Tuesday Morning - July 9, 2019

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues
from SNA

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

Child Nutrition Reporting Burden Analysis Study Published
USDA Releases Successful Approaches to Reduce Sodium in School Meals Study
Farm to School Act of 2019 Introduced in House and Senate
Legislative Update at ANC!
CORRECTION: FNS Memo Addresses “Market Basket” Procurement and Modifying Contracted Product Lists

State Snapshots

Oregon Legislature Passes Farm-to-School Expansion

Mark Your Calendars

SNA Webinars On-Demand
SNA’s 2019 Annual National Conference
Back to School, Back to Afterschool Meals: Getting Started and Maximizing Participation
Upcoming Webinar: Serving Vegetables in the Child and Adult Care Food Program
Summer Meals Matter Conference Call: Maintaining Participation

Mystery Chat Corner

Federal Policy

Child Nutrition Reporting Burden Analysis Study Published

As part of the 2017 Appropriations bill, Congress, in response to SNA’s advocacy, appropriated $1 million for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to commission an independent study on program simplification for school meal programs. On June 2, USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) published the Child Nutrition Reporting Burden Analysis Study, which it commissioned to examine challenges faced by state agencies and School Food Authorities (SFAs) related to child nutrition program administrative and reporting requirements. The study identified requirements that contributed most to the workload for state agencies and SFAs and developed a set of considerations for reducing these burdens. Among its key findings:

  • Streamline school meal certification and verification processes
  • Implement a risk-based administrative review cycle
  • Consolidate duplicative information requests across Management Evaluations and Financial Management Reviews
  • Develop a fact sheet for each CN reporting requirement
  • Develop procurement templates and supporting materials
  • Modernize the Food Programs Reporting System (FPRS)

USDA Releases Successful Approaches to Reduce Sodium in School Meals Study

USDA has released the findings of its Successful Approaches to Reduce Sodium in School Meals Study. The study was designed to provide information on the availability of foods that meet the sodium standards for school meals, the strategies most often used by schools that have met sodium targets and technical assistance needs of schools working to develop lower-sodium menus. The study found a large variety of products that meet Target 1 sodium standards but noted challenges for meeting future targets, including student acceptance, particularly in high schools. Procurement challenges also persist, particularly for small and rural schools, as manufacturers struggle to justify investing in highly specialized products for the K-12 market when these products are not in demand in the wider consumer market.

Schools that had met or were close to meeting Target 2 employed multiple strategies to reduce sodium, including maximizing participation in USDA Foods and USDA DoD Fresh procurement programs; changing food preparation methods; taste testing and other marketing or nutrition education efforts. Study participants expressed a need for additional information on the safety, functionality and health benefits of lower sodium items, as well as tailored communication materials for diverse audiences; additional lower-sodium recipes and modification guidance; and resources to support investments in equipment and skilled labor.

Farm to School Act of 2019 Introduced in House and Senate

U.S. Representatives Fudge (OH-11) and Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced companion bills H.R. 3562 and S.2026, the Farm to School Act of 2019. The bill expands participation in the Farm to School Grant Program to preschools, afterschool programs, and summer food service sites, and increases annual mandatory funding from $5 to $15 million.

Senator Leahy said: “The farm to school movement is a dual solution to helping address hunger in America. It both encourages healthier eating habits among children and supports local farmers. Children, communities, farmers, and schools all win under this formula. The Farm to School Act of 2019 will build on and extend these successes. Hungry children cannot learn. Providing security to our children goes beyond having roofs over their heads. It means having food on their plates. It also means offering healthy choices to help form healthy lifestyles.”

Legislative Update at ANC!

Monday, July 15 at 2:00-3:00 pm & 3:15-4:15 pm; Key Area 3 - Administration
Attending this month’s Annual National Conference (ANC) in St. Louis? Be sure to check out the SNA Legislative Update session! SNA’s Government Affairs and Policy Leadership will discuss what’s in store for Child Nutrition Programs. This session will cover topics such as the new 116th Congress, key Congressional committees, child nutrition reauthorization and policy updates from USDA. There are two chances to attend this education session, so don’t miss out!

CORRECTION: FNS Memo Addresses “Market Basket” Procurement and Modifying Contracted Product Lists

Last week’s issue of Tuesday Morning stated that an FNS guidance memo on “Market Basket” analysis and modifying contracted products list was a newly posted memo. Though uploaded to FNS’ website on June 28th, this memo was originally published in January 2018 and is not new guidance. SNA regrets the error.

State Snapshots

Oregon Legislature Passes Farm-to-School Expansion

Last week, Oregon’s legislature passed HB 2579, which would significantly expand the state’s Farm-to-School program. The bill expands access to Farm-to-School grants to Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) participants, allows grant funds to be used for additional purposes and establishes a new grant in the program to encourage and sustain successful efforts to purchase or promote foods produced or processed in Oregon.

Mark Your Calendars

SNA’s Webinars On-Demand

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.

SNA’s 2019 Annual National Conference

Get ready for great! Start planning now for whom you want to make sure you meet in St. Louis, Mo., at the "School Nutrition Networking Event of the Year"— SNA’s 73rd Annual National Conference (ANC), July 14-16, 2019!

Back to School, Back to Afterschool Meals: Getting Started and Maximizing Participation

Thursday, July 18, 2019, 1:00 PM EDT
Did you know that the Afterschool Meal Program can help fill the nutrition gap that may exist for millions of low-income children when the school day ends? The Afterschool Meal Program provides federal funding to afterschool programs operating in low-income areas to serve nutritious meals and snacks to children 18 and under after school, on weekends, and during school holidays. Join FRAC’s webinar to learn how to get started and increase participation at existing programs. You can register for the webinar here.

Upcoming Webinar: Serving Vegetables in the Child and Adult Care Food Program

Thursday, July 18, 2019, 2:00 PM ET
USDA’s Food Nutrition Services (FNS) will present a new webinar from the “CACFP Halftime: Thirty on Thursday Training Webinars” series. This webinar will cover “Serving Vegetables in the Child and Adult Care Food Program” (CACFP). This webinar is part of Team Nutrition’s monthly training webinars that focus on topics related to the CACFP Meal Pattern requirements. Each webinar will be presented on the third Thursday of every other month and will focus on techniques and skills that trainers can use to provide high-quality meals and snacks through the CACFP. USDA welcomes all attendees including school nutrition professionals, state agencies, CACFP sponsoring organizations and industry members. To register, visit this link.

Summer Meals Matter Conference Call: Maintaining Participation

Thursday, August 1, 2019, 1:00 PM EDT
The school year may be over, but Summer Nutrition Programs are just getting started! Join Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) in a conference call on maintaining active participation throughout the summer months. This call will focus on useful strategies and tips on targeted outreach, local partnerships, and events that work to fill the nutrition gap and keep the participation up throughout the end of August. Register here.


Mystery Chat Corner

On July 9, 1846, Congress passed “An Act to retrocede the County of Alexandria, in the District of Columbia, to the State of Virginia.”
The District of Columbia was created out of land ceded by the states of Maryland and Virginia and included the existing cities of Georgetown and Alexandria. The new federal district was organized into two counties: Washington County on the east side of the Potomac and Alexandria County on the west. The law passed in 1846 approved returning Alexandria County to Virginia, under a referendum and the approval of Virginia.

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Arlington, VA 22206
servicecenter@schoolnutrition.org  

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

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