Tuesday Morning - January 11, 2022

Tuesday Morning
1. One big thing: SNA publishes 2022 Position Paper

2022 Position Paper

What’s new: Today, SNA released its 2022 Position Paper  outlining legislative priorities for the Association in the new year.

Why it matters: SNA is calling on Congress to immediately extend pandemic child nutrition waivers through SY 2022-23 and take steps to permanently support school meal programs severely impacted by supply chain, financial and regulatory challenges.

Big picture: The 2022 Position Paper  was drafted by the SNA Public Policy & Legislation Committee alongside the SNA President and President-Elect and is based on input from SNA members across each region of the U.S. 

  • Our thought bubble: “Amid pandemic uncertainties, school meals have remained a reliable source of nourishment for America’s students, supporting their health and achievement, while combatting food insecurity,” said SNA President Beth Wallace, MBA, SNS. “However, persistent pandemic challenges threaten the stability of child nutrition programs that millions of American families depend on. Congress must take action to restore the financial and operational sustainability of school meal programs for the students they serve.” 

What’s next: In March, school nutrition professionals from across the country will meet with their Members of Congress to discuss SNA’s 2022 Position Paper , as part of the 50th annual Legislative Action Conference (LAC). 

  • The #LAC22 agenda features a variety of sessions designed to help SNA members, allies and advocates share their stories and collaborate effectively with Federal policymakers.

Learn more.

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2. SFSP reimbursement rate increases

Stacked money

What’s new: The USDA  announced a substantial increase to Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) reimbursement rates, effective January 1, 2022.

Why it matters:  The new rates, part of an annual rate adjustment, increase lunch reimbursements by 25 cents, helping to offset higher pandemic costs. The change will provide an estimated $750 million additional funds for child nutrition programs.

  • Due to pandemic waivers, schools are eligible to receive SFSP reimbursement rates for meals served during SY2021-22.

Go deeper: USDA’s press release provides further details, including a  state-by-state breakdown of additional funds for school meal programs through the rate increase and other supports provided by USDA this year. 

3. SNA Government Affairs Staff Vice President earns accolade

Congrats to Cathy Schuchart

What’s new: Cathy Schuchart, SNA’s Staff Vice President of Government Affairs and Media Relations, has been named by Association TRENDS as a “2022 Leading Lobbyist.” 

Why it matters: Leading Lobbyists are chosen for their accomplishments in advancing their organization’s advocacy and grassroots initiatives.

What they’re saying: Associations TRENDS recognized Schuchart’s successful 17-year tenure with SNA.

  • “Her key legislative wins and advocacy efforts on behalf of SNA with USDA and Congress have helped ensure that students have access to healthy school meals. She has effectively and forcefully balanced the interests and policies of the fifty state association members, along with those of the food service industry and other key partners playing a vital role in administering and supporting 30 million K-12 students’ lunches.” 

What’s next: Schuchart and a select group of honorees will be recognized on March 11 at Association TRENDS’ 42nd annual awards show, honoring the brightest stars of the association community and their commitment to excellence.  

Learn more.  

4. Evaluation of the Independent Review Process Study releases results

A magnifying glass viewing a stack of folders.

What’s new: The Evaluation of the Independent Review Process study examined the processes, procedures, and effectiveness of a second, independent review of applications (IRA) for local education agencies (LEAs).

Big picture: The requirement, which was first implemented in School Year (SY) 2014-15, is intended to reduce administrative certification error in LEA processing of household applications.

The result: The study found that LEAs seldom made incorrect eligibility classification determinations and that the biggest challenges to IRA are receiving incomplete/ineligible applications and lack of staff availability. 

5. Reportable Food Registry Data now available

Screen displaying noise and vibration data

What’s new: The public can now view food and feed adulterations submitted to FDA’s online Reportable Food Registry (RFR) on an interactive public data dashboard.

Why it matters:  This registry is updated annually and is a place where food manufacturers and public health officials can electronically submit RFR reports when there is a reasonable probability that the use of a food may cause serious adverse health consequences.

The new online tool will allow users to collect customized data throughout the year, making it faster and easier to get better data from the RFR compared to the past. 

Learn more.

6. State legislative updates

Map of US

New York State Assemblyman Richard Gottfried has pre-filed a bill to amend the education law to require public schools to offer plant-based food options, upon request by a student or person in a parental relation with a student. 

  • According to this bill, plant-based food items should not be offered at a higher cost than its equivalent non-plant-based options. 

New Hampshire State Representative Alexis Simpson has introduced a bill to establish a farm to school reimbursement program.

  • This program would reimburse schools the cost of food purchases made from New Hampshire and New England farms. The bill also stipulates the criteria for eligible food categories and administrative processes. Eligibility is exclusive to school districts participating in the National School Lunch Program.

Kentucky State Representative Attica Scott has introduced new legislation on school meal supplemental funding.  

  • HB80 requires the Kentucky Department of Education to cover any costs associated with the School Breakfast Program and the National School Lunch Program not reimbursed by federal funds.

Nebraska State Senator Machaela Cavanaugh introduced the Hunger-Free Schools Act on January 7, 2021.

  • The State’s Education Committee filed amendments to this legislation, but it never made it to the floor. This bill has been carried over to be held for consideration at a later time. The bill provides free breakfast and lunch to all Nebraska students. 

7. Upcoming webinars from SNA and more

Webinar Graphic with Icons

🌎January 12 at 3 p.m. EST: What in the World is GDSN? Supply Chain Challenges Made Simpler with Global Synchronization Network. Join SNA for the next webinar in our Supply Chain series sponsored by inTeam Associates, LLC.

  • Go deeper: Learn about the Global Data Synchronization Network and how it can help you better address current supply chain shortages. Register .

🚚January 13 at 1 p.m. EST: Highlighting Success Stories in Supply Chain Disruptions – Part 1: Hosted by The Institute of Child Nutrition (ICN), this the first of a two-part webinar series highlighting school meal stories during ongoing supply chain disruptions. Register .

🍇 February 1 at 10 a.m. EST: USDA Fruit & Vegetable Advisory Committee virtual meeting. The meeting, held by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will examine industry recommendations provided by the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) and the United Fresh Produce Association (United Fresh). Members of the public are welcome to attend.  Register .

🍳February 2 at 3 p.m. EST: Breakfast Trends that will Help Power Up your Program: Brought to you by SNA &  Kellogg’s, this webinar features a culinary demo by Chef Matt Jost on ways to liven up your breakfast menu.

  • Go deeper: Stefanie Dove from Kellogg’s will share current menu trends from other foodservice segments to help ignite your culinary inspiration for breakfast and beyond with ideas to effectively market your program to students, parents and your school communities. Register.

Learn more .

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