Tuesday Morning - June 12, 2018

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues
from SNA

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

FNS Details Child Nutrition Program Flexibilities for the Upcoming School Year
USDA Distributes $30 million in Equipment Grants
Senate Farm Bill Released, Mark Up Scheduled for This Week
Trump Administration’s Proposed Re-Organization Would Move Nutrition Programs to HHS

State Snapshots

California Universal Breakfast Bill Passes Senate Committee
New Jersey School Nutrition Program Promotion Bill
Pennsylvania Sharing Table Bill and Resolution for Flexibility

Mark Your Calendars

SNA's Upcoming Webinars
USDA Foods in Schools Webinars

Cafeteria Chat Corner


Federal Policy

FNS Details Child Nutrition Program Flexibilities for the Upcoming School Year

In a memo published on June 1, 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) summarized the flexibilities provided to Child Nutrition Program (CNP) operators in School Year (SY) 2018-2019 for milk, whole grains, and sodium requirements.

  • State Agencies may use their discretion to grant whole grain waivers for School Food Authorities that can demonstrate hardship. 
  • Sodium Target 1 will continue as the regulatory limit for breakfast and lunch programs.
  • Operators in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the School Breakfast Program (SBP) will have the option to offer flavored, low-fat (1 percent fat) milk as part of a reimbursable meal or competitive food sale.

These flexibilities will be effective July 1, 2018 and are consistent with the Interim Final Rule published on November 30th, 2017. SNA submitted comments in response to the Interim Final Rule, thanking USDA for the temporary flexibilities and requesting permanent relief.

USDA Distributes $30 million in Equipment Grants

In a memo published on May 25, 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) announced the distribution of $30 million in funding, as allocated in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018, to State agencies to competitively award equipment assistance grants to eligible School Food Authorities (SFAs) participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). The memo also provides guidance on the specific terms and conditions, period of performance, timelines, funding goals, and reporting requirements for these grants. State agencies must complete the initial award process by the end of June 30, 2019, and the performance period for these grants will end September 30, 2020.

Senate Farm Bill Released, Mark Up Scheduled for This Week

The Senate Agriculture Committee released the 2018 Senate Farm Bill and announced that a markup has been scheduled for Wednesday, June 13th. Chairman Roberts and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) released a joint statement touting their efforts to craft a bill that could garner bipartisan support. This stands in stark contrast to developments in the U.S. House, where a partisan Farm Bill featuring drastic changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) failed amid opposition from conservative Republicans. SNA will continue closely monitoring developments on the Farm Bill in Congress.

Trump Administration’s Proposed Re-Organization Would Move Nutrition Programs to HHS

Last Wednesday White House officials revealed that the administration will release a plan to reorganize the federal government that includes moving the functions of USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The report, which won’t be released for a few weeks, is believed to draw inspiration from an analysis released last year by the conservative Heritage Foundation. The document specifically named school meal programs as an FNS function that should be moved to HHS.

While this sort of reorganization is believed to be supported across the administration, its largest changes appear unlikely to be implemented because they’d require approval by Congress.

State Snapshots

California Universal Breakfast Bill Passes Senate Committee

AB 3043 passed the California Senate Education Committee on June 6th and was referred to the Committee on Appropriations. The bill would authorize the governing board of a school district to authorize expenditures from the cafeteria fund or cafeteria account to provide for universal breakfast. The bill would provide that the cost of purchasing a mobile food facility may be a charge against a cafeteria fund.

New Jersey School Nutrition Program Promotion Bill

AB 4062 requires the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with the Department of Education, to develop promotional materials highlighting the benefits of school nutrition programs for distribution to parents through schools. The bill was introduced June 4th.

Pennsylvania Sharing Table Bill and Resolution for Flexibility

HR 963 urges the U.S. Congress to revisit the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 to allow students and schools greater flexibility in milk and food choices.

HB 2471 requires that the State Board of Education enact regulations to provide guidance for implementing a Shared Table Initiative in schools. The shared tables will allow distribution of excess foods that would have otherwise been wasted. The bill was introduced June 6th and referred to the Committee on Education.

Mark Your Calendars

SNA's Upcoming Webinars

Learn about hot topics in school nutrition and earn Continuing Education Units with SNA’s popular professional development webinars.

Register Now:

Best of #LAC18: Mastering Forecasting through Cycle Menus
Wednesday, June 20, 2018, 2:00 pm ET
Join this webinar to learn more about effectively planning your cycle menus to ensure cost effective use of your entitlement and commercially purchased food products. 
Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs.

USDA Foods in Schools Webinars

USDA is providing guidance on the recent USDA Foods Processing Final Rule.

Regional Offices and State Agencies
Thursday, June 21, 2018, 1:00 pm EST
Registration links will be sent directly from USDA Food and Nutrition Services to Regional Offices and State Agencies.

The USDA Foods Processing Rule: A General Overview
Thursday, June 28, 2018, 1:00 pm EST
A review of the changes to the new USDA Foods processing regulations. This webinar is targeted for USDA Foods processors, brokers, distributors and school districts. FNS Regional Offices and USDA Foods in Schools State Distributing Agencies are welcome to attend.




Cafeteria Chat Corner

Continental Congress Approves the U.S. National Flag, June 14, 1777

On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress approved the design of a national flag. In 1916, Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation establishing a national Flag Day on June 14. Congressional legislation designating that date as the national Flag Day was signed into law by President Harry Truman in 1949.

“Resolved, that the Flag of the thirteen United States shall be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the Union be thirteen stars, white on a blue field, representing a new constellation.” - June 14, 1777, page 466, Journals of the Continental Congress.

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