Tuesday Morning - March 29, 2022

1 big thing. Applications open: Local Food for Schools Cooperative Agreement Program

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What’s new: The USDA announced it is accepting applications for the Local Food for Schools Cooperative Agreement Program (LFS), which will provide up to $200 million for states to purchase local food for school meal programs.

Go deeper: In December 2021, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Vilsack announced that through the USDA Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), the Administration would provide up to $1.5 billion to states and school districts to help school meal program operators deal with supply chain disruptions.

  • $1 billion for schools to purchase food for their meal programs

  • $300 million for states to purchase foods to be distributed to schools

  • $200 million for cooperative agreements to purchase local foods for schools with a focus on buying from historically underserved producers. A state-by-state breakdown of funds can be found in this table.

What’s next: Apply by June 17, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. Please refer to the  LFS Request for Application (pdf) for more information.

2. SNA 2022 Research Agenda

SNA Research Agenda

What’s new: SNA has published the 2022 Research Agenda.

Why it matters: Through the research agenda, SNA hopes to sensitize school nutrition researchers to conduct research on the most pressing issues currently affecting the ability of schools to provide school meals. This year’s agenda focuses on five research areas:

  • Meal Participation

  • Emergency Preparedness & Feeding Strategies

  • Rural Districts

  • Mentorship & Staff Development

  • Values & Outcomes of Nutrition Programs

 What’s next: View the SNA 2022 Research Agenda.

3. USDA request for comment

USDA Request for Comment

What’s new: USDA is requesting comments on an information collection submitted to the Office of Management and Budget for review. This is a reinstatement, with change, of a previously approved information collection that expired on February 29, 2020. The information collected is necessary as part of the application process for institutions wishing to participate in the CACFP.

Why it matters: FNS and State agencies administering the program will use the collected information to ensure that institutions accept, as mandated by Congress, their responsibilities and liabilities in connection with the CACFP, provide the legal basis for their participation and allow administering agencies to monitor these operations to ensure compliance with legislative and regulatory requirements.

What’s next: Comments regarding this information collection are due on April 25, 2022, and can be submitted on the following website www.reginfo.gov/​public/​do/​PRAMain.

4. State legislative update

Map of US

🔎Let’s look at the latest state updates…

Pennsylvania State Representative Austin A. Davis introduced a resolution urging the U.S. Congress to reauthorize the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to issue school food program waivers. This measure was referred to the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee. This bill has 18 cosponsors.

New Jersey State Senator Nilsa Cruz-Perez has introduced a bill that would require the U.S. Department of Agriculture to design and implement the “breakfast after the bell” incentive fund. This fund will provide a 10-cent per breakfast supplement to the existing federal reimbursement to a public school district with schools that: participate in the federal school breakfast program; serve “breakfast after the bell;” and have 20 percent or more of its students eligible for free or reduced-price breakfast. This measure has been referred to the Senate Education Committee.

Massachusetts’ Joint Committee on Public Health has introduced legislation to prohibit the advertising of “non-compliant beverages.” The bill defines “non-compliant beverage” as beverages that do not meet the minimum nutrition standards for foods sold or served under school meal programs established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 and federal regulations implementing the Act. The bill also requires the department of elementary and secondary education to implement instruction in media literacy skills from the third grade to the twelfth grade so students can learn to analyze and assess advertising content for food, beverages, drugs and alcohol.

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