Tuesday Morning - June 22, 2021

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues from SNA

Table of Contents

COVID-19 Policy Updates

FNS Posts New State Guidance on COVID P-EBT
Albertsons Companies Foundation Posts Grants for School Breakfast Program

Federal Policy

SNA President Ross Joins Conn. Governor at Event Promoting Summer Meals and Universal Meals
Senate Appropriations Subcommittee Hearing on USDA 2022 Budget
The Hunger-Free Summer for Kids Act of 2021
National Food Waste Reduction Act
New Infographic on "School Meals for All" from Healthy Eating Research

State Snapshots

Kentucky Passes Legislation Creating Penalties for Competitive Foods
Maryland Department of Education Announces Free Summer Meals for All
New Jersey Drafts Bill on USDA School Nutrition Standards

Mark Your Calendars

Upcoming SNA Webinars
Congressional Management Foundation Webinars

Mystery Chat Corner

COVID-19 Policy Updates

FNS Posts New State Guidance on COVID P-EBT

On June 16, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) published updated state guidance on Coronavirus Pandemic EBT (P-EBT). P-EBT provides eligible school children with temporary emergency nutrition benefits for purchasing food. This guidance includes Questions and Answers (Q&A) and a State Template Plan to assist State agencies administering this program.

Albertsons Companies Foundation Posts Grants for School Breakfast Program

This week, the Albertsons Companies Foundation published grants for schools and organizations in need of additional support for their school breakfast program during the 2021-2022 school year. Applications are due June 25, 2021, and will only be considered fororganizations and schools working in counties in states with Albertsons Companies stores. Please find a list of eligible counties here.

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Last week Congresswoman Katherine Clarke (D-MA-) visited a middle school in Watertown, Mass., meeting with the Food Service Director, school nutrition employees, students and the Superintendent to see first-hand the meals being provided to students during a pandemic.

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Federal Policy

SNA President Ross Joins CT Governor at Event Promoting Summer Meals and Universal Meals

On June 17, SNA President Reggie Ross, SNS, joined Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, anti-hunger advocates and educators at Meriden Public Schools, Conn., to highlight the importance of summer meal programs and advocate for universal school meals. The event was hosted by Hunger Free America and Meriden’s Director of Food and Nutrition Services, Susan Maffe, MS, RD, SNS, who also serves on SNA’s Public Policy and Legislation Committee. Attendees participated in a roundtable discussion and press conference at one of the district’s grab-and-go summer meal distribution events.

Ross spoke with reporters about the benefits of offering free meals to all students. “When every student has the choice to take a healthy school meal for free, no child goes hungry and teachers know their students are nourished and ready to learn. New research shows children are getting their healthiest meals at school, so it’s time to eliminate barriers to school meals. Students shouldn’t have to worry about meal applications or whether they have enough money to eat.” Click here to read the event press release.

Senate Appropriations Subcommittee Hearing on USDA 2022 Budget

On Tuesday, June 15, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack testified before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies for the hearing, "Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Request for the U.S. Department of Agriculture." During his testimony, Secretary Vilsack stated, "The Budget reflects a $45 billion investment, through American Families Plan to provide direct nutrition support to children by expanding access to healthy school meals, with a focus on starting strong in elementary schools, establishing a healthy foods incentive pilot in schools." Watch the full subcommittee hearing.

The Hunger-Free Summer for Kids Act of 2021

On June 10, Sen. John Boozman (R-AR) introduced S. 2005, the Hunger-Free Summer for Kids Act of 2021. This Act would increase flexibility in delivery options for the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), which offers children free lunches and snacks in the summer, allowing more kids in need the ability to participate. Read Sen. Boozman's full press release.

National Food Waste Reduction Act

In June, Rep. Cindy Axne (D-IA) introduced H.R. 3652, the National Food Waste Reduction Act. This bill would create a Food Waste Research Program within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to partner with five regional institutions to conduct research, make waste reduction recommendations, and disseminate guidance to the general public and schools to reduce food waste. Read Representative Axne's full press release.

New Infographic on "School Meals for All" from Healthy Eating Research

Check out the new Infographic from Healthy Eating Research entitled, "Key Findings on The Benefits of 7 Healthy School Meals for All." The information and research presented on this infographic were collected from 47 studies, 25 of which were conducted in the United States, and 22 were operated in other countries with developed economies.

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State Snapshots

Kentucky Passes Legislation Creating Penalties for Competitive Foods

SB 129 creates penalties, including potential fines or prohibition of selling competitive foods, for any school or district that violates the minimum nutritional standards set by the state for any food sold outside school lunch programs.

Maryland Department of Education Announces Free Summer Meals for All

Starting in June, the Maryland State Department of Education will offer free meals this summer to all students through its Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). In "open" sites, any child 18 and younger who comes during designated times will be served. Find open meal sites here.

New Jersey Drafts Bill on USDA School Nutrition Standards

AB 3682 requires all public schools to comply with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) more stringent school lunch and breakfast nutrition standards, adopted by the USDA in 2012.

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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.

Smoothie and Parfait Programs to Drive Participation
Wednesday, June 23, 2021, 3:00 PM EST
Summer is busy, but it is also one of the best opportunities to explore new ideas! Join us during National Dairy Month and learn about dairy’s journey from farm to school, the nutritional benefits of dairy in children’s diets and, most importantly, how to ADD or UPDATE your district’s smoothie and parfait programs. There will be multiple recipes, batch-cooking techniques, marketing tools shared! Speakers include Chef Sharon Schaefer, the Executive Director of Evolution of the Lunch Lady and Director of Nutrition Services in Gretna Public Schools, Neb., plus Nebraska dairy farmer Mary Temme and registered dietitian and dairy nutrition expert LaChell Miller.

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

Backstage Pass: Behind the Scenes of Congressional Decision-Making 
Wednesday, September 21, 2021, 3:00 PM EST 

Many Americans believe that lawmakers are unreachable–that they don't care about what constituents think and influencing legislative outcomes is impossible and a waste of time. Yet CMF research shows that Members of Congress strongly believe that constituents are a valuable and informative resource in the decision-making process. Your "backstage pass" will dispel myths about Congress and provide practical strategies on how decisions are really made and by whom.

Mystery Chat Corner

On June 22, 1990, which young actor joined the cast of Saturday Night Live (SNL) and would go on to make classic skits like "Lunch Lady Land" and the "Thanksgiving Song?"

A: Adam Sandler

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servicecenter@schoolnutrition.org  

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