Tuesday Morning - January 16, 2018

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues
from SNA

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

Release of SNA’s 2018 Position Paper and Member Resources
LAC Early Bird Registration Discounts End in THREE Days
Senators Tina Smith and Deb Fischer Join Senate Agriculture Committee
USDA Issues Memo on FNS-640 SY 2016-17 Reporting Guidance
USDA Foods Available List for SY 2018-19 Published

State Snapshots

Unpaid Meals Legislation Trend Continues
Washington Breakfast After the Bell and Farm to School
Florida School Garden Programs
Mississippi Low-Fat Meals and Nutrition Education

Mark Your Calendars

SNA's Upcoming Webinars
National CACFP Sponsors Association National Conference
USDA Direct Certification Improvement Grants

Cafeteria Chat Corner


Federal Policy

Release of SNA’s 2018 Position Paper and Member Resources

On Thursday, January 11, SNA released its 2018 Position Paper, outlining the Association’s legislative priorities for the year. The Position Paper calls on Congress to oppose any school meal block grant proposal. In a press release, SNA President Dr. Lynn Harvey, EdD, RDN, SNS, explained, “American families cannot afford for Congress to dismantle the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs through a dangerous block grant experiment. Block grants would slash child nutrition budgets and void federal rules that protect America’s most vulnerable students.” As Congress drafts a new Farm Bill, SNA is also urging passage of H.R. 3738, the “Healthy Breakfasts Help Kids Learn Act.” The bipartisan bill would expand U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foods to support school breakfast. Finally, the Position Paper calls on Congress to monitor USDA’s efforts to provide school meal program flexibility, stating that USDA’s final rule should maintain Target 1 sodium levels and restore the initial requirement that at least half of grains offered through school meals be whole grain-rich.

The 2018 Position Paper was released in advance of SNA’s 2018 Legislative Action Conference (LAC) to be held in Washington, D.C. on March 4-6. On the final day of the conference, members will “Charge the Hill” with the Position Paper in hand to advocate on behalf of school meal programs and make sure their voices are heard by their Congressional representatives! SNA members are encouraged to visit the LAC Resources page for talking points on the Position Paper and for other helpful tools.

LAC Early Bird Registration Discounts End in THREE Days

Early bird registration for LAC 2018, taking place March 4-6 in Washington, D.C., has been extended, and now January 19 is the last day you can save $50 off of your registration! Some highlights of the conference include: keynote speakers and renowned political pollsters Peter Hart and Frank Luntz; a pre-conference session on writing winning grant applications; several exciting breakout sessions; a USDA 2018 update; and a chance to “Charge the Hill” with SNA’s 2018 Position Paper in order to advocate on behalf of school meals! Register today for LAC to ensure you get the early bird rate!

Senators Tina Smith and Deb Fischer Join Senate Agriculture Committee

Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) joined the Senate Agriculture Committee last week. Smith was Minnesota’s lieutenant governor; however, she left her state government post after being appointed to replace Al Franken in the U.S. Senate. Fischer was also assigned to the Senate Agriculture Committee and has a background as a cattle rancher and former state legislator. The Senate Agriculture Committee oversees the Farm Bill, which SNA will be paying close attention to this year as it advocates for the inclusion of commodity support for school breakfast programs. H.R. 3738, the “Healthy Breakfasts Help Kids Learn Act,” is the bill that provides 6 cents in additional commodity support for every breakfast served, so be sure to go to SNA’s Action Network website to ask your Members of Congress to support the bill!

USDA Issues Memo on FNS-640 SY 2016-17 Reporting Guidance

USDA issued a policy update providing multiple resources for SY 2016-17 reporting guidance for the FNS-640 report, also known as the Administrative Review Report Form. The Report Form is scheduled to be available in the Food Programs Reporting System (FPRS) in January 2018. The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) outlines some reporting flexibilities in their memo on the report. The resources found within the policy update regarding FNS-640 include: a Reporting Guidance Memo; Instructions Summary of Revisions; FNS-640A Revised Instructions; FNS-640B Revised Instructions; FNS-640A Data Fields with Location; and FNS-640B Data Fields with Location. Technical assistance and training to support State Agencies’ implementation of the revised form is being offered, and state agencies with questions should contact their FNS Regional office.

USDA Foods Available List for SY 2018-19 Published

On December 15, 2017, USDA FNS published the SY 2018-19 USDA Foods Available List for Schools and Institutions. USDA works to introduce new products and reformulate items every year based on feedback from states and school districts; this year, they included ten new products for ordering. Those new products include: frozen mixed berry cups; frozen mixed vegetables; chicken drumsticks; grilled chicken breast fillets; pre-sliced turkey ham and smoked turkey; egg patty rounds; and white whole wheat flour. More information about the new offerings can be found in the product preview sheets. New feedback or new product ideas can always be submitted to USDAFoods@fns.usda.gov.

State Snapshots

Unpaid Meals Legislation Trend Continues

Florida, Missouri and Nebraska have introduced bills requiring that all students receive a reimbursable meal, regardless of their ability to pay.

