Tuesday Morning - June 1, 2021

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues from SNA

Table of Contents

COVID-19 Policy Updates

USDA Publishes General Sanitation Recommendations for TEFAP and CSFP Operators

Federal Policy

TAKE ACTION: Support the Universal School Meals Program Act of 2021!
The Institute of Child Nutrition Updates eLearning Portal
U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee Holds Hearing for USDA General Counsel Nominee
Kids Eat Local Act
Stop Child Hunger Act

State Snapshots

Maine Drafts Legislation to Provide Universal School Meals
Minnesota Introduces Two Bills Expanding School Meal Programs and Farm to School Grants
Missouri Creates Bill to Appropriate Funding for School Nutrition Services
Nevada Presents Legislation Directing Schools to Create a School-Family Compact
New York Drafts Several New Bills for Schools and Nutrition Programs
North Carolina Introduces Three Bills on Nutrition Services and School Recycling
Rhode Island Presents Legislation Requiring Schools to Report on Nutrition and Wellness Programs

Mark Your Calendars

Upcoming SNA Webinars
Congressional Management Foundation Webinars
Arkansas Department of Agriculture

Mystery Chat Corner

COVID-19 Policy Updates

USDA Publishes General Sanitation Recommendations for TEFAP and CSFP Operators

On May 26, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) published fact sheet for USDA Foods under the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), and the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR). These fact sheets were derived from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and include general recommendations on handwashing, cleaning and disinfecting for program operators.

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The school nutrition team at Lexington County School District One in South Carolina is preparing to load up its buses with fresh, healthy school meals to deliver to their students across the county.

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Federal Policy

TAKE ACTION: Support the Universal School Meals Program Act of 2021!

Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Representatives Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Gwen Moore (D-WI) introduced S. 1530, the Universal School Meals Program Act of 2021. SNA has endorsed this bill and is urging all members to send a letter to Congress in support of healthy school meals for all students! This Act would offer free breakfast, lunch, dinner and a snack to all school children regardless of income, eliminate school meal debt and strengthen local economies by incentivizing local food procurement. Ensure your Member of Congress hears from you; tell them to support the Universal School Meals Program Act – our students depend on YOU to speak up! Take Action Now!

The Institute of Child Nutrition Updates eLearning Portal

On May 26, FNS's Team Nutrition announced that the Institute of Child Nutrition (ICN) updated its eLearning Portal, now referred to as iLearn. ICN's iLearn provides free, self-paced online learning for Child Nutrition Professionals and offers flexibility to complete courses in multiple sessions on desktop, laptop or mobile devices. ICN has added new features to enhance the eLearning experience, including Personalized Profiles, Online Courses in Spanish and live webinars.

U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee Holds Hearing for USDA General Counsel Nominee

On May 27, the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry held a hearing to consider the nomination of Janie Simms Hipp to be General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). In her written opening statement, U.S. Senator and Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (MI-D) states that Hipp would "have a hand in the implementation of programs that make sure families have enough to eat, kids get healthy meals in school, farmers have the tools they need to address the climate crisis." Watch the full Senate hearing here.

Kids Eat Local Act

Senators Sherrod Brown (OH-D) and Susan Collins (ME-R) introduced S. 1401, the Kids Eat Local Act. This bipartisan legislation supports local and regional food systems and encourages healthy meal choices among school-aged children by allowing schools to use geographic preference when procuring unprocessed agricultural products. Read Senator Brown's full press release.

Stop Child Hunger Act

On May 26, Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Chair Senator Patty Murray (WA-D) along with Representatives Mike Levin (CA-49) and Jahana Hayes (CT-05), introduced S. 1831 or H.R. 3519, the Stop Child Hunger Act. This bill would make the Summer Electronic Benefits Transfers (EBT) pilot permanent, authorizing those who qualify to receive EBT cards while schools are out of session for more than five days, including summer and winter breaks. Read Senator Murray's full press release.

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State Snapshots

Maine Drafts Legislation to Provide Universal School Meals

SB 1679 appropriates funding to cover the cost of offering free meals to all students that participate in the School Breakfast and National School Lunch Programs so that any student in Maine can access a school meal without charge.

