Tuesday Morning - June 5, 2018

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues
from SNA

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

USDA Seeks Comment on National Hunger Clearinghouse Form
FNS Announces Revisions to Child Nutrition Program Waivers
USDA Continues Summer Meals Non-Congregate Feeding Pilot in 2018
New FNS Rule Simplifies Summer Food Service Paperwork

State Snapshots

Illinois Unpaid Meals Bill Passes
NJ Governor Signs Four School Meals Bills into Law
California Bills Pass Assembly, Referred to Senate
North Carolina Appropriations for Farm to School Pilot

Mark Your Calendars

SNA's Upcoming Webinars
USDA Foods in Schools Webinars

Cafeteria Chat Corner


Federal Policy

USDA Seeks Comment on National Hunger Clearinghouse Form

In a Federal Register Notice published on May 30, 2018, The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) announced that it is seeking comment on a revision of its currently approved information collection from organizations fighting hunger and poverty for the USDA National Hunger Clearinghouse Database. The database is used to provide the public with information about non-governmental organizations working in the areas of hunger and nutrition. FNS is inviting comment on the necessity and utility of the program’s reporting and record keeping requirements, the accuracy of their time burden estimates, ways to minimize reporting and recordkeeping burdens, and ways to enhance the quality of the information collected. Comments must be received on or before July 30, 2018.

FNS Announces Revisions to Child Nutrition Program Waivers

In a memo published on May 24, 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) announced that it is revising the current process for State agencies and eligible service providers seeking a waiver of statutory or regulatory requirements for Child Nutrition Programs (CNP). This includes the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP), the Special Milk Program (SMP), and the School Breakfast Program (SBP).

USDA Continues Summer Meals Non-Congregate Feeding Pilot in 2018

In a memo published on May 24, 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) announced that it is continuing its 2017 demonstration project allowing non-congregate feeding at certain outdoor summer meal sites experiencing excessive heat for summer 2018. FNS is continuing the project to develop and test alternative methods of providing access to summer meals for low income children. The memo provides guidance on applying for participation in the project and participation requirements.

New FNS Rule Simplifies Summer Food Service Paperwork

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) announced in the Federal Register a final rule that amends the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) regulations to extend simplified cost accounting and reporting procedures to SFSP sponsors and eliminates the cost comparison requirements for determining payments to sponsors. The rule also makes discretionary changes to improve administrative efficiency and reduce paperwork in the management of the SFSP, and amends the National School Lunch Program regulations to create consistency among the Child Nutrition Programs regarding notice procedures. The rule is effective July 31, 2018, and State agencies and SFSP sponsors must implement its provisions no later than January 1, 2019.

State Snapshots

Illinois Unpaid Meals Bill Passes

SB 2428, the Hunger-Free Students’ Bill of Rights Act, requires every school to provide a federally reimbursable lunch to any student that requests one regardless of ability to pay or status of an unpaid meal balance. The bill passed the Illinois legislature on May 31.

NJ Governor Signs Four School Meals Bills into Law

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed four school meals bills (S1894, S1895, S1896, and S1897) into law on Wednesday, May 30th, expanding the summer meals program and implementing new requirements for school districts.

  • S1894 requires school districts with over 70% free or reduced eligibility to provide “breakfast after the bell.”
  • S1895 requires school districts with CEP eligible schools, that chose not to participate, to submit a report on reasons for nonparticipation to the New Jersey Departments of Agriculture and Education.
  • SB1896 requires school districts to issue reports to the New Jersey Department of Agriculture on the number of students denied school breakfast or school lunch due to an unpaid meal balance.
  • S1897 expands the Summer Food Service Program to all school districts with 50% or more free and reduced price eligibility.

California Bills Pass Assembly, Referred to Senate

Three school meals bills passed the California Assembly and were referred to the Senate for consideration.

  • AB1871 passed the California assembly on May 30th and was referred to the Senate. The bill would require a charter school to provide a “nutritionally adequate” school meal to free and reduced price eligible children.
  • AB1974 builds on existing unpaid meal legislation with additional restrictions on debt collection practices. The bill passed the California Assembly on May 29th and was referred to the Senate.
  • AB 2271 requires the State Department of Education to provide a matching state grant of up to $100,000 to any school food authority that is awarded a federal Equipment Assistance Grant. The bill passed the California Assembly on May 30th and was referred to the Senate.

 

North Carolina Appropriations for Farm to School Pilot

S787, the Small Farms to Healthier Schools Initiative, was introduced May 31st. The bill appropriates $340,000 for the 2018-19 fiscal year for a pilot program to reimburse participating school districts based on servings of food sourced from farms within the same region.

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

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With the support of donations by SNA members, SNA PAC works to educate members of Congress about the importance of child nutrition programs and support federal elected officials who have demonstrated leadership in fighting for the health of children. SNA PAC supports lawmakers from both parties and highlights the impact that school meals have on children in every congressional district.

Now, when it is harder than ever for America’s working families to make ends meet, we need to make sure these vital child nutrition programs have Congress’ support. That’s why we need you to get involved and become an SNA PAC Statesman or Ambassador.

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