Tuesday Morning - June 26, 2018

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues
from SNA

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

U.S. House Passes 2018 Farm Bill
White House Releases Government Reorganization Proposal
Deadline for Comments on Program Simplification Extended
FNS Announced $5.2 Million in Farm to School Grants

State Snapshots

California Public School Fair Debt Collection Act
Rhode Island Food Waste Bill Passes House

Mark Your Calendars

USDA Foods in Schools Webinars
FRAC Meals Matter Webinar

Cafeteria Chat Corner

Federal Policy

U.S. House Passes 2018 Farm Bill

The previously defeated U.S. House 2018 Farm Bill, was reconsidered on the floor on Thursday, June 21 and passed by a vote of 213-211. The bill would eliminate Broad-Based Categorical Eligibility which would remove school meal direct certification for an estimated 265,000 students. The manager’s amendment contains language directing USDA to revamp the nutrition standards for school lunches, breakfast and all food sold in schools under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA). SNA has concerns about both provisions and is closely monitoring developments.

The U.S. Senate Farm Bill, which passed the Senate Agriculture Committee on June 13th, does not contain either the provision to eliminate categorical eligibility nor the amendment to revamp the HHFKA. The full Senate is expected to begin deliberation of the Farm Bill this week. If the Senate bill is passed, it will need to be reconciled with the House bill into a single version before a final bill is passed by Congress and sent to the President for signature.

White House Releases Government Reorganization Proposal

On Thursday the White House released its plan for reorganizing the federal government, an effort that was announced earlier in June. While the initial announcement suggested that all functions of the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) would be moved to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the plan calls for USDA to “continue to administer the commodity-based programs, including the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs.” HHS would assume control of other programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Deadline for Comments on Program Simplification Extended

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) provided notice in the Federal Register that the comment period for its July 2017 request for suggestions on regulatory reform has been extended to July 2019. USDA is seeking public comment on regulations, guidance documents, or any other policy documents that need reform. SNA is collecting input from members to inform the Association’s comments to USDA. Members are encouraged to submit suggestions through the provided form

FNS Announced $5.2 Million in Farm to School Grants

The Food and Nutrition Service announced that it has awarded $5.2 million in grants as part of the USDA Farm to School Program. The grants were awarded to 73 projects in 43 states, the District of Columbia and Guam to bring nutritious, local foods into schools and create new economic opportunities for farmers. Since the program’s inception in 2013 it has provided a total of 350 projects with over $25 million in funding. 

State Snapshots

California Public School Fair Debt Collection Act

The Public School Fair Debt Collection Act builds on the Child Hunger Prevention and Fair Treatment Act of 2017 and provides that a student can never owe or be billed for a debt owed to a school. The bill was amended and re-referred to the Committee on Appropriations on June 20th.

Rhode Island Food Waste Bill Passes House

The School Waste Recycling and Refuse Disposal bill contains several provisions in efforts to reduce food waste. The bill would require schools to comply with composting and recycling laws, would promote the donation of unspoiled nonperishable food by schools, and would promote the selection of local food service companies for school food service contracts and the selection of vendors who recycle organic-waste at appropriate facilities.

Mark Your Calendars

USDA Foods in Schools Webinars

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

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.

FRAC Meals Matter Webinar

The Food Research and Action Center hosts a webinar on summer meals strategies.

Wrapping Up Summer Meals
Thursday, July 19, 2018 1:00 pm EST 
It’s not too late to implement last-minute strategies to build awareness, identify challenges and successes, and ensure programs end strong. Join this webinar to learn about ways to maximize participation during the next couple of weeks and tips for debriefing and evaluating meal programs once summer ends.

Cafeteria Chat Corner

President John F. Kennedy Delivers Famous Ich bin einBerliner Speech, June 26, 1963

 Before a crowd of 450,000 people in West Berlin, President John F. Kennedy delivered his famous Ich bin ein Berliner speech on this day in 1963. In the speech, which was given twenty-two months after the erection of the Berlin Wall, President Kennedy condemned the partition of the city, and reiterated the United States’ commitment to the democratic government in West Germany. 

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servicecenter@schoolnutrition.org  

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