Tuesday Morning - May 25, 2021

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues from SNA

Table of Contents

COVID-19 Policy Updates

FNS Publishes New State Guidance on COVID P-EBT

Federal Policy

Federal Register: Non-Competitive Technology Innovation Grants
Senator Ernst Sends Letter to Secretary Vilsack Regarding Meat Alternatives in Schools
CARE for Kids Act
TAKE ACTION: Support the Universal School Meals Program Act of 2021!

State Snapshots

Michigan Drafts Bill Appropriating Funds to Reimburse for School Breakfast
Minnesota Introduces Legislation on CEP Requirements
Missouri Presents Anti-Lunch Shaming Legislation
Montana Creates Bill to Prohibit Lunch Shaming
Nevada Introduces Legislation to Account for School Meal Availability
 
Mark Your Calendars

Upcoming SNA Webinars
Congressional Management Foundation Webinars
Arkansas Department of Agriculture

Mystery Chat Corner

COVID-19 Policy Updates

FNS Publishes New State Guidance on COVID P-EBT

In May, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) published updated state guidance on Coronavirus Pandemic EBT (P-EBT). P-EBT provides eligible school children with temporary emergency nutrition benefits for purchasing food. This guidance includes Questions and Answers (Q&A) and a State Template Plan to assist State Agencies administering this program.

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covid19-image 

At North East Independent School District in San Antonio, Texas, the school nutrition team prepared a colorful display of fresh fruits and vegetables for students to enjoy during breakfast and lunch.

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Federal Policy

Federal Register: Non-Competitive Technology Innovation Grants

On May 21, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) published the Federal Register notice, "Child Nutrition Programs: Non-Competitive Technology Innovation Grant Funding." This notice announced the availability of non-competitive technology innovation grants, which may be distributed to any eligible State Agencies that administer Child Nutrition Programs, and requests comment on this non-competitive approach. All comments regarding this notice are due June 21, 2021.

Senator Ernst Sends Letter to Secretary Vilsack Regarding Meat Alternatives in Schools

On May 19, Senator Joni Ernst (IA-R) sent a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack concerning the service of meat alternatives as part of school nutrition programs. In this letter, Senator Ernst outlined the recent expansion of meat alternatives, specifically the recent certification of Impossible Foods' meat alternative products as part of the Child Nutrition Labeling Program. In addition, she listed the health benefits of natural meats and proteins and how these recent actions are "disincentivizing the consumption of meat, at the expense of our nation's animal agriculture workers, rural communities, and livestock producers." Read Senator Ernst's full press release.

CARE for Kids Act

U.S. Senator Bob Casey (PA-D) introduced S.1590, the Caregivers Access and Responsible Expansion for Kids Act of 2021, or CARE for Kids Act. This bill would expand school meal eligibility to the 2.7 million children who have been displaced due to crises like the opioid epidemic and the COVID-19 pandemic, who now live with grandparents or other caregivers. This bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry. Read Senator Casey’s full press release.

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 Gwen 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 Member of Congress hears from you, tell them to support the Universal School Meals Program Act – our students depend on YOU to speak up! Take action now!

State Snapshots

Michigan Drafts Bill Appropriating Funds to Reimburse for School Breakfast

HB 4333 appropriates $11,900,000 from the Michigan general fund to reimburse school districts participating in the School Breakfast Program for the 2021-2022 school year.

Minnesota Introduces Legislation on CEP Requirements

SF 1901 requires any public school that qualifies to participate in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) and requires the Minnesota Department of Education to provide technical assistance to local educational agencies with CEP requirements.

Missouri Presents Anti-Lunch Shaming Legislation

HB 122 establishes a meal charge policy for addressing payment for meals, unpaid meal debt, the prohibition of stigmatizing actions, and other issues related to the school meal programs. This bill requires a school to notify a student’s parent or legal guardian about the status of individual school meal accounts.

Montana Creates Bill to Prohibit Lunch Shaming

HB 467 prohibits any school district from stigmatizing a student who cannot pay for a school meal or has a negative account balance. It also requires any communications from a school district regarding a school meal account by directed to the student's parent or guardian.

Nevada Introduces Legislation to Account for School Meal Availability

SB 27 creates the Nevada School-Family Compact, a report that must include information describing the availability of free and reduced-price meals, including information regarding school breakfast, school lunch and summer meal program.

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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.

Get WILD with Global Flavors
Wednesday, September 29, 2021, 3:00 PM EST
Increasing meal participation is critical for all programs. One of the driving questions many operators have is how to keep their menus relevant to the new generations of students while embracing the diversity of their students. Thanks to the adventurous palates of today's parents, your students have been exposed to, and come to love, many more dishes with global flavors than previous generations. Join us for an exciting panel discussion where we will show you how you can easily incorporate international flavors in your menu while keeping your food costs down, utilizing USDA Foods and basic pantry staples you likely have on hand.

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 25, 1961, which U.S. president delivered the famous speech announcing the United States' goal of putting a man on the moon before the decade?

A: John F. Kennedy

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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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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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