Tuesday Morning - March 26, 2019

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues
from SNA

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

Income Eligibility Guidelines for SY 2019-20 Announced
FNS Posts 2019 Reimbursement Rates for SFSP
School Breakfast Programs Can Now Substitute Vegetables for Fruit
FY 2019 NSLP Equipment Grants Distributed to State Agencies
Dietary Guidelines for Americans First Public Meeting

State Snapshots

Arkansas Governor Signs Unpaid Meal Bill Into Law

Mark Your Calendars

2019 National Child Nutrition Conference
SNA’s Upcoming Webinars

Mystery Chat Corner

Federal Policy

Income Eligibility Guidelines for SY 2019-20 Announced

Last week, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) published annual adjustments to the income eligibility guidelines for child nutrition programs for July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020. The adjustments impact the income guidelines for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), School Breakfast Program (SBP), Special Milk Program (SMP), Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and Summer Food Service Program (SFSP).

In the 48 contiguous states, the District of Columbia, Guam and U.S. Territories, the monthly income limit for a family of four is $3,970 for reduced-price meals and $2,790 for free meals. That limit is $4,963 for reduced-price meals and $3,488 for free meals in Alaska, and $4,567 for reduced-price meals and $3,209 for free meals in Hawaii. You can view the full chart of reimbursement rates here.

FNS Posts 2019 Reimbursement Rates for SFSP

On March 20, 2019, annual adjustments to the reimbursement rates for meals served in the SFSP were published in the Federal Register.

The chart below details the reimbursement rates for 2019:

FNS Posts 2019 Reimbursement Rates for SFSP

School Breakfast Programs Can Now Substitute Vegetables for Fruit

In a recent policy memo, FNS announced that effective immediately School Food Authorities (SFAs) participating in the School Breakfast Program (SBP) may credit any vegetable offered, including potatoes and other starchy vegetables, in place of fruit without including vegetables from other subgroups in the weekly breakfast menus.

SFAs must offer 1 cup of fruit daily to children in all age and grade groups. To meet this requirement, SFAs may offer a vegetable in place of a fruit. SFAs that offer 1 cup of fruit or vegetable at breakfast each day will be considered compliant during the Administrative Review through September 30, 2019. Under regulations prior to this notice, participants had to ensure that at least two cups per week are from the dark green, red/orange, beans and peas or “other vegetables” subgroups.

FY 2019 NSLP Equipment Grants Distributed to State Agencies

In a memo posted last week, FNS announced the allocation of $30 million in equipment grant funding to state agencies, as authorized by FY 2019 appropriations. The memo also provides guidance on the grants’ terms and conditions, period of performance, timelines, funding goals and reporting requirements.

These grants will be awarded by state agencies on a competitive basis to SFAs, with priority given to high-needs schools, in order to purchase equipment that improves: the quality of school meals, the safety of food served in school meal programs, the overall energy efficiency of school foodservice operations or participation in school meals.

Dietary Guidelines for Americans First Public Meeting

USDA and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) have announced that the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) will hold its first public meeting on March 28-29, 2019, in Washington, D.C. Participation is available in person or via webinar. Registration is open until March 26.

Additionally, the public comment period allowing the public to submit comments to the DGAC throughout their work opened March 12 and will remain open throughout the Committee’s deliberations. DGAC will review the scientific evidence on topics and questions from the respective Departments and will then provide a report to the Secretaries that will help to inform USDA and HHS in the development of the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

State Snapshots

Arkansas Governor Signs Unpaid Meal Bill Into Law

In March, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signed the Hunger-Free Students Bill of Rights Act into law. The law requires SFAs to serve a meal to any student, regardless of ability to pay or accrued meal debt, and prohibits certain actions believed to stigmatize students who are unable to pay for school meals. Arkansas is now the eleventh state that has approved an unpaid meals bill.

Mark Your Calendars

2019 National Child Nutrition Conference

The National Child Nutrition Conference, scheduled for April 22-26, 2019 in Chicago, Ill., will feature the best educational training and networking opportunities for CACFP, Afterschool Meals and Summer Food Service teams. Join the child nutrition community for three days of education featuring over 175 presenters and 150 hours of workshops.

SNA’s Upcoming Webinars

Check out upcoming SNA webinars on CEP, "Best of #SNIC19," and the first of our "Best of #LAC19" series! Missed a particular webinar, catch up with SNA’s on-demand webinars.

Best of #SNIC19: The Evolving Agricultural Landscape - Enabling a Plant-Based Future
Wednesday, March 27, 2019, 2:00 pm ET
What will the future of protein look like? Join Kellogg’s as they examine the challenges of feeding future leaders with optimal nutrient profiles that rival animal proteins while meeting regulations in school foodservice.
Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDNs/NDTRs.


Mystery Chat Corner

On March 26, 1953, Dr. Jonas Salk announced that he had successfully tested the Polio vaccine.
The vaccine came into use in 1955 and is now estimated to be worth $7 billion. Dr. Salk had not patented the vaccine, foregoing personal profit and making it cheaply and widely available to this day. His work on the polio vaccine made Dr. Salk one of the most famous medical researchers of the 20th century.

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