Tuesday Morning - November 23, 2021

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues from SNA

Table of Contents

COVID-19 Policy Updates

U.S. House Passes the Build Back Better Act 

Federal Policy

Registration Now Open for #LAC22
Early Childhood Nutrition Improvement Act
FDA Proposed Rule on Definition of “Healthy” at OMB
USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety Nomination

State Snapshots
North Carolina Caps Indirect Costs

Mark Your Calendars

Navigating Supply Chain Disruptions Impacting Your School District
Using Research to Connect the Dots Between You and Your Lawmaker

Mystery Chat Corner  

COVID-19 Policy Updates

U.S. House Passes the Build Back Better Act

On Friday, November 19, the U.S. House voted to pass H.R. 5376, the Build Back Better Act. The $1.7 trillion budget reconciliation bill includes $90 billion for agriculture-related programs, including school nutrition.

The bill allows an  estimated 9 million more students to receive free meals without an application by increasing the number of schools in low income communities able to take advantage of the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP). The CEP multiplier used to determine federal reimbursements for meals served has been increased from 1.6 to 2.5.  In addition, the Identified Student Percentage threshold is lowered from 40% to 25%, states are permitted to implement CEP statewide, and Medicaid direct certification has been expanded to all states. These provisions would continue through SY2026-27.

H.R. 5376 now heads to the Senate for consideration. Any changes will require the House to pass it again before it can head to the White House. 


As schools continue to feel the impact of the pandemic, school nutrition program traditions persevere. Plum Borough (Pa.) School District served Thanksgiving lunch to students before the holiday break.

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Federal Policy

Registration Now Open for #LAC22

“A New Era in School Nutrition” equals opportunities for change! Attend SNA’s 2022 Legislative Action Conference (LAC), March 6-8, 2022, at the J.W. Marriott in Washington, D.C. to build and grow relationships that will shape federal school nutrition policies. Register now!

Early ChildhoodNutrition Improvement Act

U.S. Representatives Suzanne Bonamici (OR-1) and Elise Stefanik (NY-21) introduced H.R. 5919, the Early Childhood Nutrition Improvement Act. The bill makes changes to the existing Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), which reimburses childcare providers, Head Start programs, homeless shelters and afterschool programs that serve nutritious meals to eligible children and adults. It aims to increase participation by reducing paperwork, streamlining eligibility requirements and promoting clearer guidelines for providers. The bill also authorizes reimbursements for a third meal in a day. Providers will be able to be reimbursed for offering nutritious late-afternoon meals to children who are in care for more than 8 hours.

FDA Proposed Rule on Definition of “Healthy” at OMB

The FDA recently sent a  Proposed Rule, “Nutrient Content Claims, Definition of Term: Healthy,” to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. The proposal would update the definition for the implied nutrient content claim "healthy" to be consistent with current nutrition science and federal dietary guidelines. It would also revise the requirements for when the claim "healthy" can be voluntarily used in the labeling of human food products so that the claim reflects current science and helps consumers maintain healthy dietary practices. OMB reviews typically take between 30 to 90 days to complete, and the Proposed Rule could be publicly released soon after completion if no significant changes are needed. 

USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety Nomination

The White House has  nominated Dr. Jose Emilio Esteban to the United States Senate for confirmation as USDA's next Under Secretary for Food Safety. Dr. Esteban is a veteran of USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), where he has worked since 2001, becoming its chief scientist in 2018. 

State Snapshots

North Carolina Caps Indirect Costs

N.C. Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt offered praise for the state budget, calling the spending plan an historic investment in education. Among other key investments in schools, the budget caps indirect costs for school nutrition programs at 8%. Read more.

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.  

Navigating Supply Chain Disruptions Impacting Your School District
3 p.m. Wednesday, December 1, 2021
Join the Association of School Business Officials (ASBO) and the School Nutrition Association (SNA) to discuss supply chain disruptions schools are facing. Presenters will discuss how school nutrition directors and school business officials can partner to navigate supply chain disruptions related to school meals and identify proactive communication strategies with parents, students and the local community.

Using Research to Connect the Dots Between You and Your Lawmaker
3 p.m. ET Wednesday, December 1, 2021  
Despite the narrative presented by Hollywood screenwriters and the mainstream media, lawmakers are human, too. Before being elected, these politicians have careers, attend school, volunteer and achieve college degrees. This presentation will explore some strategies for using research to help connect the dots between the issues you're advocating for and those on your member's current agenda.

On November 23, 1904, the first U.S. Olympic Games took place at the World’s Fair in this city.

A: St. Louis, Mo.

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