Minnesota Introduces Two Bills Expanding School Meal Programs and Farm to School Grants

  • HF 1729 establishes Minnesota's Healthy and Hunger-Free Schools Program to support students in achieving their full academic potential by allowing all students to access nutritious options at school and prohibits any practices that lead to the stigma associated with receiving free school meals.
  • SB 1760 or HF 1940 expands the Minnesota Farm to School Program to provide technical assistance, training and grants to increase the procurement of Minnesota-grown foods to help support local farmers and producers and expand students' access to healthy, fresh, locally produced foods.

Missouri Creates Bill to Appropriate Funding for School Nutrition Services

HB 2 appropriates $321,443,177 to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for School Nutrition Services, specifically to reimburse schools participating in school food programs.

Nevada Presents Legislation Directing Schools to Create a School-Family Compact

SB 27 requires every public school to develop a School-Family Compact, including information on the current availability of free and reduced-price meals in each school, including, without limitation, information regarding school breakfast, school lunch, and summer meal programs.

New York Drafts Several New Bills for Schools and Nutrition Programs

  • S 5151 or AB 6527 prohibits all schools or school districts from filing lawsuits against any student's parent or guardian for unpaid meal fees.
  • AB 5561 limits the types of food that can be sold in vending machines at public schools, explicitly limiting the kinds of food to fruits, vegetables and whole grains, including a 200-calorie limit.
  • S 6289 or AB 1874 requires all private food service companies to provide ingredient lists and nutritional information on the foods provided to school districts and instructs districts to publish this information online.
  • S 4644 or AB 5682 directs the New York Department of Education to develop statewide food standards that are consistent with, or exceeding recommendations made in the most recent edition of the Federal Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
  • S 4602 or AB 6857 imposes an excise tax on sugary drinks such as soda in order to establish New York's Children's Health Promotion Fund. This fund aims to improve the nutrition and quality of school meals and snacks and ensure free, clean drinking water for students throughout the school day.

North Carolina Introduces Three Bills on Nutrition Services and School Recycling

  • H 136 encourages all public schools to serve healthy, locally sourced foods, including the requirement that public schools make 100% muscadine grape juice available to all students as a part of the school's nutrition program or through the operation of vending facilities.
  • H 159 directs North Carolina's Board of Education to provide a uniform budget format to any public school that offers nutrition services and prohibits schools from assessing indirect costs unless the program has an operating balance of at least three months. It also requires the Department of Public Instruction to calculate each public school's nutrition program's operational balance.
  • H 230 directs North Carolina's state departments, public institutions, agencies, including local school administrative bodies, to submit a report annually to North Carolina's Department of Environmental Quality's Environmental Assistance and Customer Service regarding the amounts and types of materials collected for recycling.

Rhode Island Presents Legislation Requiring Schools to Report on Nutrition and Wellness Programs

S 33 requires each school district to annually file a description of instructional procedures and programs to Rhode Island's Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, including information on each school's nutrition and wellness programs.

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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.

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.

Congressional Management Foundation

Stay-cation Advocacy: Building Relationships Back Home 
Wednesday, June 2, 2021, 3:00 PM EST 

Members of Congress often are harried and overbooked when in Washington. Interacting with lawmakers back home can be the best strategy to get "quality time" with key decision-makers. In this session, participants will learn about who lawmakers listen to and why, the most effective tactics and strategies to use in the district or state, building long-term relationships with lawmakers and their staff, and the best opportunities for setting up meetings and events back home. This program is based on exclusive and private surveys of congressional staff conducted by CMF and is available only to members of CMF's Partnership for a More Perfect Union.

Arkansas Department of Agriculture

The Basics of Farm to School and Early Childhood Education
Thursday, June 10, 2021, 12:00 PM CT
Are you someone who likes to provide hands-on, innovative learning opportunities for your students? Join the Arkansas Department of Agriculture's Farm to School Team to learn about farm to school and farm to early childhood education opportunities related to school gardens, education, and local procurement. The webinar will dig into Arkansas Farm to School's history and teach participants how to set farm-to-school goals. This is the beginning level course and is recommended to those who is new to the concept or are looking for a refresher.

Mystery Chat Corner

On June 1, 1968, which Simon & Garfunkel song hit #1 and would go on to become the first rock song to ever win a Grammy as Record of the Year?

A: Mrs. Robinson

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servicecenter@schoolnutrition.org  

Tel (703) 824-3000
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The School Nutrition Association has a presence in every state across the country. View links to many of the state associations to find out more about what SNA is doing nationwide. 

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