel all students for success.

#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.

Congressional Management Foundation

The VIRTUAL Citizen-Advocate's Toolkit
Tuesday, February 2, 2021, 3:00 PM ET
Regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic, keeping in touch with constituents is among the most important job aspects for Members of Congress. With most Members of Congress taking steps to observe social distancing protocols, Congressional offices quickly adopted the use of virtual platforms to communicate with the people they represent. This presentation will highlight and provide tips for effectively using virtual advocacy strategies for engaging lawmakers including virtual meetings, emailing staff, social media, online and telephone town hall meetings, and more.

Mystery Chat Corner

On February 2, 1997, who became the first NHL coach in history to win 1,000 games?                                          
A: Scotty Bowman

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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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