Tuesday Morning - January 21, 2020

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues
from SNA

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

SNA Joins U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Perdue at School Nutrition Roundtable
USDA Releases Proposed Rules on School and Summer Meal Flexibilities
SNA Comments on Drinking Water Lead and Copper Rule Revisions
Federal Register: Comment Request on Revised Proposed Information Collection
Fourth Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Meeting

State Snapshots

Indiana Introduces Bill for Community Use of School Kitchens
New Jersey Introduces 12 School Nutrition Related Bills
Oklahoma Introduces Bills to Create Nutrition Task Force and to Address Unpaid Meals
Virginia Introduces School Nutrition Legislation
South Carolina Introduces Debt Collection Legislation
Vermont Introduces Local Procurement Bill
Washington Pre-files Bill to Address Food Waste Reduction

Mark Your Calendars

SNA's Upcoming Webinars
No Kid Hungry Webinar: Engaging Community Partners in Summer Meals Planning for the New Year

Mystery Chat Corner

Federal Policy

SNA Joins U.S. Agriculture Secretary Perdue at School Nutrition Roundtable

On January 17, 2020, SNA President Gay Anderson, SNS, and CEO, Patricia Montague, CAE, joined U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue at a roundtable discussion on school nutrition issues. The event, held at Castle Hills Elementary of North East ISD, TX, was attended by federal, state and local officials and numerous school nutrition professionals, including Texas Association for School Nutrition leaders and North East ISD’s Executive Director of School Nutrition, Sharon Glosson, SNS.

After joining second graders for a healthy school lunch, Secretary Perdue heard from roundtable participants about their programs and how the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) 2018 final rule on school meal flexibilities has eased school menu planning challenges.

“Updated nutrition standards for school meals have been a tremendous success overall, but a few of the requirements contributed to reduced lunch participation, higher costs and food waste,” said Anderson. “USDA’s school meal flexibilities are helping us manage these challenges and prepare nutritious meals that appeal to diverse student tastes. SNA appreciates Secretary Perdue’s commitment to hearing from school nutrition professionals who work on the frontlines in school cafeterias and his ongoing efforts to ensure school menu planners have the flexibility they need to best serve our students.”

During the roundtable, Sec. Perdue announced that USDA is releasing proposed regulations to provide additional flexibilities for school meal programs.

Read SNA’s press release on the event.

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USDA Releases Proposed Rules on School and Summer Meal Flexibilities

USDA has released proposed regulations to provide additional flexibilities for school meal and summer meal programs.

The Simplifying Meal Service and Monitoring Requirements in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs proposed rule addresses a wide variety of topics, including changes to the Administrative Review cycle and increased flexibility on vegetable subgroups, age/grade groups, breakfast and competitive food rules. Visit the USDA website for their fact sheet on the school meal rule.

The Streamlining Program Requirements and Improving Integrity in the Summer Food Service Program proposed rule covers a variety of operational and monitoring requirements. Visit the USDA website for their fact sheet on the summer meal rule.

SNA is reviewing the details of these lengthy proposed rules and will collect member feedback as it prepares the Association’s official comments to USDA prior to the 60-day submission deadline. Stay tuned to Tuesday Morning for further updates.

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SNA Comments on Drinking Water Lead and Copper Rule Revisions

SNA filed comments in response to the Federal Register Request for Comment, National Primary Drinking Water Regulations: Proposed Lead and Copper Rule Revisions. The notice requests comments on new requirements to conduct lead in drinking water testing and public education in schools and childcare facilities. SNA notes the importance of this issue and requests that requirements related to schools should be coordinated throughout the local educational agency including school meal locations. Check out SNA’s Regulatory Updates webpage on Action Network to read full letter.

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Federal Register: Comment Request on Revised Proposed Information Collection

USDA is requesting comments on the revision of currently approved information collection for determining eligibility for free and reduced-price meals and free milk. The proposed collection reports the eligibility burden of the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program and Special Milk Program. Revisions to the proposed information collection updated burden hours associated with the Special Milk Program eligibility criteria.

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Fourth Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Meeting

USDA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have announced the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) will hold its fourth public meeting on January 23-24, 2020, in Houston, Texas. Listeners may participate in person or via a live webinar.

Reminder, the public comment period is open and will remain open throughout the DGAC’s work and deliberations. The DGAC will review the scientific evidence on topics and questions from the respective Departments and will then provide a report to the Secretaries that will help to inform USDA and HHS in the development of the 2020-25 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

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State Snapshots

Indiana Introduces Bill for Community Use of School Kitchens

HB 1125 would allow community use of school kitchens. This bill allows school cities, school towns and joint districts to open school kitchens and lunchrooms for community use to improve access to knowledge about food preparation, support local entrepreneurship and to process and store fresh food during after school hours.

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New Jersey Introduces 12 School Nutrition Related Bills

New Jersey recently introduced 12 school nutrition program related bills, including issues such as school breakfast, unpaid meals, elimination of reduced-price copay, and time to eat.

