Tuesday Morning - May 18, 2021

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues from SNA

Table of Contents

COVID-19 Policy Updates

SNA Joins Allied Groups on Letter to Secretary Vilsack on Expanding Direct Certification

Federal Policy

TAKE ACTION: Support the Universal School Meals Program Act of 2021!
Federal Register: Data Collection on FNS User Access Request Form
Federal Register: P-EBT Proposed Information Collection
House Education and Labor Subcommittee Holds Hearing on FNS Priorities

State Snapshots

California Presents Three Separate Bills Revising School Meal Programs
Colorado Creates Legislation Banning Single-use Plastic in Schools
Connecticut Introduces Three Bills on School Foodservice Requirements and Personnel
Florida Drafts Several New Bills on School Meal Programs
Georgia Presents Resolution to Recognize Georgia SNA
Hawaii Introduces Two Bills Concerning School Nutrition Funding and Products

Mark Your Calendars

Upcoming SNA Webinars
Congressional Management Foundation Webinars
Arkansas Department of Agriculture

Mystery Chat Corner

COVID-19 Policy Updates

SNA Joins Allied Groups on Letter to Secretary Vilsack on Expanding Direct Certification

On May 10, SNA, along with 10 other organizations, including the School Superintendents Association and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, signed on to an allied letter by the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack. This letter encourages USDA to extend and expand the Demonstration Projects to Evaluate Direct Certification with Medicaid, as proposed in the American Families Plan. Evaluating Direct Certification using Medicaid helps to enroll children for free or reduced-price school meals automatically. Read the full letter.

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Last week, Congressman James McGovern (MA-02) visited Blackstone-Millville Regional School District, meeting with the school nutrition staff to celebrate School Lunch Hero Day!

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Federal Policy

TAKE ACTION: Support the Universal School Meals Program Act of 2021!

Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Representatives Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Gwyn Moore (D-WI) introduced S. 1530, the Universal School Meals Program Act of 2021. SNA has endorsed this bill and is urging all members to send a letter to Congress in support of healthy school meals for all students! This act would offer free breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a snack to all school children regardless of income, eliminate school meal debt, and strengthen local economies by incentivizing local food procurement. Ensure your Members of Congress hear from you, tell them to support the Universal School Meals Program Act–our students depend on YOU to speak up!

Federal Register: Data Collection on FNS User Access Request Form

On May 10, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) published the Federal Register notice, “Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request.” This comment collection seeks input from Food and Nutrition and Consumer Services (FNCS) employees, contractors, State Agencies and Food Banks who seek access to FNCS systems through the FNS User Access Request form. All comments regarding this notice are due June 9, 2021.

Federal Register: P-EBT Proposed Information Collection

On May 11, USDA's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) published the Federal Register notice, "Agency Information Collection Activities: Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer." This proposed collection invites State Agencies and administrators to submit comments relating to the Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) and the reporting burden associated with administering the program. All comments regarding this notice are due July 12, 2021.

House Education and Labor Subcommittee Holds Hearing on FNS Priorities

On May 12, the U.S. House Education and Labor Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Human Services held the hearing, "Examining the Policies and Priorities of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service." During the hearing, Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Service Stacy Dean testified before the Subcommittee concerning the policies and priories for USDA's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). In her testimony, she described a few of FNS's new priorities, including expanding the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) to more high-poverty schools, focusing on elementary students. In addition, FNS is also looking to make permanent the nationwide Summer Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) program and expand direct certification for school meal programs to children that already participate in Medicaid. Watch the full Subcommittee hearing

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State Snapshots

California Presents Three Separate Bills Revising School Meal Programs

  • AB 1009 establishes the Farm to School Food Hub Program under California's Department of Food and Agriculture to invest in the infrastructure needed to increase the purchase of local, climate-friendly, environmentally sustainable, climate adaptation friendly and equitably produced food by schools.
  • AB 486 repeals the California Fresh State Pilot Program, a program to encourage public schools to provide fruits and vegetables to pupils and promote the consumption of nutritious fruits and vegetables at school.
  • AJR 8 urges the U.S. Federal Government to offer school lunches free of charge to all elementary, middle school and high school students in the United States.

