Tuesday Morning - June 14, 2022

1 big thing— Senator Stabenow appeals to colleagues to cosponsor “Support Kids Not Red Tape Act of 2022”

Lunch Photos

What’s new: Senator Debbie Stabenow made an  impassioned plea to her colleagues on the Senate floor to cosponsor and pass the  Support Kids Not Red Tape Act of 2022

Why it matters: Pandemic-related school nutrition waivers are set to expire in 16 days, leaving already-struggling schools with fewer options to continue feeding the millions of children that rely on them for their next meal. 

Big picture: As a result of making your voices heard, the extension of school meal waivers continues to be at the forefront of discussions in Congress, but our work is not done. 

What’s next: As SNA continues to advocate for waivers, we need your help to amplify the message. Reminding your legislators that this issue is important to their constituents can help move mountains. 

Tweet Your Legislators : Raise awareness and share Sen. Stabenow’s floor statement with your legislators on Twitter! 

Call Congress : Use SNA’s sample script to call your legislators. 

2. Biden Administration explores $1 billion funding option

Illustration of a fork with a one hundred dollar bill wrapped around it.

What’s new: As the possible end of pandemic-related waivers looms, the Biden administration is considering options of using about $1 billion from USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) for school meal program commodity purchases.  

Go deeper: According to a Politico article, a USDA official “confirmed the department intends to deploy the funds later this month…” 

The bottom line: USDA previously provided $1.5 billion to states and school districts to help schools deal with the challenges of supply chain disruptions. Of that $1.5 billion released in December, $1 billion was provided to schools for food purchases, $300 million was provided to states to purchase foods to be distributed to schools and an additional $200 million for cooperative agreements to purchase local foods for schools with a focus on buying from historically underserved producers. 

3. Children’s Budget Coalition letter

Veggies

What’s new: As part of a coalition of child advocacy organizations, and due to the continued uncertainty that remains due to the pandemic and the economic recovery, SNA signed onto a letter from the Children’s Budget Coalition, urging House and Senate Appropriations leaders to prioritize children in their annual spending decisions.  

Go deeper: Specifically, the letter asks to allocate funding in three areas:  

  • Increase topline spending for non-defense discretionary (NDD) spending in FY2023 over FY2022.  

  • Provide robust allocations for four subcommittees with jurisdiction over nearly 99% of child-related programs and services:   

    1. Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies 
    2. Agriculture, Rural Development, FDA and Related Agencies
    3. Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies  
     

 

4. SNA comments: Food Program Reporting System

USDA logo

What’s new: SNA submitted comments in response to USDA FNS regarding Federal Register notice, Comment Request: Food Program Reporting System (FPRS) forms FNS 583 and FNS 366B

Go deeper: USDA is consolidating reporting requirements under the Food Programs Reporting System with intent to give State agencies and Indian Tribal Organization agencies one portal for various programs. SNA recommends that a new system integrate error messages or other notifications when a data field has been missed, or other edits are necessary. In the consolidation process, the various FPRS reports, and corresponding data elements should be reviewed for current reporting and data analysis application. 

What’s next: SNA appreciates the collaboration with USDA and FNS and will continue to look for opportunities for future regulatory advocacy. 

5. Summer food service program reimbursements 101

A calculator displaying a chart.

Earlier this year, the USDA announced the annual adjustments to the reimbursement rates for meals served in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP).   

Go deeper: SFSP issues a different reimbursement for breakfast, lunch or supper and snack. The rate for each is based on a combination of operating and administrative costs. Operating costs and administrative fees are calculated separately and are based on data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor in the Food Away from Home series of the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers. These rates have been adjusted with a 5.8 percent increase for the 12-month period, from November 2020 through November 2021. 

  • Please note that rates are higher in rural areas and for “self-prep” sponsors that prepare their own meals at the SFSP site or at a central facility, instead of purchasing them from vendors.  

  • Due to cost of living and cost of food, rates are also higher for Alaska and Hawaii than for contiguous states.  

  • These combined rates are effective from January 1, 2022–December 31, 2022. 

SFSP Reimbursement Rates

NLSP Reimbursement Rates

6. State legislative update

Map of US

New Jersey Assemblyman Sterley Stanley introduced legislation to establish the New Jersey Agricultural Literacy Week.

  • It would be an annual week-long celebration to teach children, through a book designation and classroom activities, the importance of agricultural products and the role they play in providing the ingredients for meals.

  • This measure has been referred to the Assembly Agriculture and Food Security Committee.

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