Tuesday Morning - March 5, 2019

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues
from SNA

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

900 School Nutrition Professionals Meet with Congress
#LAC19 May Be Over, but SNA Is Just Getting Started!
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue Speaks at LAC 2019
FNS Publishes Final Rule to Provide Hiring Flexibility for School Nutrition Programs

State Snapshots

School Waste Reduction Bill Introduced in Rhode Island
2018 Year End State Legislative Report Now Available!

Mark Your Calendars

2019 National Child Nutrition Conference
SNA’s Upcoming Webinars

Mystery Chat Corner

Federal Policy

900 School Nutrition Professionals Meet with Congress

On February 26, approximately 900 school nutrition professionals from across the country gathered in Washington, D.C., to urge Congress to minimize regulatory burdens and bolster school meal programs to benefit the nearly 30 million students served each day. SNA’s Legislative Action Conference (LAC) attendees met with Members of Congress to discuss SNA’s 2019 Position Paper and the importance of school meals to student achievement. Read more in SNA’s press release.

#LAC19 May Be Over, but SNA Is Just Getting Started!

The determination and enthusiasm of our members is what made this year’s LAC so memorable! However, the “Action” does not stop when the conference is over! Our members will continue to advocate for school nutrition long after leaving Washington, D.C. Here is a checklist of tasks and resources to support advocacy efforts and to take the “Action” from LAC all the way back to your school and home district!

  • Please be sure to send in your feedback form. There are multiple feedback form return options to choose from! This information is what fuels SNA’s advocacy efforts on your behalf throughout the year.
  • Send a “thank you” to your legislator! Be sure to check in and send any follow up information that was requested by the legislator or their staff!
  • Check out the LAC Resources page for helpful advocacy tools, including SNA Position Paper resources, personalized commodity and child nutrition program informational pamphlets for each state and the LAC Charge the Hill video. Also, be sure to subscribe to the SNA Action Network YouTube Channel for media and advocacy updates!
  • Did you invite your legislators to visit your school cafeteria? SNA’s Cafeteria Visit toolkit is a great resource and guideline for how to invite a legislator and how to conduct a visit. This is also a great opportunity for both the school and your state’s legislators!

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue Speaks at LAC 2019

Last Monday, February 25, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue addressed school nutrition professionals gathered for SNA’s 47th annual LAC. Sec. Perdue spoke about his experiences with school meals programs, and the work U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has been doing to provide flexibility for state agency staff and school nutrition operators. He also announced USDA’s final rule on hiring flexibility for school nutrition programs. 

FNS Publishes Final Rule to Provide Hiring Flexibility for School Nutrition Programs

On Friday, USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) published a Final Rule in the Federal Registry providing hiring flexibility under the Professional Standards regulations for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the School Breakfast Program (SBP). The rule provides four new flexibilities:

  • Allows small Local Education Agencies (LEAs) – those with 2,499 students or fewer – to consider relevant foodservice experience, rather than school nutrition program experience, for new school nutrition program directors.
  • Allows state agencies to use discretion to consider documented volunteer or unpaid work as relevant experience for new school nutrition program directors in small LEAs.
  • Allows state agencies to use discretion to accept less than the required years of foodservice experience when an applicant for a new direct position at an LEA with fewer than 500 students meets minimum education requirements.
  • Allows state agencies to hire applicants for state director of school nutrition programs with an advanced degree in a relevant field, regardless of the field of their bachelor’s degree.

In May of last year, SNA provided a letter to the Department, noting that while the Association supports the Professional Standards regulations, it appreciates efforts to provide flexibilities for small LEAs facing a limited pool of candidates, and requesting that the Department encourage continued training and professional development in school nutrition program areas.

State Snapshots

School Waste Reduction Bill Introduced in Rhode Island

A bill in the Rhode Island House of Representatives would require schools to comply with composting and recycling laws, as well as promote the donation of unspoiled, nonperishable foods. The bill would also incentivize local procurement and the use of contractors who properly recycle organic waste. Schools would also be authorized to use “share tables.”

2018 Year End State Legislative Report Now Available!

State legislatures in 32 states considered 138 school meals bills last year! Check out the Year-End State Legislative Summary to learn about the bills signed into law, as well as trends in state school meals policy.

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.

Community Eligibility Provision: Title I, Budgeting, and Getting Buy-In
Wednesday, March 6, 2019, 2:00 pm ET
In partnership with FRAC, join this webinar to hear from DOE and USDA policy experts, as well as from a school districts that has gotten buy-in for implementation and is successfully operating community eligibility. FRAC will also share available CEP resources.
Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDNs/NDTRs.

Best of #SNIC19: Turning Disruption and Change into Opportunity and Advantage
Wednesday, March 13, 2019, 2:00 pm ET
Join innovation expert Daniel Burrus as he explains what it takes to accurately anticipate technology-driven disruptions before they occur, prep to meet customer needs before they express them, and identify game-changing opportunities for school nutrition programs.
Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDNs/NDTRs.

Best of #LAC19: Winning Over the Public on School Meals
Wednesday, March 20, 2019, 2:00 pm ET
Legislators, parents, school administrators and media alike all have preconceptions about school meal programs – and too often they are based on foggy memories of what they ate for school lunch decades ago. As presented at #LAC19, this webinar will help you figure out how to move the needle, take advantage of all the communications tools at your disposal and change perceptions of school meals.
Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDNs/NDTRs.

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

At #LAC18, Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Stephen Censky announced a Proposed Rule for hiring flexibilities.
This year, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced that the final rule would be issued, providing hiring flexibility for small LEAs.

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Arlington, VA 22206
servicecenter@schoolnutrition.org  

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

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