Tuesday Morning - July 27, 2021

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues from SNA

Table of Contents

COVID-19 Policy Updates

FNS Posts New State Guidance on COVID P-EBT

Federal Policy

The Salad Bars in Schools Expansion Act
Federal Register: New Reimbursement Rates for CACFP for SY2021-22
FNS Releases Results from Study on School Meals Application Verification
Federal Register: Summer Food Service Program
D.C. Hunger Solutions Publishes New Federal Nutrition Program Toolkit

State Snapshots

Arizona Drafts Bill to Report Information on School Food Services
New York Introduces Legislation to Create Community Garden Task Force
Texas Passes Legislation to Fund Emergency Transportation of School Meals

Mark Your Calendars

Upcoming SNA Webinars
Food and Nutrition Service (FNS)
Congressional Management Foundation Webinars

Mystery Chat Corner

COVID-19 Policy Updates

FNS Posts New State Guidance on COVID P-EBT

On July 22, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) published updated state guidance on Coronavirus Pandemic EBT (P-EBT). P-EBT provides eligible school children with temporary emergency nutrition benefits for purchasing food. This guidance includes Questions and Answers (Q&A) and a Template Plan to assist State agencies administering this program.

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covid19-image

At Belle Grove Elementary School in Brooklyn Park, Maryland, the school nutrition team enjoys the weather while serving pick-up school meals curbside.

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Federal Policy

The Salad Bars in Schools Expansion Act

On July 1, Representative Frederica Wilson (D-FL) introduced H.R. 4344, the Salad Bars in Schools Expansion Act. This bill requires the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to establish and implement a five-year program of competitive grants to promote the use of salad bars in schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). This legislation directs USDA to grant priority to those schools where at least 50% of the students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches or located in food deserts. Read Congresswoman Wilson's full press release.

Federal Register: New Reimbursement Rates for CACFP for SY2021-22

On July 21, USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) published the Federal Register notice, “Child and Adult Care Food Program: National Average Payment Rates, Day Care Home Food Service Payment Rates, and Administrative Reimbursement Rates for Sponsoring Organizations of Day Care Homes for the Period July 1, 2021, Through June 30, 2022." This notice was a correction to a previous notice published by USDA on July 7, 2021, on its annual adjustments to the reimbursement rates for the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) for the 2021-22 School Year (SY).

FNS Releases Results from Study on School Meals Application Verification

On July 20, USDA's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) published the results from its "Study of Nonresponse to the School Meals Application Verification Process." It was an in-depth case study that used data from a sample of 20 large school districts in 8 different metropolitan areas. This study was meant to examine the accuracy of the current verification process, current district practices when verifying applications, and the ultimate verification process results, including why households do not respond to verification requests and how many families reapply. Read the full report.

Federal Register: Summer Food Service Program

On July 23, USDA's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) published the Federal Register notice, "Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request-Summer Food Service Program." This notice is a comment collection to obtain and record information from State Agencies and program operators on effectively managing the SFSP and ensuring compliance with statutory and regulatory Program requirements. All comments are due September 21, 2021.

D.C. Hunger Solutions Published New Federal Nutrition Program Toolkit

Last week, D.C. Hunger Solutions, a non-profit, published a new toolkit on the Federal Nutrition Program, a helpful guide for navigating and signing up for USDA feeding programs such as School Nutrition Programs (SNP) and Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). This toolkit is designed for schools, agencies, community organizations, and other providers to assist participants in applying for and accessing benefits, food programs, and school meals.

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State Snapshots

Arizona Drafts Bill to Report Information on School Food Services

SB 1622 amends Arizona's Education Statues relating to School Instruction to require all public school student's report cards to include information on school foodservices.

New York Introduces Legislation to Create Community Garden Task Force

S 3152 or A 735 creates New York's Community Garden Task Force to identify and develop ways to encourage state agencies, municipalities, and schools to establish and expand community gardens; the task force must include representation from someone in school nutrition.

Texas Passes Legislation to Fund Emergency Transportation of School Meals

SB 462 amends Texas's Transportation Services to include funding to transport school meals and instructional materials to students during a declared disaster.

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Mark Your Calendars

Upcoming SNA Webinars

Learn about hot topics in school nutrition and earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs) with SNA’s popular professional development webinars. If you missed a particular webinar, catch up with SNA’s on-demand webinars.

Community Eligibility: Last Chance to Lock in Free Meals for Four Years
Wednesday, August 11, 2021, 3:00 PM EST
Community Eligibility adoption season is upon us! As the September 30 adoption deadline for the 2021-22 school year approaches, community eligibility provides a unique opportunity to offer free meals to all students in high-poverty schools. The dramatic increase in need and SNAP participation driven by the pandemic will help make community eligibility financially viable for more school districts and schools. Even as many schools operate their nutrition programs under the summer waivers, adopting CEP for the 2021-22 school year will allow schools to lock in higher Identified Student Percentages for four years to serve as many meals free of charge as possible beyond the pandemic. Join us to discuss helpful tools and tips for implementing community eligibility and making it work financially for your school nutrition operations.

Get WILD with Global Flavors
Wednesday, September 29, 2021, 3:00 PM EST
Increasing meal participation is critical for all programs. One of the driving questions many operators have is how to keep their menus relevant to the new generations of students while embracing the diversity of their students. Thanks to the adventurous palates of today's parents, your students have been exposed to, and come to love, many more dishes with global flavors than previous generations. Join us for an exciting panel discussion where we will show you how you can easily incorporate international flavors in your menu while keeping your food costs down, utilizing USDA Foods and basic pantry staples you likely have on hand.

Food and Nutrition Service (FNS)

Everything You Need to Know about GS1 GDSN! Accessing Nutrient, Allergen and Ingredients 
Thursday, August 5, 2021, 2:00 PM EST
This webinar is intended for States Agencies (SA) and school districts that serve USDA Foods as part of their current child nutrition programs. The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) plans to release a new initiative to allow States and school districts to access up-to-date, vendor-specific nutrition, allergen and other ingredient information for direct-delivered USDA Foods. The GS1 GDSN project will inform the ordering decisions of any FNS stakeholders to help manage overall meal planning to ensure it meets USDA nutrition standards. This project will also ensure stakeholders provide safe meals with food allergies and other special dietary needs for students. This webinar will help listeners learn more about this project that will become available after USDA Foods vendors are required to submit specific nutrition, allergen and ingredient information.

Congressional Management Foundation

Backstage Pass: Behind the Scenes of Congressional Decision-Making 
Wednesday, September 21, 2021, 3:00 PM EST
Many Americans believe that lawmakers are unreachable–that they don't care about what constituents think and influencing legislative outcomes is impossible and a waste of time. Yet CMF research shows that Members of Congress strongly believe that constituents are a valuable and informative resource in the decision-making process. Your "backstage pass" will dispel myths about Congress and provide practical strategies on how decisions are really made and by whom.

Mystery Chat Corner

On July 27, 1940, which famous Warner Bros. Pictures' cartoon character was created by Tex Avery and Bob Givens, premiering in the Looney Tunes episode, "Wild Hare"?

A: Bugs Bunny

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Arlington, VA 22206
servicecenter@schoolnutrition.org  

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

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