Tuesday Morning - January 25, 2022

1 big thing: 2022 Position Paper talking points released

2022 Position Paper Graphic

What’s new: Talking points on SNA’s 2022 Position Paper are now available.

Why it matters: These talking points provide clear and easy to remember phrases that outline the key positions in the Position Paper. Designed to use when advocating with key stakeholders, including legislators, these talking points aim to help advocates share messages effectively, take action and get results.

Big picture: Earlier this month, SNA released its 2022 Position Paper which outlines the Association’s legislative priorities in the year ahead. Priorities include:

  • Extending pandemic-related child nutrition waivers through School Year (SY) 2022-23.

  • Increasing National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program (NSLP/SBP) reimbursements.

  • Permanently providing equal access to nutritious school meals at no charge.

  • Easing sodium, whole grains and milk requirements.

  • Streamlining regulatory burdens.

The bottom line: Research shows students eat their healthiest meals at school. These meals support learning and combat child hunger. However, school meal programs face acute supply chain, financial and regulatory challenges and urgently need continued support from Congress and USDA. Advocating for your school meal program is paramount to its continued success.

What’s next: Download the talking points to use in advocacy efforts. 

Go deeper: Additional tools on the 2022 Position Paper can be found on LAC’s resource page.

2. SNA files comments on USDA’s COVID Information Collection

USDA Building in Washington, DC
USDA building in Washington, D.C.

What’s new: SNA submitted comments in response to USDA’s Request for Comment regarding the proposed extension of its review of COVID-19 child nutrition program waivers and flexibilities.

  • The information collection which was scheduled to end January 21, 2022, has been extended to August 27, 2023.

The details: SNA is encouraging FNS to review the reports filed and updated information previously provided to FNS through Regional Offices or other sources to minimize the burden of this data collection. 

  • While providing this substantial information, school districts, as well as State agencies, are continuing to address issues to provide meal service and food inventory during this ongoing public health emergency.   

3. USDA highlights school nutrition accomplishments

School Girl Holding Lunch Tray

What’s new: USDA has released a summary of key accomplishments in 2021 to promote food and nutrition security.

Why it matters:  These successes, along with ongoing progress made, are due in large part to the advocacy efforts by SNA and members like you. In 2022, USDA:

Provided $1.5 billion in supply chain assistance funds for schools through USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC). 

  • $1 billion for schools to purchase food for their meal programs 

  •  $300 million for states to purchase food to be distributed to schools 

  • $200 million for cooperative agreements to purchase local food for schools with a focus on buying from historically underserved producers. 

Issued a new waiver to prevent school meal programs struggling to procure food and supplies from being financially penalized, as well as several key waiver extensions.

Increased Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) reimbursement rates, effective January 1, 2022.

  • This provides an estimated $750 million in additional funds for child nutrition programs. 

What’s next: Join us and school nutrition advocates at LAC this March, where we will meet with legislators to increase awareness of the needs of K-12 foodservice.

  • Due to room capacity restrictions, attendance will be capped. As of today, a limited number of registrations remains. Register today to secure your seat.

  • Please know that to attend LAC, you must be vaccinated in accordance with the District of Columbia’s mandate requiring a COVID-19 vaccination to enter indoor facilities, including meeting establishments. Learn more.

4. State legislative updates

Map of US

What’s new: Legislation has recently been introduced requesting less administrative burden, more flexibilities for children to have access to meal programs, and expansion of the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP). 

Illinois state representative Carol Ammons filed a resolution urging Congress to provide flexibility and accessibility provisions to several nutrition programs, including the summer meals program. It also calls on Congress to expand the CEP, among other provisions.

Washington state representative Claire Wilson introduced legislation to increase public school participation in the CEP. It has been scheduled for a hearing. Its companion bill has been discussed in committee and is now scheduled for an executive session.

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