Tuesday Morning - February 23, 2021

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues from SNA

Table of Contents

COVID-19 Policy Updates

CDC Publishes New School Nutrition Resources

Federal Policy

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

State Snapshots

#LAC21: USDA Update for State Agencies
Arizona Introduces Lunch Shaming Legislation
California Presents End Child Hunger Act of 2021 
Connecticut Drafts Bill Requiring Schools to Report on CEP
Hawaii Creates Legislation to Encourage the Development of School Gardens
Illinois Bill to Exempt School Food Services from Contact Bidding
Maryland Presents Two Bills to Assist School Meal Programs
Massachusetts Introduces Three Bills to Expand Access to School Meals and Nutrition Education
Minnesota Drafts Two Bills Addressing Unpaid Meal Debt
Nebraska Presents Hunger-Free Schools Act
New Jersey Proposes Bill to Reduce Food Waste in Schools
New York Creates Three Bills on Nutrition Standards and Funding
West Virginia Introduces Legislation Amending School Cooks to Meals Ratio

Mark Your Calendars

Upcoming SNA Webinars

Mystery Chat Corner

COVID-19 Policy Updates

CDC Publishes New School Nutrition Resources

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published updated standards for safely reopening schools, including new school nutrition program guidance. This program guide includes a checklist for serving meals, providing an overview of school nutrition safety, and highlighting key sanitation strategies.

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covid19-image 

This week, the school nutrition services team at North East Independent School District in San Antonio, Texas, celebrated the milestone of serving its 5 millionth school meal!

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

#LAC21: USDA Update for State Agencies

State Agency professionals are invited to an exclusive USDA Update for State Agencies to be held from noon-1 p.m. EST March 5 as part of SNA’s 2021 Legislative Action Conference. Prior registration for the conference and this special State Agency session are required to attend. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Register Now

Arizona Introduces Lunch Shaming Legislation

SB 1623 prohibits school personnel from taking any disciplinary actions against a student who is unable to pay for a school meal or has meal debt; however, it does not prohibit schools from serving an alternative meal.

California Presents End Child Hunger Act of 2021

SB 364 expresses the intent to establish the California Universal School Meal Program to allow free breakfasts and lunches to continue to be available to all children beyond the COVID-19 public health crisis.

Connecticut Drafts Bill Requiring Schools to Report on CEP

SB 881 requires local boards of education that participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and qualify for the Community Eligibility Program (CEP) but do not implement it to submit a report citing reasons for not implementing, including impediments, to the Connecticut Department of Education.

Hawaii Creates Legislation to Encourage the Development of School Gardens

SB 463 authorizes the Hawaii Department of Education to create programs that encourage the development of gardens on school property.

Illinois Bill to Exempt School Food Services from Contact Bidding

HB 1782 amends the Illinois School Code to exempt the operation of a school's food services from contract bidding requirements, including contracts for goods, services or management; this includes all schools that participate in any of the United States Department of Agriculture's child nutrition programs.

Maryland Presents Two Bills to Assist School Meal Programs

  • HB 831 establishes the Maryland Food System Resiliency Council to develop a strategic plan to increase food production and procurement in Maryland, including in schools; this council must include at least one expert on nutrition and public health.
  • HB 786 requires the Maryland Secretary of Human Services, the Secretary of Health and the State Superintendent to collaborate to simplify the application process for public assistance and health programs, including state and federal school nutrition programs.

Massachusetts Introduces Three Bills to Expand Access to School Meals and Nutrition Education

  • SD 519 requires all schools to provide breakfast and lunch at no charge to any student in attendance. It directs all schools to maximize federal funds for the cost of school meals; the Massachusetts’ Department of Elementary and Secondary Education shall reimburse schools for the remaining costs.
  • HD 1356 directs school districts to promote access to healthy meals, encourages the maximization of federal funds for school meals, and allows any school district that waives the reduced-price copay to receive reimbursement from the Massachusetts’ Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
  • HD 1711 outlines Massachusetts' Department of Education's health education standards to include instruction on growth and physical development, fitness, nutrition and mental health.

Minnesota Drafts Two Bills Addressing Unpaid Meal Debt

  • SF 800 appropriates $40 million to the Minnesota Commissioner of Education to create the School Breakfast and Lunch Debt Forgiveness Fund to ensure school districts have the necessary support to provide every child a meal while in school.
  • SF 777 amends Minnesota school meal policies to require any school that participates in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) to adopt a formal approach on serving, accounting and meal debt, and distributing this policy to all students, including posting on an online forum.

Nebraska Presents Hunger-Free Schools Act

LB 117 establishes the Hunger-Free Schools Act requiring all public schools to offer all eligible students breakfast and lunch at no cost through Federal school meal programs. This act would also require each school to submit information regarding the number of breakfasts and lunches served to qualified students.

New Jersey Proposes Bill to Reduce Food Waste in Schools

A 5327 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.

New York Creates Three Bills on Nutrition Standards and Funding

  • A 4820 permits school food authorities to be eligible for a state subsidy of 25 cents per meal if it can demonstrate that at least 30% of food purchased was from New York state farmers, growers, producers or processors.
  • A 5159 directs the New York Commissioner of Education to develop a state model wellness policy in consultation with state agencies; once the policy is drafted, the commissioner must solicit feedback from experts and stakeholders, including school food service directors.
  • S 4644 directs the New York Department of Health to create healthy food service guidelines, which must feature nutritional standards for foods, beverages, and meals served in schools based on the National School Lunch Program's (NSLP) nutrition standards.

West Virginia Introduces Legislation Amending School Cooks to Meals Ratio

HB 2268 establishes mandatory school food service guidelines for the 2021-2022 school year, changing the minimum ratio of one school cook for every 110 meals prepared and served.

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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 23, 1940, which famous Walt Disney animated movie featuring Jiminy Cricket premiers in the United States?

A: Pinocchio

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Arlington, VA 22206
servicecenter@schoolnutrition.org  

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

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The School Nutrition Association has a presence in every state across the country. View links to many of the state associations to find out more about what SNA is doing nationwide. 

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