Colorado Creates Legislation Banning Single-use Plastic in Schools

HB 1162 prohibits the use of single-use plastic bags and supplementary plastic products in high school starting January 1, 2025.

Connecticut Introduces Three Bills on School Foodservice Requirements and Personnel

  • HB 6563 eliminates the requirement for schools that participate in the Community Eligibility Provision to collect, submit or retain forms requiring persons receiving food to report income information to receive assistance through the Emergency Food Assistance Program.
  • SB 705 establishes the Office of Pandemic and Public Health Preparedness under Connecticut's Department of Education and requires it to submit a report that must include a plan to address staff shortages in schools, including food service personnel.
  • HB 6502 requires every school district to develop a plan for discontinuing the use of trays made from expanded polystyrene by July 1, 2022.

Florida Drafts Several New Bills on School Meal Programs

  • HB 1369 requires foodservice establishments, including schools, to ensure that all food waste materials are recycled at an authorized composting facility, an anaerobic digestion facility or processed through another accepted recycling method.
  • HB 1191 or S 1768 eliminates the reduced-price copayment for school breakfast, directing the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to reimburse sponsors for each breakfast served that meets the Federal nutrition requirements under the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA).
  • SB 1720 or HB 517 requires any school or district that participates in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) to offer a meal to all students regardless of ability to pay and prohibits any disciplinary action taken against a student with unpaid meal charges.

Georgia Presents Resolution to Recognize Georgia SNA

HR 208 recognizes the Georgia School Nutrition Association professionals for their work and dedication to serving meals to Georgia's students.

Hawaii Introduces Two Bills Concerning School Nutrition Funding and Products

  • HB 613 appropriates $21,000,000 to Hawaii's Board of Education to fund school food services for the 2021-2022 fiscal year.
  • SR 27 or SCR 38 urges Hawaii's Department of Education's School Food Services Branch to adopt an addendum encouraging the purchase and use of Hawaiian-grown food and products in schools.

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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.

A Guide to Reopen Schools: Best Practices in Food Safety and COVID-19 Prevention
Wednesday, May 19, 2021, 3:00 PM EST
In this session, CDC and USDA speakers will provide an overview of best practices for COVID-19 mitigation and school reopening. USDA representatives will present USDA’s most recent waivers and discuss food safety best practices for all service models for back-to-school planning. Finally, a CDC representative will provide an overview of current COVID-19 safety guidance in school foodservice and serving meals in schools. Speakers will share and discuss materials containing actionable information on best practices for COVID-19 prevention and reopening schools.

Congressional Management Foundation

Stay-cation Advocacy: Building Relationships Back Home 
Wednesday, June 2, 2021, 3:00 PM EST 

Members of Congress often are harried and overbooked when in Washington. Interacting with lawmakers back home can be the best strategy to get "quality time" with key decision-makers. In this session, participants will learn about who lawmakers listen to and why, the most effective tactics and strategies to use in the district or state, building long-term relationships with lawmakers and their staff, and the best opportunities for setting up meetings and events back home. This program is based on exclusive and private surveys of congressional staff conducted by CMF and is available only to members of CMF's Partnership for a More Perfect Union.

Arkansas Department of Agriculture

The Basics of Farm to School and Early Childhood Education
Thursday, June 10, 2021, 12:00 PM CT
Are you someone who likes to provide hands-on, innovative learning opportunities for your students? Join the Arkansas Department of Agriculture's Farm to School Team to learn about farm to school and farm to early childhood education opportunities related to school gardens, education, and local procurement. The webinar will dig into Arkansas Farm to School's history and teach participants how to set farm-to-school goals. This is the beginning level course and is recommended to those who is new to the concept or are looking for a refresher.

Mystery Chat Corner

On May 18, 1953, who became the first woman ever to break the sound barrier while flying in California?

A: Jacqueline Cochran

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Contact Us

2900 S. Quincy Street, Suite 700
Arlington, VA 22206
servicecenter@schoolnutrition.org  

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

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SNA State Associations

The School Nutrition Association has a presence in every state across the country. View links to many of the state associations to find out more about what SNA is doing nationwide. 

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