Tuesday Morning - July 7, 2020

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues
from SNA

Table of Contents

COVID-19 Policy Updates

Universities Develop Resource on How Summer Meals Keep Kids Healthy
USDA Issues State Guidance and Nationwide Waiver to Allow Offer Versus Serve Flexibilities

Federal Policy

Federal Register Comment Request: Professional Standards Training Tracker Tool
FNS Announces Recipients for 2020-2021 Farm to School Grants
USDA Expands Access to Online Food Purchase Program

State Snapshots

Massachusetts Introduces Amendment to Fund Child Nutrition Outreach Program
New Jersey Bill Promotes the Passage of CARE for Kids Act of 2019
Rhode Island Creates Bill to Ban Single-Use Straws

Mark Your Calendars

School Nutrition Association Webinars

Mystery Chat Corner

COVID-19 Policy Updates

Universities Develop Resource on How Summer Meals Keep Kids Healthy

The University of California’s Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources and Stanford Medicine have created the handout “Calling all Districts! USDA Summer Meals Can Keep Kids Healthy”. This resource illustrates how USDA’s Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) can keep kids full and healthy despite school closures due to COVID-19. For example, schools can continue to serve meals over the summer with support from USDA’s extension of waiver flexibilities. This resource will help to answer frequently asked questions on how to get started and provide tips for running successful and sustainable programs.

USDA Issues State Guidance and Nationwide Waiver to Allow Offer Versus Serve Flexibilities

On July 2, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a nationwide waiver to allow Offer Versus Serve (OVS) Flexibilities for the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). FNS recognizes that continuing to waive restrictions on the use of OVS in SFSP would reduce the administrative burden on State agencies and sponsors in this public health emergency. This waiver helps support access to nutritious meals while minimizing potential exposure to COVID–19. This waiver is currently in effect and expires on September 30, 2020.

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Federal Policy

Federal Register Comment Request: Professional Standards Training Tracker Tool

On June 29th, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a Comment Request regarding the Food and Nutrition Service’s (FNS) new Professional Standards Training Tracker Tool (PSTTT). FNS has developed the PSTTT as a web-based application for state and school nutrition professionals to track training courses, learning objectives and training hours. USDA is requesting comments regarding the utility of this tool and whether the collection of information is necessary for the functions of the agency. Comments for this collection are due by July 29, 2020.

FNS Announces Recipients for 2020-2021 Farm to School Grants

The Food and Nutrition Service’s (FNS) Office of Community Food Systems has released its list of 2020 Farm to School Grant recipients for the 2020-2021 school year. This year the Farm to School Grant Program will provide $12.1 million in grants to over 150 Farm to School programs and will go on to serve more than 2.5 million students in 7,610 across the country. Farm to School Grants help fund projects that increase the number of local foods served through child nutrition programs, teach children about food and agriculture through garden and classroom education, and develop schools’ and farmers’ capacities to participate in farm to school projects.

USDA Expands Access to Online Food Purchase Program

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced approval of requests from Oklahoma and Montana to provide online purchasing of food to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) households. This approval will allow these states to expedite the implementation of online purchasing with currently authorized SNAP online retailers with a target start date to be announced at a later time. For a complete list of states where SNAP online purchasing is operational, click here

State Snapshots

Massachusetts Introduces Amendment to Fund Child Nutrition Outreach Program

Senate Amendment 01 of HB 4808 provides $5,250,000 to fund outreach, technical support, promotional materials and operations costs for school meal sites run by the Child Nutrition Outreach Program during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

New Jersey Bill Promotes the Passage of CARE for Kids Act of 2019

AR 169 urges the President and Congress to enact “CARE for Kids Act of 2019” to provide automatic eligibility for free school meals to American children who are raised by grandparents or relatives other than their parents.

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Rhode Island Creates Bill to Ban Single-Use Straws

S 2794 prohibits food and beverage providers, including in schools, from providing single-use plastic straws to consumers unless specifically requested.

Mark Your Calendars

School Nutrition Association 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.

Building Resilience & Promoting Mental Health During Challenging Times
Wednesday, July 15, 2020, 2:00 PM ET
Renown psychotherapist and mental health expert Joyce Marter provides encouragement and practical tools for school nutrition professionals to better manage stress while experiencing the unique challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Marter will help you promote your mental health and wellbeing with proven strategies from cognitive-behavioral therapy and mindfulness practices. Attendees will learn new tools to manage fear, uncertainty and change and foster resilience and will receive resources for practicing self-care and accessing support.

Food Research and Action Center Webinars

Maximizing Opportunities to Ensure Students Nutrition Needs 
Thursday, July 30, 2020, 3:00 PM ET 
Back-to-school planning looks a lot different this year, given the impact of COVID-19. Join this webinar to learn how you can continue to strengthen and expand your school nutrition programs, especially school breakfast and afterschool meals, in this new environment. Efforts to increase participation pay off throughout the school year, with endless benefits for students as well as your bottom line. Speakers will share effective strategies to expand, adjust, and promote your offerings to ensure the nutritional needs of students are met this coming school year.

Mystery Chat Corner

On this date (July 7th) in 1456, a retrial verdict acquits what French Soldier and National Heroine of heresy 25 years after her death?
A: Joan of Arc

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Arlington, VA 22206
servicecenter@schoolnutrition.org  

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

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