Tuesday Morning - May 22, 2018

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues
from SNA

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

U.S. House Appropriations Committee Approves $20 Million for SBP Commodities
2018 Farm Bill Defeated in the U.S. House
SNA Submits Comments on Farm to School Census Proposed Collection
New Resources Tout the Benefits of School Meals

State Snapshots

SNA 2017-18 State School Meal Mandates and Reimbursements Report
New York Plant-Based Requirement
Louisiana Smart Snacks Bill Passes

Mark Your Calendars

SNA's Upcoming Webinars
USDA Summer Meals Webinars
FRAC Community Eligibility Webinars

Cafeteria Chat Corner


Federal Policy

U.S. House Appropriations Committee Approves $20 Million for SBP Commodities

The full House Appropriations Committee approved the FY2019 Agriculture Appropriations Bill on Wednesday, May 16th on a vote of 31-20. SNA was successful in getting two of its legislative priorities included in the bill language that the Committee approved. This marks the first critical step in the multi-step legislative process.

SNA is excited to report that the appropriations bill includes $20 million for School Breakfast Program commodities. Further, SNA was also able to secure December 31, 2018 as the deadline to make a determination under Paid Lunch Equity provisions for the 2019-2020 school year. This will provide schools with a good grasp of meal prices well in advance of the next school year and will help in determining any potential future lunch price increases.

At the hearing on Wednesday, the Committee also approved two amendments that impact school nutrition programs. The first eliminates restrictions on the inclusion of starchy vegetables in School Breakfast Program meals. The second directs the U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary to issue recommended standards schools may adopt for unpaid meal policy. The U.S. Senate has yet to release a FY2019 Agriculture Appropriations bill. Both chambers must agree on a single version before it is sent to the President to be signed into law.

2018 Farm Bill Defeated in the U.S. House

Last week, in the U.S. House of Representatives, the 2018 Farm Bill was defeated on the Floor by a vote of 198-213. The bill contained language directing USDA to revamp the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. The amendment was originally sponsored by Rep. Glenn "G.T." Thompson (R-PA), and contained a provision asking USDA, within 90 days, to review the rules that set nutrition standards for school lunches, breakfasts and all food sold in schools. The bill was voted down on party lines.

SNA Submits Comments on Farm to School Census Proposed Collection

SNA submitted comments to USDA in response to the March 19th Federal Register request for comments on proposed records collection, Farm to School Census and Comprehensive. SNA requests that USDA Food and Nutrition Service should be mindful of the time and resources required of School Food Authorities (SFAs) for participation in various studies. SNA requests that wherever possible, FNS should work to streamline data collection processes to minimize the impact on SFAs. SNA members greatly appreciate Farm to School Program activities and initiatives, which have supported the implementation of new meal pattern requirements, increased student acceptance and consumption of fruits and vegetables, and allowed SFAs to build ties in their local and regional communities.

New Resources Tout the Benefits of School Meals

SNA has developed new resources to assist members in educating the public on the benefits of school meal programs. Balanced nutrition throughout the day contributes to student success in and out of the classroom. Research demonstrates that school meal programs play an important role in supporting obesity prevention, overall student health and academic achievement by improving children’s diets and combatting hunger. Click on the following links for new flyers that detail the proven benefits of the School Breakfast Program and National School Lunch Program. These resources can support outreach to legislators, parents, school administrators and media.

State Snapshots

SNA 2017-18 State School Meal Mandates and Reimbursements Report

SNA has updated its State School Meal Mandates and Reimbursements Rates Report for School Year 2017-18. The report is a comprehensive summary of each state’s mandates and financial support, accompanied with a comprehensive reference table.

Each year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture sets rates to partially reimburse schools for the cost of free, reduced-price, and paid meals. Many states provide additional funding which can range from per meal reimbursements, to salary support, to general funds which assist with program operations. It is up to each state to decide if participation in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program is optional or mandated, and there is variability among states.

New York Plant-Based Requirement

SB 8517 and companion bill AB 10600, were introduced in the New York Legislature and would require public schools to offer plant-based food options for every meal or snack offered in food service to the student. The plant-based option must be offered at no additional cost to the student.

Louisiana Smart Snacks Bill Passes

HB 616 requires that all foods sold in school beginning one-half hour before the start of the school day and ending one-half hour after the end of the school day to follow federal guidelines.

Mark Your Calendars

SNA's Upcoming Webinars

Learn about hot topics in school nutrition and earn Continuing Education Units with SNA’s popular professional development webinars.

Register Now:

Emergency Preparedness
Wednesday, May 23, 2018, 2:00 pm ET
Now is your chance to work with a school safety expert as he discusses how to mentally, physically and strategically prepare yourself for responding in the event of the unthinkable. This webinar will highlight time-tested strategies that you can apply to your role in the cafeteria as well as in your everyday life in this ever-changing society.
Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs.

Best of #LAC18: Procurement Ethics - What Should You Do?
Wednesday, May 30, 2018, 2:00 pm ET
Ethics play a major role in procurement, and procurement ethics are critical to your school nutrition operation. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn all about this crucial topic as part of SNA’s new programming, “School Nutrition Ethics: What Should You Do?”
Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs.

Registration Coming Soon:

Best of #LAC18: Mastering Forecasting through Cycle Menus
Wednesday, June 20, 2018, 2:00 pm ET
Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs.

USDA Summer Meals Webinars

USDA is hosting a series of Summer Meals Program webinars.

Middle of Summer Strategies
Thursday, June 14, 2018, 1:00 pm EST

FRAC Community Eligibility Webinars

Register for the Food Research and Action Center’s upcoming Community Eligibly webinars.

Interactive Q&A Discussions: Operating Community Eligibility with ISPs under 60 Percent

Thursday, May 24, 2pm EST
Join these two interactive Q&A discussions to learn from school nutrition directors who have implemented community eligibility with ISPs under 60 percent and have maintained the financial integrity of their program.

Community Eligibility: On the Fence? Considerations for Implementation

Thursday, June 14, 3:00 pm EST
School districts that are still on the fence will need to decide if they want to participate for the 2018–2019 school year by June 30, 2018. This webinar will cover important considerations about community eligibility implementation, such as community eligibility’s interaction with Title I and state education funding, getting started with partial implementation, and strategies for increasing school meal participation.




Cafeteria Chat Corner

"The founding of our Nation was more than a political event. It was an act of faith, a promise to Americans and to the entire world. The Declaration of Independence declared that people can govern themselves, that they live in freedom with equal rights, and that they can respect the rights of others."
–Gerald Ford, 38th President of the United States


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