  • A 1614 would establish the School Breakfast Kiosk pilot program. Identical to A 3153.
  • A 1631 requires school districts to take specific actions to increase participation in the school meal program. This bill also prohibits shaming students with unpaid meal debt and prohibits specific actions when collecting student debt. Identical to S 4353.
  • A 1630 clarifies that school districts are not required to restrict access to school meals if a student has unpaid meal debt. Identical to S 599.
  • A 1632 would require each school district to establish a "School Meal Fund" to assist students with school meal bill in arrears. Identical to S 704.
  • A 1375 requires the New Jersey Department of Agriculture to increase participation in school meal programs through marketing campaigns.
  • A 1138 would require the state to pay the difference between federal allocation and total cost of reduced-price breakfast or lunch. This bill appropriates $4.5 million to cover the expenses.
  • A 1104 is the New Jersey "Hunger-Free Students' Bill of Rights Act," which requires certain school meal information to be provided to students' parents. It also establishes protocols for identifying eligible students for meal programs and prohibits stigmatizing students with a bill in arrears.
  • A 1228 establishes a ‘Breakfast After the Bell’ incentive fund.
  • S 680 requires all public school districts to provide a lunch period of at least 20 seated minutes.
  • S 687 requires certain school meal information to be provided to students’ parents; establishes protocols for identifying eligible students for meal programs; prohibits stigmatizing students unpaid meal debt.
  • S 571 provides anti-stigmatization protections to public school students whose school breakfast or school lunch bill is in arrears and requires a school district to communicate about arrearages to the parent or guardian and not to the student.
  • S 584 expands the School Breakfast Program (SBP) to all schools with 5% or more of students eligible for free or reduced-price meals.

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Oklahoma Introduces Bills to Create Nutrition Task Force and to Address Unpaid Meals

  • HB 2812 creates the Task Force on Student Nutrition. This task force would provide an analysis of the requirements for optimal nutrition for school-aged children and the effects of undernutrition and food insecurity on children’s school performance.
  • HB 2931 prohibits the refusal of school lunch to a student, including the prohibiting shaming of student and public communication with a student regarding lunch account balance.

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Virginia Introduces School Nutrition Legislation

  • SB 854 creates the Virginia Urban Agriculture Advisory Council as an advisory council in the legislative branch of the state government to encourage urban agriculture and contribute to building a local food economy.
  • HB 1426 requires each school board to require all public elementary and secondary schools in the local school division to participate in the federal National School Lunch Program and the federal School Breakfast program. All schools must also make a meal available to any student that requests one regardless of such student's family income or whether such student has the money to pay for the meal or owes money for meals previously provided.

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South Carolina Introduces Debt Collection Legislation

SH 4765 states that no public schools may use debt collection agencies to collect or attempt to collect outstanding debts on student school lunch or breakfast accounts.

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Vermont Introduces Local Procurement Bill

S 273 sets a goal that by the year 2022, at least 20% of all foods purchased for Vermont school meals shall be locally produced foods and provides incentive and reporting requirements for local procurement.

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Washington Pre-files Bill to Address Food Waste Reduction

HB 2246 would require the Washington Department of Agriculture to develop a food waste diversion plan by October 1, 2020. This plan includes support for educational and programmatic efforts in K-12 schools.

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Mark Your Calendars

SNA's Upcoming Webinars

With a growing emphasis on procurement in school nutrition, it’s important to make sure you do things right. Register for this week's webinar and find your way to a clean, effective procurement process. Plus, register for four additional webinar opportunities in the coming weeks! If you missed a particular webinar, catch up with SNA’s on-demand webinars.

Procurement Do's and Don'ts for Operators
Wednesday, January 22, 2020, 2:00 pm ET
With a growing emphasis on procurement in school nutrition, it’s important to make sure you do things right and, perhaps more importantly, that you don’t do things that can undermine your professionalism and your program. SNA has developed guidance to help you find your way to a clean, effective procurement process.

Best of #SNIC20: Creating a NextGen Customer Experience Strategy
Wednesday, January 29, 2020, 2:00 pm ET
As presented at #SNIC20, in this webinar learn what it takes to build a culture that keeps your student customers at the center every day and how to create next-generation customer experiences..

Community Eligibility Provision: Title I
Wednesday, February 5, 2020, 2:00 pm ET
SNA and the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) have partnered together to bring you a webinar focused on community eligibility.

Powering School Meals with U.S.-Grown Pulses
Wednesday, February 12, 2020, 2:00 pm ET
This webinar will showcase creative, kid-approved ways to serve pulses – chickpeas, dry peas, beans and lentils – in school meals.

Beyond School Lunch Memes: Real-World Commonalities, Challenges & Successes
Wednesday, February 19, 2020, 2:00 pm ET
Join a panel of international school nutrition experts as they highlight ways that food and nutrition professionals share global concerns and strategies for overcoming obstacles.

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No Kid Hungry Webinar: Engaging Community Partners in Summer Meals Planning for the New Year

Tuesday, January 21, 2020, 2:00 pm ET
Tune in for the first installment of No Kid Hungry’s 2020 ‘School’s Out, Food’s In’ summer meals webinar series! This webinar will highlight effective strategies for community partner engagement as well as practical recommendations for developing and implementing a plan to improve and/or expand your program. Hear from experts who draw from their own experience to highlight keys to success and be sure to bring your own questions and ideas to share during interactive Q&A sessions. Register here.

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Mystery Chat Corner

In 1990 on this day (January 21st), what tennis player becomes the first to be expelled from the Australian Open?
A: John McEnroe

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Arlington, VA 22206
servicecenter@schoolnutrition.org  

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

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