Tuesday Morning - January 8, 2019

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues
from SNA

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

Child Nutrition Programs During the Federal Government Shutdown
LAC Pre-Conference Speaker Talks About the Challenges for New Members of Congress
SNA Submitted Comment on Farm to School Census
FNS Seeks Comments on Research into Nutrition Education Interventions

State Snapshots

D.C. Council Passes Overhaul of School Meals Program
Washington Post Analysis Shows Nearly $500k in Unpaid Meal Debt in D.C. Metro Area

Mark Your Calendars

2019 Legislative Action Conference
2019 National Child Nutrition Conference
SNA’s Upcoming Webinars

Mystery Chat Corner

Federal Policy

Child Nutrition Programs During the Federal Government Shutdown

In a press release, the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) provided updates on the impact of the partial government shutdown (which began on December 22, 2018) on child nutrition programs. This includes the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), the School Breakfast Program (SBP), the Child and Adult Care Feeding Program (CACFP), Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and the Special Milk Program (SMP).

According to USDA, these programs will continue operations into February, as meal providers are paid on a reimbursement basis until 30 days after the end of the service month. The FNS Contingency Plan for Shutdown Due to a Lapse in Appropriations states, “FNS currently receives a series of appropriations for activities within the child nutrition programs and for the Senior Farmers Market program directly from authorizing statute without need of annual appropriation action. These programs and activities will continue during a lapse in annual appropriations.”

The USDA website will not be updated or maintained while the lapse in federal funding continues, and we encourage members to use both their state agency and SNA as resources during this time.

SNA will continue to provide information as it becomes available.

LAC Pre-Conference Speaker Talks About the Challenges for New Members of Congress

In an interview with Newsy, Bradford Fitch, the CEO of the Congressional Management Foundation (CMF), explained the major challenges facing freshmen members of Congress. CMF will host the pre-conference session “Putting the Pieces Together: How to Build a First-Class Advocacy Operation” at this year’s Legislative Action Conference (LAC).

“Putting the Pieces Together” will help you to navigate the tricky process of building a relationship with elected officials, give you tools for influencing public policy and teach you how to craft your personal and professional stories into a compelling public policy advocacy campaign. You will leave this three-hour pre-con “boot camp” with the expertise to set up an effective advocacy network in your state and bring your concerns to your elected officials from statehouses to the U.S. Congress.

Visit the LAC site for more information about LAC 2019. Register now to secure your spot!

SNA Submitted Comment on Farm to School Census

In a letter, SNA responded to Food & Nutrition Service’s (FNS) request for comment on a proposed information collection for a Farm to School Census and Comprehensive Review. FNS seeks to use this third iteration of the census to allow the agency to make comparisons of farm to school activities and trends nationally across time, as well as to help contribute to a comprehensive view of the programs over the ten-year period since the USDA Farm to School grant program was established.

SNA expressed continued concern about the burden the census might place on school nutrition personnel, especially when the information is collected in a format that is not consistent with the way School Food Authorities (SFAs) collect and maintain records.

FNS Seeks Comments on Research into Nutrition Education Interventions

Last month, FNS announced it was seeking comments on a proposed information collection to conduct research in support of the agency’s goal of delivering science-based nutrition education to targeted audiences.

The agency is seeking comments on: whether the proposed collection is necessary to carry out the agency’s functions, the accuracy of the estimated burden of the proposed collection, ways to enhance the information to be collected and ways to minimize the burden of the collection on respondents.

State Snapshots

D.C. Council Passes Overhaul of School Meals Program

In December, the Council of the District of Columbia passed and transmitted to the Mayor the Healthy Students Amendment Act of 2018, which will provide significant investments in school nutrition while reducing some of the regulatory burdens school meals programs face. The bill repeals the District’s sodium requirements, which were passed before stricter federal requirements were implemented. It also adopts federal nutrition standards for competitive foods and eliminates overly burdensome reporting requirements, in favor of a biennial comprehensive report.

The bill also takes numerous steps to expand access to and participation in school breakfast programs. It expands funding for school breakfast, providing $2 per student annually to certain schools that provide breakfast in the classroom, in addition to increasing the reimbursement rate for breakfast by $0.10 per meal. It also authorizes the Superintendent of Education to grant one-year waivers to schools required to serve breakfast in the classroom that want to pilot alternative service models and requires all schools to offer breakfast after the bell.

Washington Post Analysis Shows Nearly $500k in Unpaid Meal Debt in D.C. Metro Area

An analysis by the Washington Post found that schools in the D.C. metro area have accrued nearly half a million dollars in unpaid meal debt so far this school year. The amounts range from just over $20,000 in Alexandria City Public Schools to $127,000 in D.C. Public Schools. The six school districts have a combined enrollment of 573,701, and their shares of students receiving free and reduced-price meals range from 28% in Fairfax County Schools to 77% in D.C.

Mark Your Calendars

2019 Legislative Action Conference

Keeping our promise to American’s children—it starts here at #LAC19! Join forces with hundreds of SNA members and other school nutrition advocates in Washington, D.C., to advocate for national policy efforts supporting school nutrition programs and meet directly with legislators. SNA’s 47th Legislative Action Conference (LAC) takes place February 24-26, 2019 at the Marriott Marquis.

2019 National Child Nutrition Conference

The National Child Nutrition Conference, scheduled for April 22-26, 2019 in Chicago, Ill., will feature the best educational training and networking opportunities for CACFP, Afterschool Meals and Summer Food Service teams. Join the child nutrition community for three days of education featuring over 175 presenters and 150 hours of workshops.

SNA’s Upcoming Webinars

Beginning this month, SNA will be bringing you all new webinars, including our “Best of #SNIC19” webinar series representing the highest-rated conference sessions from #SNIC19. With SNA's popular professional development webinars, you can learn about the hottest topics in school nutrition while earning Continuing Education Units (CEUs):

Planning Ahead for Community Eligibility: Basics, Tools, and Implementation Tips
Thursday, January 10, 2019, 3:00 pm ET
This community eligibility webinar is brought to you in partnership with FRAC, The School Superintendents Association (AASA), the Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO) and the School Nutrition Association (SNA).
FRAC provides a Certificate of Attendance for participating. The webinar is hosted by FRAC. Questions should be sent to AMaurice@FRAC.org.

What to Expect at #LAC19
Tuesday, January 22, 2019, 2:00 pm ET
Want to learn more about SNA’s 2019 LAC? Looking for tips about how to leave an impression with your Member of Congress? This webinar is for you!
No CEUs will be awarded for this webinar.

Best of #SNIC19: Food Service Trends
Wednesday, January 30, 2019, 2:00 pm ET
As presented at #SNIC19, Menu Matters President Maeve Webster will bring you the leading foodservice trends and how these trends will impact student preferences and your school nutrition program.
Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs.

Missed a particular webinar? Did you know that over 20,000 attendees took advantage of SNA‘s popular live and on-demand webinars? Be sure to take advantage of this member-only benefit.


Mystery Chat Corner

On January 8, 1790, President George Washington gave the first State of the Union address.
Delivered in New York City to a joint session of Congress, Washington’s speech was the first annual address given by a President. Thomas Jefferson ended the practice in 1801, instead submitting a written message to Congress that was read by a clerk. The address wouldn’t be delivered in person again until 1913, when Woodrow Wilson controversially revived the practice. .

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