Tuesday Morning - June 7, 2022

1 big thing—White House toolkit: Lead the conversation on ending hunger

A hand submitting a ballot to a box labeled "Suggestions".

What’s new: The White House has provided a new toolkit to help you host your own virtual or in-person, local conversations with community professionals working to end hunger and reduce diet-related disparities. After your meeting, share your collective input with the White House to help inform a national strategy that will be announced at the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health in September 2022. 

Why it matters: School nutrition professionals such as yourself have valuable hunger and nutrition expertise to contribute. Multiple studies show that NSLP plays an important role in supporting obesity prevention and overall student health by improving children’s diets and combatting food insecurity. Share the significant impact of your programs and help ensure your seat at the table for this national conversation. 

What’s next: Please submit your stories and your feedback from your conversations to the White House. Feedback can be shared via email at WHHungerHealth@hhs.gov by July 15, 2022, to be sure they are considered. Individual contributions are also welcome through the “Share Your Written Ideas” submission form at the bottom of the page

2. USDA announces food system transformation framework

Beautiful Farm Country, Wayne County, Ohio July 2020.

What’s new: Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced USDA’s new framework intended to transform the food system to benefit consumers and producers, including initiatives to bolster school meal programs. 

Go deeper: As part of efforts to “shorten the supply chain” the USDA is investing $60 million to leverage increased commodity purchases through Farm-to-School. These grants to states and territories administering farm to school programs will support increased procurement and use of local foods.

USDA will also allocate $100 million to create a new Healthy Food Incentive Fund, which will support SFAs in peer-to-peer learning and recognize local programs for leadership, excellence and efforts to deliver healthy foods to students. 

3. Cafeteria Visit Toolkit

Lunch Photos

Developing a relationship with your representatives is as important as keeping them engaged. And what better time than summer break?

Big picture: Throughout the months of June and July, and all of August, members of Congress will be in their district offices.

  • This is a great time to schedule district office meetings and to plan and send invitations for site visits during back-to-school season.

  • Cafeteria visits are an effective way to educate legislators on how child nutrition programs operate and how their decisions affect these programs. 

What’s next: SNA members can start planning cafeteria site visits using the Cafeteria Visits 101 Kit, which was designed to serve as a step-by-step guide to help plan a successful Congressional visit to school cafeterias. To learn more, please visit the SNA website. 

4. Tip sheets on crediting fruits and vegetables now available 

A colourful selection of Winter vegetables, locally produced and sourced.

What’s new: The USDA has published a series of tip sheets to serve as reference for child nutrition program operators. These include the requirement for Milk, Meats/Meat Alternates and Whole Grains specific to each program. They also include a question-and-answer section, where Program operators can assess their knowledge of meal requirements.  

Go deeper: While program operators and staff at local food authorities are the target audience, this is a great resource for state agencies and FNS Regional Offices to provide guidance and training.

What’s next: Download the crediting tip sheets on the USDA website.   

 

5. State legislative update

Map of US

🔎Let’s look at the latest state updates…

North Carolina State Representative Carolyn Logan introduced the "Child Care Act." Local boards of education would be required to provide school nutrition services in the schools under their jurisdiction.

  • This bill mandates lunch to be available for free to all students. It would also require an annual report, beginning in 2023, from the Department of Public Instruction detailing the number of students receiving free lunch, the number of free lunches served and the cost of implementing the free lunch program.

  • This measure has been referred to the Committee on Finance. A companion bill has filed, as well, by Senators Mujtaba Mohammed and Natalie Murdock and has been referred to the Committee on Rules and Operations of the Senate. 

North Carolina State Representative Julie von Haefen introduced House Bill 1079. The bill would appropriate $3.9 million for SY2022-23 to fund the reduced-price lunch copays for students who qualify under the National School Lunch Program.

  • This bill requires the State Board to report annually, beginning in 2023, to the specified NCGA committee on unpaid meal charges in local school administrative units.

  • This measure has been referred to the Committee on Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House. 

North Carolina State Senator Mujtaba Mohammed has introduced two pieces of legislation to mandate public schools to offer breakfast and lunch at no cost to students.

  • Local boards of education must provide school nutrition services in schools under their jurisdiction.

  • Both measures have the same reporting requirement, the Department of Public Instruction would be required to submit a report to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee with information on the number of students electing to receive breakfast and lunch at no cost, the number of no-cost breakfast and lunches served, and the cost of implementing the no-cost breakfast and lunch programs.

  • Both bills have been referred to the Appropriations/Base Budget Committee. 

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