Tuesday Morning - June 29, 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

Federal Policy

SNA Signs onto Allied Letter on Healthy School Meals for All
FNS Publishes Study on Child Nutrition Program Operations for SY 2016-17
New Farm to School Resources
The Safe School Meals for Kids Act of 2021
USDA Joins Global Coalition on School Meals, Nutrition, Health and Education

State Snapshots

Arkansas Introduces the Healthy Active Arkansas Schools Act
California Appropriates Funding to Improve School Infrastructure
Georgia Drafts Bill on Halal Selections in Schools
Maine Creates Food and Nutrition Incentives Fund
Montana Introduces the Farm to School Grant Act
Washington Drafts Bill to Increase School Participation in CEP
West Virginia Presents Bill to Create Partnership Programs with Schools

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 24, 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.

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covid19-image 

The school nutrition team at Henrico County Public Schools in Richmond, Va., preparing free summer meals for all students, including in-person and curbside pick-up.

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Federal Policy

SNA Signs onto Allied Letter on Healthy School Meals for All

On June 23, SNA, along with 447 other organizations, including Hunger Free America and the American Heart Association, signed on to an allied letter by the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) to President Biden and Vice President Harris. This letter urges Congress and the Biden Administration to collaborate their efforts and take the additional steps needed towards ending childhood hunger by providing healthy school meals to all students at no cost. School meals at no cost ensure every child in the U.S. has access to nutritious school breakfasts and lunches to help support academic success and outcomes. Read the full letter.

FNS Publishes Study on Child Nutrition Program Operations for SY 2016-17

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) released its report, "Child Nutrition Program Operations Study II (CN-OPS II) SY 2016-17." This report is a multiyear study designed to provide USDA with information on current State Agency (SA) and School Food Authority (SFA) policies, practices and needs related to school nutrition service operations, financial management, eligibility, nutrition standards and personnel. Read the full report here.

New Farm to School Resources

On June 23, the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) published new Farm to School resources, including a Farm to School Planning Guide. These materials can assist your district or community in implementing, sustaining and maintaining a robust Farm to School Program. This program can help to improve students' overall health by providing various nutritious options from their local area, giving back to local farmers and economies.

The Safe School Meals for Kids Act of 2021

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), along with Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Alex Padilla (D-CA), introduced S.1830, the Safe School Meals for Kids Act of 2021. This act directs the Secretary of Agriculture to phase out all USDA Foods that are treated with or have excess levels of chlorpyrifos residue, a pesticide used on specific produce. This bill also requires USDA to establish a threshold for chlorpyrifos residue or foods provided under School Meal Programs. Read Sen. Gillibrand's full press release.

USDA Joins Global Coalition on School Meals, Nutrition, Health and Education

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that the United States is participating in the global coalition, “School Meals: Nutrition, Health and Education for Every Child.” This coalition aims to improve the nutrition, health and education of children worldwide by strengthening and expanding school feeding programs to make meals available to all students by 2030. This global coalition will launch in September 2021 at the United Nations’ Food Systems Summit.

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State Snapshots

Arkansas Introduces the Healthy Active Arkansas Schools Act

HB 1848 directs the Arkansas Division of Elementary and Secondary Education to study and implement best practices to increase physical activity during the school day, including studying the potential benefits of offering students recess before lunch during the school day.

California Appropriates Funding to Improve School Infrastructure

AB 125 provides funding to California's Department of General Services to assist local educational agencies and school food authorities improve school kitchens, meal preparation areas, meal service methods and infrastructure used for school nutrition programs.

Georgia Drafts Bill on Halal Selections in Schools

HB 710 requires any school that provides breakfast to make a Halal dietary selection available to any student that has submitted a written request from a parent or guardian.

Maine Creates Food and Nutrition Incentives Fund

HB 691 establishes a fund to address "Food Insecurity and Provide Nutrition Incentives" under Maine's Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. This fund is designed to encourage purchasing and consuming locally grown fruits and vegetables by providing up to $50,000 annually to match providers' contributions, such as schools already participating in the Federal nutrition programs.

Montana Introduces the Farm to School Grant Act

HB 642 creates the Farm to School Grant Program under Montana's Office of Public Instruction. This grant program strengthens community relations with farmers and the students' connection to fresh, locally grown foods by providing grants to help shift school purchasing and education practices.

Washington Drafts Bill to Increase School Participation in CEP

SB 5092 or HB 1094 appropriates $118,000 from the state's General Fund to increase the number of schools participating in the Federal Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) and expand the Breakfast After the Bell Program.

West Virginia Presents Bill to Create Partnership Programs with Schools

HB 3224 directs West Virginia's Department of Agriculture to establish a two-year pilot program to provide fresh and affordable produce to residents in communities located in rural areas. If enacted, this program would create local markets by partnering with local public schools to make fruits and vegetables more affordable to families and individuals with limited access.

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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.

Community Eligibility: Last Chance to Lock in Free Meals for Four Years
Wednesday, August 11, 2021, 3:00 PM EST
Community Eligibility adoption season is upon us! As the September 30 adoption deadline for the 2021-22 school year approaches, community eligibility provides a unique opportunity to offer free meals to all students in high-poverty schools. The dramatic increase in need and SNAP participation driven by the pandemic will help make community eligibility financially viable for more school districts and schools. Even as many schools operate their nutrition programs under the summer waivers, adopting CEP for the 2021-22 school year will allow schools to lock in higher Identified Student Percentages for four years to serve as many meals free of charge as possible beyond the pandemic. Join us to discuss helpful tools and tips for implementing community eligibility and making it work financially for your school nutrition operations.

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 29, 2007, which company released (for sale) a mobile “smartphone,” which revolutionized the cell phone industry?

A: Apple, the iPhone

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Contact Us

2900 S. Quincy Street, Suite 700
Arlington, VA 22206
servicecenter@schoolnutrition.org  

Tel (703) 824-3000
Fax (703) 824-3015

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SNA State Associations

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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