Tuesday Morning - February 9, 2021

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues from SNA

Table of Contents

COVID-19 Policy Updates

White House Publishes Fact Sheet Addressing Public Charge Rule

Federal Policy

Federal Register: Comment Request for Meal Operations Study
Federal Register: Comment Collection for Child Nutrition Database
Register for the 49th Legislative Action Conference: March 8-10, 2021
#LAC21 Zoom the Hill: Schedule Your Meeting

State Snapshots

Florida Drafts Bill Requiring School Districts to Provide Meals to All Students
North Dakota Introduces Legislation Outlining Student Meal Funds

Maine Creates Tax Deduction for Paying off School Meal Debt

Oklahoma Proposes Bill to Create School Lunch Workshop Fund

Rhode Island Presents Bill Requiring Training for School Lunch Personnel

South Carolina Drafts Bill to Address Unpaid Meal Debts

Vermont Introduces Bill to Create Incentives for Schools to Purchase Food Locally

Virginia Creates Bill to Commend Henrico County School’s Nutrition Services Team

Washington Presents Legislation to Eliminate the Reduced-Price Co-pay

Mark Your Calendars

Upcoming SNA Webinars

Mystery Chat Corner

COVID-19 Policy Updates

White House Publishes Fact Sheet Addressing Public Charge Rule

On February 2, the White House published a fact sheet outlining President Biden's next steps toward reforming current immigration policies. Specifically, it states that President Biden has rescinded the previous administration's memorandum requiring sponsors to repay the government if relatives receive public benefits. It also instructs federal agencies to review the Final Public Charge Rule and other related policies. In previous comments, SNA has expressed concern that the change "will result in children going hungry during the school day, even though they are legally authorized and eligible to receive free or reduced priced school meals." 

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covid19-image 

School nutrition staff at Bellevue School District in Washington hit a milestone with their Meals2Go Program and have served over 500,000 meals to students since the start of the program last spring.

Federal Policy

Federal Register: Comment Request for Meal Operations Study

On January 27, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) published the Federal Register notice “Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request.” This comment collection allows FNS to describe and assess program operations, provide input for legislation and regulations on the CN programs and develop pertinent technical assistance and training for program staff at the State and local levels. All comments are due February 26, 2021.

Federal Register: Comment Collection for Child Nutrition Database

On January 27, USDA published the notice “Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request.” This comment request related to FNS’s previous notice is regarding the Child Nutrition Database (CNDB), a software approved by the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) used for nutrition analysis of school meals served in School Meal Programs. All comments are due February 26, 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

Florida Drafts Bill Requiring School Districts to Provide Meals to All Students

HB 517 requires all schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) to provide meals to each student regardless of their ability to pay or if they have unpaid meal charges.

North Dakota Introduces Legislation Outlining Student Meal Fund

HB 1275 creates the "Student Meal and Support Services Fund," which may be used to reimburse school districts for unpaid student lunch debt and to provide funding for student support services.

Maine Creates Tax Deduction for Paying off School Meal Debt

LD 217 creates a tax deduction for any contribution or donation given to a public school to pay off student meal debt.

Oklahoma Proposes Bill to Create School Lunch Workshop Fund

HB 2695 creates the "School Lunch Workshop Revolving Fund," which allows Oklahoma's Board of Education to sponsor workshops for staff whose school or district participates in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). This fund allows schools to develop, print and distribute materials, books and bulletins for school lunch programs

Rhode Island Presents Bill Requiring Training for School Lunch Personnel

S 31 requires Rhode Island's Department of Education to provide suicide awareness and prevention training for all public school employees, specifically administrators, teachers and lunch personnel.

South Carolina Drafts Bill to Address Unpaid Meal Debt

HB 3319 prohibits school districts from penalizing any student who cannot pay for a school meal and requires South Carolina's Department of Education to develop and implement a template policy regarding collecting unpaid meal debt.

Vermont Introduces Bill to Create Incentives for Schools to Purchase Food Locally

H 150 creates incentives for schools to purchase locally produced foods and establishes the goal that by 2024, at least 20% of all foods purchased for school meals shall be locally sourced.

Virginia Creates Bill to Commend Henrico County School’s Nutrition Services Team

HR 244 commends Henrico County Public Schools (HCPS) nutrition services for their dedication to provide meals to students despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. HCPS nutrition services reworked its entire service model, creating 129 meal distribution sites at 69 schools and other locations and initiating delivery to 60 bus stop locations

Washington Presents Legislation to Eliminate the Reduced Price Co-pay

HB 1342 provides state funding to eliminate the reduced price copayments for breakfast and lunch for all students in Washington.

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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 9, 1889, which U.S. federal department was declared a Cabinet-level agency? 
A: The U.S. Department of Agriculture

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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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