Tuesday Morning - March 10, 2020

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues
from SNA

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

SNA Advocates for Guidance on Coronavirus Emergency Feeding
USDA Announces Waiver Options on Meal Service During COVID-19 Closures
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Perdue and U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts Speak at SNA’s #LAC2020
The FAS School Meals Improvement Act
The COMPOST Act
DGA Committee Meeting Now Webcast-Only

State Snapshots

Connecticut Introduces Legislation to Create a Task Force on USDA Final Rules
Georgia Recognizes the Giving Kitchen and Empowerment of Food Service Workers
Iowa Presents a Bill to Establish Poverty Working Group
Kentucky Introduces Legislation on Access to Local, Nutritious Foods
New Jersey Proposes Multiple Bills on School Meal Programs
Rhode Island Presents Legislation on School Waste and Recycling
South Carolina Introduces Lunch Shaming Bill

Mark Your Calendars

SNA's Upcoming Webinars
FRAC Meals Matter Webinars

Mystery Chat Corner

SNA Advocates for Guidance on Coronavirus Emergency Feeding

On Thursday, March 5th, SNA sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture advocating on behalf of members seeking guidance on emergency feeding procedures and additional options to safely serve their students in the event schools close due to Coronavirus. USDA provides guidance on using USDA Food during a pandemic. In addition, eligible School Food Authorities (SFAs) are currently allowed to serve students meals through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) during unanticipated school closures. However, several barriers prevent the effective use of this emergency feeding vehicle in the event of widespread coronavirus-related school closures. In the letter, SNA provides several suggestions for USDA’s consideration while developing a response plan including extending waiver language and program eligibility. Read more details in SNA's letter.

Due to an abundance of care for our member’s health and safety, SNA will continue to seek the most up-to-date information about the virus. State and local public health departments are now testing and publicly reporting their cases. In the event of a discrepancy between CDC cases and cases reported by state and local public health officials, data reported by states should be considered the most up to date.

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USDA Announces Waiver Options on Meal Service During COVID-19 Closures

On March 6, USDA notified State agencies of the opportunity to request waivers related to meal service during unanticipated coronavirus-related school closures. The announcement came one day after SNA sent a letter to USDA on this topic. The waivers would allow School Food Authorities (SFAs) enrolled in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) or the Seamless Summer Option (SSO) the opportunity to serve meals in a non-congregate setting at area eligible school sites.

Once approved, this State waiver authority would enable school sites, where 50% or more of the student population is eligible for free or reduced price meals, to offer grab and go meals, rather than requiring students to eat meals onsite. SNA will share additional details and guidance as it becomes available.

SNA is continuing conversations with USDA to identify additional solutions moving forward, in particular ways to allow all schools the opportunity to serve needy students.

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U.S. Agriculture Secretary Perdue and U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts Speak at SNA’s #LAC2020

On Monday, March 9th, #LAC2020 attendees heard from U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue during a fireside chat along with SNA President Gay Anderson and SNA CEO Patricia Montague. Attendees also heard from Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS). Sen. Roberts was provided an award from SNA for his exceptional advocacy and dedication to school nutrition programs during his tenure in Congress.

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The FAS School Meals Improvement Act

On February 21, 2020, Delegate Gregorio Sablan (NMI-All) introduced H.R. 5950 , the FAS School Meals Improvement Act. This bill amends the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act and the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 to grant eligibility to the Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau to have access to School Meals programs.

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The COMPOST Act

U.S. Representative Julia Brownley (CA-26) has introduced H.R. 6023, the Cultivating Organic Matter through the Promotion Of Sustainable Techniques (COMPOST) Act. This Act amends the Food Security Act of 1985 and requires the designation of composting as a conservation practice and conservation activity. This bill would apply to the composting and conservation procedures of local municipalities and school districts. This bill has been referred to the House Committee on Agriculture.

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DGA Committee Meeting Now Webcast-Only

Due to various travel restrictions, the DGA announced that meeting 5 of the Advisory Committee will be held by webcast only. The webcast meeting will cover the same content as originally planned and will be held Thursday, March 12 and Friday, March 13. Read more on the DGA website.

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State Snapshots

Connecticut Introduces Legislation to Create a Task Force on USDA Final Rules

SB 288 establishes a task force to examine the impact of USDA's Final Rule concerning simplifying meal service and monitoring requirements in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP).

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Georgia Recognizes the Giving Kitchen and Empowerment of Food Service Workers

HR 1294 a resolution that recognizes and commends the Giving Kitchen for receiving the 2019 James Beard Humanitarian of the Year Award and for its work to support and empower school foodservice workers in Georgia.

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Iowa Presents a Bill to Establish Poverty Working Group

HF 2370 requires the director of Iowa’s Department of Education to establish a low-income student and poverty weighting workgroup.

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Kentucky Introduces Legislation on Access to Local, Nutritious Foods

SR 203 recognizes the importance of access to safe, affordable, culturally appropriate and nutritious food and its beneficial impacts on the health of Kentuckians and Kentucky's agricultural economy.

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New Jersey Proposes Multiple Bills on School Meal Programs

  • S 1584 promotes healthy choices in school cafeterias, known as “The Smarter Lunchroom Act.”
  • AR 105 urges the U.S. Congress and President Trump to reauthorize the "Child Nutrition Act of 1966."
  • AJR 108 designates the fourth week in April of each year as "Every Kid Healthy Week."

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Rhode Island Presents Legislation on School Waste and Recycling

S 2382 requires all public schools to comply with recycling and composting laws and promotes the donation of unspoiled nonperishable food. This bill also implements the use of share tables in all public schools.

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South Carolina Introduces Lunch Shaming Bill

HB 3328 requires that schools offer a federally reimbursable meal to a student who is unable to pay or has previously incurred debt for previous meals.

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Mark Your Calendars

SNA's Upcoming Webinars

Register for this week’s Webinar Wednesday and learn more about USDA’s data validation service (DVS), designed to improve the quality of school meal verification data. Plus, register for our other March webinar opportunity! If you missed a particular webinar, catch up with SNA’s on-demand webinars.

USDA’s Data Validation Service: A Cloud-Based Solution to Improved Verification Reporting
Wednesday, March 11, 2020, 2:00 pm ET
The USDA data validation service (DVS) is a set of data edit checks designed to improve the quality of school meal verification data.

Best of #SNIC2020: Making it Happen: Sustainability and School Nutrition
Wednesday, March 18, 2020, 2:00 pm ET
From composting initiatives to reducing or changing packaging, what steps can you take to make your school nutrition program more sustainable? As presented at #SNIC2020, join this panel discussion to hear about sustainable practices from across the country and discuss what’s ahead for school nutrition.

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FRAC Meals Matter Webinars

Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) Meals Matter webinar series assist school nutrition professionals in the operation of school meal programs.

Growing Stronger, Sustainable Year-Round Programs
Thursday, March 19, 2020, 1:00 pm ET
Sponsors and children both benefit when year-round meals are provided seamlessly in communities through the Summer Food Service Program and Afterschool Meal Program, and March is the perfect time to finalize plans for moving from afterschool to summer meals. This webinar will cover best practices, streamlining opportunities, and new resources for establishing strong, financially viable year-round meal programs.

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Mystery Chat Corner

On this day (March 10th) in 1970, what U.S. President had a one-lane bowling alley built in the basement of the White House?
A: Richard Nixon

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servicecenter@schoolnutrition.org  

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

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