Florida’s bill, titled the "Hunger-Free Students’ Bill of Rights Act," was introduced January 5, 2018. Under this bill, if a student accumulates an unpaid meal balance greater than five meals, a school must check for eligibility status and follow specific steps for parental notification. The bill also requires schools (except CEP schools) to provide a free and reduced-price application to every enrolled student, in addition to offering assistance in completing the application if needed.

Missouri’s HB 1939, introduced January 4, 2018, outlines specific steps for a school to take to identify eligibility and notify parents or guardians.

Nebraska’s LB 771, The Child Hunger Workforce Readiness Act, declares that students who are eligible for free and reduced-price lunches may be particularly affected by public identification of an unpaid meal balance.

Florida, Missouri and Nebraska’s unpaid meal bills join Indiana’s, which was introduced earlier this month.

Washington Breakfast After the Bell and Farm to School

Washington HB 1508 passed the House on January 10, 2018. The bill acknowledges that school food programs are associated with improvements for students’ absenteeism, test results and graduation rates. Furthermore, it requires “high-needs” schools to offer breakfast after the bell to each student. Finally, the bill also increases support for farm to school programs.

Florida School Garden Programs

SB 1732 authorizes schools to establish a school garden and for the students to select and receive produce from these gardens.

Mississippi Low-Fat Meals and Nutrition Education

HB 494 is a reintroduction of a requirement to serve low-fat meals to all students who have been diagnosed as overweight.

HB 510 requires the State Department of Education to provide training to various school officials on marketing healthy foods and creating a healthy cafeteria environment. It would also require that all schools display a “nutritional guide chart or the food pyramid.”

Mark Your Calendars

SNA's Upcoming Webinars

Learn about hot topics in school nutrition and earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs) with SNA’s popular professional development webinars.

Register Now:
The Power of Protein!
Wednesday, January 17, 2018, 2:00 pm ET
This webinar will cover the latest in egg nutrition research, foodservice trends, success stories, and marketing materials to attract students, staff and parents to the protein power of eggs.
Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs.

Advocacy in 2018: Prepare to Charge the Hill
Thursday, February 1, 2018, 2:00 pm ET
Attend this webinar to get insider tips from the SNA’s Public Policy & Legislation Committee Chair, Doug Davis, SNS, and Co-Chair, Sara Gasiorowski, SNS. Your school nutrition policy and legislation experts will provide a run down on the 2018 Position Paper and prepare you to make the most of your time at LAC 2018.

Community Eligibility Series, Part 1: Community Eligibility Provision 101
Wednesday, February 7, 2018, 2:00 pm ET
Join this webinar to learn the nuts, bolts and many benefits community eligibility offers to students, schools and communities.
Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs.

Registration Coming Soon:
Best of #SNIC18: Simple Tech Tools from Your Nerdy Best Friend
Wednesday, February 21, 2018, 2:00 pm ET
In today's high-tech world, apps can solve all kinds of challenges in your School Nutrition Puzzle! We've brainstormed some of the toughest tasks in your typical day for this practical webinar with tech tools you just can't miss.
Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs.

Best of #SNIC18: When it Comes to Food and Ingredients, What Do Consumers Really Want?
Wednesday, February 28, 2018, 2:00 pm ET
Good value. Convenient. Clean label. Locally sourced. What do consumers really want? Join strategic nutrition marketer Mark Cornthwaite who will help you uncover different consumer segments, their specific needs and how you can address those needs as a school nutrition program operator or industry professional.
Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs.

Community Eligibility Series, Part 2: Making It Work With ISPs Below 60%
Wednesday, March 14, 2018, 2:00 pm ET
Join this webinar to learn how other districts have operated community eligibility with ISPs below 60% to see if you can make it work in your district.
Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs.

National CACFP Sponsors Association National Conference

The annual National CACFP Sponsors Association conference for the Child and Adult Care Food Program, Afterschool Program, and Summer Food Program is open for registration. Visit www.cacfp.org to learn more and to register.

USDA Direct Certification Improvement Grants

USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) announced its release of the fiscal year 2018 Direct Certification Improvement Grant Request for Applications (RFA). Grants are available to state agencies that administer the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the School Breakfast Program (SBP) to fund the costs of improving direct certification rates with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and other needs-based assistance programs. States will have six opportunities to apply for Tier 1 or Tier 2 grants, beginning November 15, 2017, and ending February 15, 2019.


Cafeteria Chat Corner

Countdown to SNA’s LAC: 47 Days!
“Procurement Ethics – What Should You Do?“ is one of many great education sessions that SNA has planned for the 46th annual Legislative Action Conference (LAC). This session comes as part of SNA’s new programming on School Nutrition Ethics and, within, you will review new procurement scenarios that present ethical dilemmas, discuss what the law requires and brainstorm possible approaches forward. Don’t forget to register today for LAC to ensure you can attend informative education sessions like this one!

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