Tuesday Morning - March 23, 2021

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues from SNA

Table of Contents

COVID-19 Policy Updates

USDA Publishes Meal Data Revealing Fewer Meals Served and Financial Loss

Federal Policy

The Farm to School Act of 2021 
Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act of 2021
Make It in America Act
USDA Publishes Farm to School Census and Comprehensive Review

State Snapshots

California Introduces Legislation to Expand Access to School Breakfast Programs
Florida Drafts Bill to Provide Eligible Schools with Universal Meals
Iowa Presents Legislation to Establish Farm to School Program
Nebraska Introduces Amendment as Part of Hunger-Free Schools Act
Rhode Island Presents Bill Requiring Schools to Adopt Recycling Practices
New York Creates Pilot Program to Provide Take-home Meals to Students
South Carolina Drafts Bill to Amend Instructional Time Calculation
Washington Presents Legislation to Reallocate Funding to Ensure Delivery of School Meals
West Virginia Creates Tax Credit for School Service Professionals

Mark Your Calendars

Upcoming SNA Webinars

Mystery Chat Corner

COVID-19 Policy Updates

USDA Publishes Meal Data Revealing Fewer Meals Served and Financial Loss

On March 12, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) published new data that shows school meal programs served 30% fewer breakfasts and lunches to students and incurred significant losses in federal revenue in the first nine months of the pandemic (March-September 2020), as compared to the same time period in 2019. SNA has published an analysis of this data and continues to urge Congress to provide additional relief funds to keep school meal programs financially sustainable and ensure student access to healthy school meals. Read SNA’s full press release.

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covid19-image 

School nutrition staff at La Habra City School District continue their dedication to serving students in the community, especially during National School Breakfast Week (NSBW).

Federal Policy

The Farm to School Act of 2021

On March 10, Representative Stacey Plaskett of the Virgin Islands, along with Representatives Alma Adams (NC-12) and Jeff Fortenberry (NE-01), introduced the bipartisan bill H.R. 1768, the Farm to School Act of 2021. This legislation reauthorizes the Farm to School Act to expand participation in USDA's Farm to School Grant Program to preschools, after-school programs and summer food service sites and increases mandatory annual funding from $5 to $15 million. Read Rep. Plaskett's full press release.

The Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act of 2021

On March 11, Representatives Glenn Thompson (PA-15) and Antonio Delgado (NY-19) introduced the bipartisan bill H.R. 1861, the Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act of 2021. This bill amends the National School Lunch Act to allow school districts that participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) to serve flavored and unflavored whole milk. Rep. Thompson stated, "It is my hope the Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act will give students a variety of milk options—a win-win for growing children and America's dairy farmers." Read Rep. Thompson's press release.

Make It in America Act

On March 11, Senators Robert Portman (R-OH), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Mike Braun (R-IN), Gary Peters (D-MI) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) introduced S. 732, the Make It in America Act. This bill makes it harder for federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service, to use waivers to get around Buy American requirements, requiring the federal government to prefer American companies and purchase American-made products. Read Senator Portman's press release.

USDA Publishes Farm to School Census and Comprehensive Review

On March 15, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) published the Farm to School Census and Comprehensive Review. This review includes the 2019 Farm to School Census, a descriptive study of the USDA Farm to School Grant Program, a review of published research on the program since 2010 and a set of interviews with school food distributors.

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State Snapshots

California Introduces Legislation to Expand Access to School Breakfast Programs

AB 996 requires the California Department of Education to develop then post guidance for local educational agencies participating in the National School Breakfast Program on how to serve eligible non-school-aged children breakfast or morning snack at a local educational agency school site.

Florida Drafts Bill to Provide Eligible Schools with Universal Meals

SB 1768 requires any school or school district with 80% or more students eligible for free or reduced-price meals to implement a program to expedite certification or maximize reimbursement alternatives to provide universal breakfast and lunch to all students.

Iowa Presents Legislation to Establish Farm to School Program

SF 578 establishes Iowa's Farm to School Program, seeking to connect public and nonpublic schools with Iowa farmers to provide schools with fresh and locally produced food for inclusion in school meals and snacks.

Nebraska Introduces Amendment as Part of Hunger-Free Schools Act

Amendment 421 of LB 117 requires Nebraska's Department of Education to adopt the Hunger-Free Schools Act, stating that every student deserves access to healthy food during the school day.

Rhode Island Presents Bill Requiring Schools to Adopt Recycling Practices

S 104 or H 5328 requires public schools to comply with recycling and composting laws, including the use of “share tables” and promoting the donation of unspoiled nonperishable food by schools to food shelters.

New York Creates Pilot Program to Provide Take-home Meals to Students

S 5659 requires the chancellor of the New York City Department of Education to establish a pilot program to provide easy frozen take-home meals to certified children located in the city of New York.

South Carolina Drafts Bill to Amend Instructional Time Calculation

HB 3883 amends South Carolina's Department of Education's calculation to exclude lunchtime as part of the instructional day.

Washington Presents Legislation to Reallocate Funding to Ensure Delivery of School Meals

SB 5128 permits schools and school districts providing remote or partially remote instruction to use state funds previously allocated for student transportation to be used to deliver school meals to students. 

West Virginia Creates Tax Credit for School Service Professionals

HB 3103 creates an annual credit of $500 against personal income tax for teachers and school service personnel, including school food service workers.

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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.

LEAD to Succeed™: Facilitating “LEARN to Master Difficult Conversations” Training Your Staff
Wednesday, April 28, 2021, 3:00 PM EST
In this session, Sandra Ford, SNS, will take participants on a “guided tour” of the new Facilitator Guide that accompanies the first module of the LEAD to Succeed™ training program for school nutrition professionals. The Facilitator Guide for “LEARN to Master Difficult Conversations” will help you explain the critical nature of communication skills, provide training to help staff develop skills to engage in difficult conversations, and improve productive discussions in the workplace. You will also hear from directors who have taken Module 1 training and hear insight on how you can bring these materials back to your staff.

Congressional Management Foundation

Power Shifts in Washington: How Elections Affect Advocacy Strategies
Tuesday, March 30, 2021, 3:00 PM EST
A new Congress means new committee and subcommittee chairs, new alliances, and significant changes in the political terrain on Capitol Hill. When power shifts in Congress from one political party to the other, an advocate who may have been represented by an anonymous backbencher the year before might become the conduit to the most important legislator for their cause. This presentation will show advocates the value of identifying key committee chairs; and why some citizen advocates have more influence than others in specific parts of the legislative process.

Mystery Chat Corner

On March 23, 1775, which founding father delivered his famous "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death" speech in favor of Virginia troops joining the American Revolutionary war?

A: Patrick Henry

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Arlington, VA 22206
servicecenter@schoolnutrition.org  

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

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