Tuesday Morning - May 26, 2020

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues
from SNA

Table of Contents

COVID-19 Policy Updates

COVID-19 Meal Pattern Waiver Extended
CDC Releases Considerations for Reopening
Federal Register: Final Rule on Coronavirus Food Assistance Program
Farming Support to States Act
USDA and FDA Announce Food Supply Chain Protections MOU

Federal Policy

USDA Expands Access to Online Food Purchase Program
GAO Opportunities to Reduce Fragmentation, Overlap, and Duplication Annual Report

State Snapshots

First Quarter State Legislative Summary Now Available
Minnesota Proposes a Bill for Schools to Adopt Formal School Meal Policy
Illinois Adds Amendment to Provide Funding for Lunch Program and Infrastructure

Mark Your Calendars

School Nutrition Association Webinars

Mystery Chat Corner

COVID-19 Policy Updates

COVID-19 Meal Pattern Waiver Extended

USDA's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) announced the extension of a nationwide school meals waiver allowing meal pattern flexibility during the COVID-19 pandemic. This waiver was extended through June 30th. Last week, the USDA extended three other school meals waivers; non-congregate feeding, parent pickup, and meal times through August 31st.

CDC Releases Considerations for Reopening

CDC released COVID-19 considerations for schools as they develop plans for reopening, including language regarding school meals. CDC advised that "schools can determine, in collaboration with state and local health officials to the extent possible, whether and how to implement these considerations while adjusting to meet the unique needs and circumstances of the local community." The language regarding foodservice is below, as well as a link to the full recommendations.

  • Have children bring their own meals as feasible, or serve individually plated meals in classrooms instead of in a communal dining hall or cafeteria, while ensuring the safety of children with food allergies

  • Use disposable food service items (e.g., utensils, dishes). If disposable items are not feasible or desirable, ensure that all non-disposable food service items are handled with gloves and washed with dish soap and hot water or in a dishwasher. Individuals should wash their hands after removing their gloves or after directly handling used food service items.

  • If food is offered at any event, have pre-packaged boxes or bags for each attendee instead of a buffet or family-style meal. Avoid sharing food and utensils and ensure the safety of children with food allergies.

Link to full recommendations: Here

Federal Register: Final Rule on Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

On May 21st, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) posted the final rule for the “Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.”This Final Rule implements the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), which will assist producers that have been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. The CFAP will provide financial assistance to offset the losses and increased costs for agricultural producers and farmers. This rule establishes direct payments for producers of eligible commodities such as USDA Foods and specifies all eligibility requirements, payment calculations, and procedures to apply. This rule is currently in affect.

Back-Arrow-Blue Back to the top

Farming Support to States Act

U.S. Representative Xochitl Torres Small (D-NM) introduced H.R. 6956, the Farming Support to States Act. The bipartisan bill provides$1 billion for food and agriculture aid to states. USDA would allocate funds to all states and territories, with substantial targeting to states based on their contributions to regional and national food systems. The funds are intended to absorb increased costs of necessary COVID-19 response actions that public, non-profit and private entities face. They would also help states manage additional logisticalcosts of getting food to consumers and keeping supply chains running. Read more in Rep.Torres Small’s press release.

USDA and FDA Announce Food Supply Chain Protections MOU

The USDA and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to help prevent interruptions at FDA-regulated food facilities, including fruit and vegetable processing. The MOU creates a process for the two agencies to make determinations for the use of USDA’s authority under the Defense Production Act with regard to domestic food resource facilities that manufacture, process, pack or hold foods, as well as those that grow or harvest food Read the MOU.

Federal Policy

USDA Expands Access to Online Food Purchase Program

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced approval of requests from Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee and Washington D.C., to provide online purchasing of food to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) households. This approval will allow these states to expedite the implementation of online purchasing with currently authorized SNAP online retailers with a target start date to be announced at a later time. For a complete list of state where SNAP online purchasing is operational, click here.

GAO Opportunities to Reduce Fragmentation, Overlap, and Duplication Annual Report

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released its annual Additional Opportunities to Reduce Fragmentation, Overlap, and Duplication and Achieve Billions in Financial Benefits report. Over the last ten years, the federal government achieved more than $400 billion in benefits by addressing actions highlighted in these reports. Included in the report are recommendations for USDA’s nutrition education efforts. 

State Snapshots

First Quarter State Legislative Summary Now Available

SNA’s  first-quarter state legislative summary for 2020 is now available on SNA’s website. In the first four months of 2020, legislatures in 39 states have introduced 120 bills that impact school nutrition programs or policy. Each legislative summary identifies key trends in school meal policy and details regarding new or recently passed legislation.

Minnesota Proposes a Bill for Schools to Adopt Formal School Meal Policy

HF 163 requires all schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) to adopt a formal school meal policy and to distribute this policy to all students, including posting online.   

Illinois Adds Amendment to Provide Funding for Lunch Program and Infrastructure

Amendment 1 of HB 64 increases state funding for the USDA National Lunch Program and covers all costs associated with the construction of a lunchroom and other infrastructure improvements.   

Mark Your Calendars

School Nutrition Association 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.

Rewind & Repeat: Science-Based Basics to Food Safety: Q&A Session
June 6, 2020 3:00 PM ET
Experts with the Center for Food Safety in Child Nutrition Programs at Kansas State University are back with a special edition Q & A webinar. They will be answering your questions about food safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can always go back and view their first two webinars with SNA in the On-Demand page. We hope you come ready with your questions!
Stronger Together Back to School Series
This five-day virtual series beginning Monday, June 8th brings in the experts for four afternoons of high-level learning to equip you with an actionable back-to-school plan in the unprecedented COVID-19 K-12 landscape. With a focus on strategic planning and populating a district action plan to support your planning efforts, special guest, Lowell Aplebaum, will lead us through this exciting new series. Find out more on SNA’s website.

Mystery Chat Corner

On May 26, 1972 U.S. President Richard Nixon and which Soviet leader signed the SALT accord?
A: Leonid Brezhnev

Back-Arrow-Blue Back to the top

Contact Us

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

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

> For The Media

Sign Up for Our Newsletters

Read the latest news and developments facing the school nutrition industry, as well as stay on top of important trends and resources.

 

> Read the Latest Newsletters

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. 

> Learn More