Tuesday Morning - March 13, 2018

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues
from SNA

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

2018 Legislative Action Conference
Reducing Error Through Improved Application Design
It’s National CACFP Week!
USDA Food Buying Guide Available as Mobile App

State Snapshots

Minnesota Unpaid Meal Debt Bill
New Jersey Farm to School Tax “Check-off”

Mark Your Calendars

SNA's Upcoming Webinars
USDA Summer Meals Webinar
FRAC Webinars

Cafeteria Chat Corner


Federal Policy

2018 Legislative Action Conference

Nearly 900 school nutrition professionals, industry partners and other supporters of K-12 school meal programs have returned home after several busy days in our nation’s capital, participating in SNA’s 46th annual Legislative Action Conference (LAC).

Top on the agenda was prepping for the annual “Charge the Hill,” a day of visits to Members of Congress to advocate for the priorities of SNA’s 2018 Position Paper by sharing stories from the front lines in America’s school cafeterias. General sessions and breakouts alike offered opportunities for attendees to dig into facts and figures, perspectives and perceptions, strategies and tactics.

But even before they headed to Capitol Hill, attendees got an unexpected boost of support when Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Steve Censky spoke at the Closing General Session. Censky’s remarks capped off an impressive line-up of speakers offering encouragement, respect and gratitude. Other speakers included Peter Hart and Frank Luntz, pollsters from both sides of the aisle; Dr. Keith Ayoob, Associate Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine; Sharon Parrott from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and Rebecca Vallas from the Center for American Progress, both of whom spoke about block grants.

For more LAC highlights, check out SNA’s web story here!

Reducing Error Through Improved Application Design

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service released a memo titled Reducing School Meal Certification Error through Improved Online Application Design. The memo is intended to offer guidance to States, local operators, and their software vendors on strategies for leveraging the design flexibilities of online free and reduced price school meal applications to reduce household reporting mistakes and certification errors. USDA’s most current research finds that one in five applicants for school meal benefits are certified incorrectly, so USDA is encouraging local education agencies (LEAs) and their software vendors to take full advantage of the interactive online environment when developing or updating their online applications. Accuracy in the certification process is a top priority for USDA, and the guidance offers Q&A to ensure this is achievable.

It’s National CACFP Week!

National CACFP Week is March 11-17! Join the National CACFP Sponsors Association in spreading awareness that the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) serves over 4 million children nutritious meals and snacks. The purpose of this weeklong celebration is to highlight the CACFP and its efforts to provide children in child care centers, day care homes, afterschool programs, and adults in day care healthy, wholesome snacks and meals. Download the CACFP Week Celebration and Awareness toolkit now!

USDA Food Buying Guide Available as Mobile App

USDA’s Food Buying Guide (FBG) is an essential resource for food information for all child nutrition programs. The FBG App is now available in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. The FBG helps CNP operators, food manufacturers, and other stakeholders to purchase the correct amounts of foods for child nutrition programs and to determine the contribution that each food makes toward meal pattern requirements. In the app, you can search and locate food yield information, compare that information, create a favorite list of food items, and more! Check out the app today to see all it has to offer to make your child nutrition programs run easier.

State Snapshots

Minnesota Unpaid Meal Debt Bill

HF 2724 requires Minnesota schools to post their unpaid meal debt policy on their websites and requires that the Commissioner of Education develop a model school meals policy and post it to the department’s website. The bill establishes an unpaid school lunch account in order to collect and distribute funds to charter schools and school districts with unpaid lunch balances.

New Jersey Farm to School Tax “Check-off”

New Jersey taxpayers have an opportunity to support Farm to School activities through the Farm to School and School Garden Fund. This tax "check off" is an option on the state income tax form. The fund is established to allow taxpayers to donate a portion of their tax refund or make a contribution to help establish school gardens and purchase equipment and educational materials.

Mark Your Calendars

SNA's Upcoming Webinars

Learn about hot topics in school nutrition and earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs) with SNA’s popular professional development webinars.

Register Now:
Community Eligibility Series, Part 2: Making It Work With ISPs Below 60%
Wednesday, March 14, 2018, 2:00 pm ET
Join this webinar to learn how other districts have operated Community Eligibility with ISPs below 60% to see if you can make it work in your district.
Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs.

Best of #SNIC18: Making Plant-Based Eating Doable and Desirable in K-12
Wednesday, March 28, 2018, 2:00 pm ET
Are plant-based proteins nutritious and safe for growing children? Join this webinar to explore this growing trend and examine the nutritional adequacy of plant-based diets in K-12.
Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs.

Best of #SNIC18: When it Comes to Food and Ingredients, What Do Consumers Really Want?
Wednesday, April 4, 2018, 2:00 pm ET
Good value. Convenient. Clean label. Locally sourced. What do consumers really want? Join strategic nutrition marketer Mark Cornthwaite who will help you uncover different consumer segments, their specific needs and how you can address those needs as a school nutrition program operator or industry professional.
Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs.

Registration Coming Soon:

Community Eligibility Series, Part 3: Strategies for Partial Implementation
Wednesday, April 11, 2018, 2:00 pm ET
SNA and the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) have partnered to bring you this webinar. Learn more about the flexibility of school districts in implementing CEP.
Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs.

USDA Summer Meals Webinars

USDA is hosting a series of Summer Meals Program webinars.

Tribal and Rural Summer Meals
Thursday, March 20, 2018, 1:00 pm ET

What Cities Can Teach Us About Summer Meals
Tuesday, April 17, 2018, 1:00 pm ET

Boosting Your Budget – Summer Meals Financial Planning
Tuesday, May 15, 2018, 1:00 pm EST

Middle of Summer Strategies
Tuesday, June 14, 2018, 1:00 pm EST

Food Research & Action Center Webinars

The Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) provides their Meals Matter Webinar Series to assist school nutrition operators in their meal programs.

Streamlining and Simplifying the Afterschool Meal Program
Thursday, March 15, 2018, 1:00 pm ET
There are many opportunities to streamline and simplify the process and administrative requirements for schools and sponsors operating multiple child nutrition programs. Learn how states are implementing the streamlining options that are available to them.

Getting the Word Out About Summer Meals
Thursday, April 5, 2018, 1:00 pm ET
State agencies, summer programs, and advocates can boost participation by utilizing different strategies for spreading the word about the availability of summer meals to families leading up to summer and once programs begin. On this call you will hear about effective methods and resources to promote programs, raise awareness, and ensure more families are connected to summer meals this year.

Getting the Word Out About Summer Meals
Thursday, April 5, 2018, 1:00 pm ET
State agencies, summer programs, and advocates can boost participation by utilizing different strategies for spreading the word about the availability of summer meals to families leading up to summer and once programs begin. On this call you will hear about effective methods and resources to promote programs, raise awareness, and ensure more families are connected to summer meals this year.

Improving Afterschool Meal Quality and Reducing Waste
Thursday, April 19, 2018, 1:00 pm ET
Healthy, high-quality meals help to attract children to come to educational and enrichment programming and keep them coming throughout the school year, while also reducing waste. Communicating with vendors, incorporating feedback from children, and farm to school initiatives are just some successful strategies. Join us to learn how afterschool programs, advocates, and community partners can improve meal quality and appeal while being conscious of ways to reduce food waste.


Cafeteria Chat Corner

SNA wants to thank all of our 2018 Legislative Action Conference (LAC) attendees who helped to make #LAC18 the best LAC yet. SNA members proudly represented school meal programs up on the Hill and advocated on behalf of children all over the country. Please remember to fill out the LAC 2018 Evaluation to share your thoughts on the conference, and we look forward to seeing you again next year!


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