Tuesday Morning - May 28, 2019

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues
from SNA

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

House Agriculture Budget Increases Funds for School Nutrition Programs
SNA Submits Comments on State Administrative Expense Funds
New School Meals Bills Introduced in Congress
OMB Seeks Comment on Inflation Adjustments in Poverty Measurement
FNS Seeks Comment on CACFP Serious Deficiency Process

State Snapshots

Colorado Governor Signs Two School Meals Bills into Law

Mark Your Calendars

Crediting Popcorn, Hominy, Corn Masa and other Corn Products in CNPs
SNA’s 2019 Annual National Conference
SNA’s Upcoming Webinars

Mystery Chat Corner

Federal Policy

House Agriculture Budget Increases Funds for School Nutrition Programs

On Thursday, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies met to markup the FY2020 Agriculture Appropriations bill.

The bill would:

  • Provide $50 million in funding for the Summer EBT Program, an increase of $22 million
  • Allocate $10 million for School Breakfast Program (SBP) Expansion Grants, the first time this program has been funded since 2012
  • Increase funding for NSLP Equipment Assistance Grants from $30 million to $35 million
  • Provide that only a School Food Authority with a negative balance in their food service account as of December 31, 2019, would be required to establish a price for paid lunches under NSLP’s Paid Lunch Equity requirements
  • Maintain commodity support for school meals at $485 million, which in FY2019 allocated $20 million for school breakfast

With the Subcommittee’s Markup complete, the bill will head to the full House Appropriations Committee for consideration.

SNA Submits Comments on State Administrative Expense Funds

In May, SNA submitted a letter in response to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service’s (FNS) request for comment on changes to their approved information collection for reporting and recordkeeping related to State Administrative Expense (SAE) Funds. The agency removed the estimated burden related to Form FNS-74, the Federal-State Agreement, because the form is not signed annually. It also noted its plans to incorporate Form FNS-525, the State Administrative Expense Funds Reallocation Report, into the Food Program Reporting System (FPRS).

SNA’s comments, drafted in consultation with the State Agency Advisory Council, expressed concerns about the design of FNS-525 and the data it collects. The letter noted that efforts should be made to reduce the burden and redundancies associated with the form prior to its incorporation into FPRS.

New School Meals Bills Introduced in Congress

Four new bills impacting school nutrition programs were introduced in May:

  • Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) introduced H.R. 2651, the Improving Training for School Food Service Workers Act, which would clarify requirements for training programs for school foodservice workers.
  • Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL) introduced H.R. 2688, the Salad Bars in Schools Expansion Act, which would expand the use of salad bars in schools by establishing a grant program to fund the costs of installing salad bars.
  • Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) introduced H.R. 2706, the Feeding Hungry Students in Schools Act of 2019, which would address food insecurity for students by allowing schools to receive, store, and distribute food donations from charitable organizations on campus.
  • Rep. Don Young (R-AK) introduced H.R. 2818, which would fight childhood hunger by expanding access to summer meal programs by reducing regulatory burdens for local organization serving summer meals and expanding the availability of meals and snacks to students outside of normal school hours.

OMB Seeks Comment on Inflation Adjustments in Poverty Measurement

In a Federal Register notice published in May, the Office of Management and Budget announced it is seeking public input on a proposal to change the Consumer Price Index (CPI) used to calculate the Official Poverty Measure. Currently, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) use the CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) to calculate annual adjustments to poverty thresholds. OMB is seeking comment on the merits of using the Chained CPI for All Urban Consumers (C-CPI-U) and the Personal Consumption Expenditures Price Index (PCEPI) to calculate annual adjustments. Because C-CPI-U rises at a slower rate than the traditional CPI-U, annual adjustments to program eligibility thresholds would grow more slowly if this change was implemented, causing fewer households to qualify for federal assistance, including through NSLP and other Child Nutrition Programs.

FNS Seeks Comment on CACFP Serious Deficiency Process

In a Federal Register notice, FNS announced it is seeking public comment on the Serious Deficiency Process in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). The process provides a systematic way for the agency to correct serious management problems with a structured set of steps designed to provide all institutions and day care home providers the opportunity for corrective action and due process. In this notice, FNS is seeking input from stakeholders with firsthand experience of the Serious Deficiency Process to help the agency understand and address potential inconsistencies in the implementation of that process across states. Comments must be received on or before August 15, 2019.

State Snapshots

Colorado Governor Signs Two School Meals Bills into Law

In May, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed into law two school meals bills supported by Colorado SNA:

  • HB1132, School Incentives to Use Colorado Food and Producers, establishes a grant program to encourage schools to purchase food products grown, produced or processed in Colorado.
  • HB1171, the Expand Child Nutrition School Lunch Protection Act, allocates state funds to eliminate the Reduced Price student co-pay for students in all grades (Colorado had previously eliminated the Reduced Price co-pay for grades K-8).

Mark Your Calendars

Crediting Popcorn, Hominy, Corn Masa and other Corn Products in CNPs

On June 5, 2019 at 2:00 pm ET, USDA’s Child Nutrition Programs (CNP) will present the fourth webinar of the “Crediting Updates for Child Nutrition Programs: Be in the Know!” webinar series. The webinar will provide an overview of the crediting updates resulting from the Request for Information for these foods and provide crediting technical assistance with hands-on practice specifically for popcorn, hominy, corn masa and other corn products. All are welcome to attend, including program operators, State agencies, and the food industry. To register, visit this link.

SNA’s 2019 Annual National Conference

Get ready for great! Start planning now for whom you want to make sure you meet in St. Louis, Mo., at the "School Nutrition Networking Event of the Year"—SNA’s 73rd Annual National Conference (ANC), July 14-16, 2019!

SNA’s Upcoming Webinar

Learn about hot topics in school nutrition and earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs) with SNA’s popular professional development webinars. Missed a particular webinar, catch up with SNA’s on-demand webinars.

Non-Universal & Universal Breakfast in the Classroom: Data Driven Decisions and the Numbers Behind Breakfast in the Classroom
Wednesday, June 19, 2019, 2:00 pm ET
Come hear from a Georgia school district that has had success both with a universal free model of breakfast in the classroom as well as counting and claiming model in some schools. This webinar will include a special focus on how the district utilizes data to inform decisions and tell the breakfast story.
Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDNs/NDTRs.


Mystery Chat Corner

General John Logan designated May 30, 1868 as Decoration Day.
Commemorative events were held around the country to honor those who had died during the Civil War by decorating the graves of soldiers. The day would eventually come to be known as Memorial Day and recognizes the sacrifices of American military personnel lost in all wars.

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