Tuesday Morning - November 5, 2019

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues
from SNA

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

SNA Submits Comment on School Meals Eligibility Under Proposed SNAP Rule
The School MEALS Act of 2019
USDA Increases Guam and Virgin Islands Reimbursement Rates
Enter to Win a Free Trip to SNA’s LAC in Washington, D.C.!

State Snapshots

New Jersey Provides Evening Meals for Students in Need

Mark Your Calendars

SNA's Upcoming Webinars
FRAC: November 2019 Breakfast Matters Webinar
CACFP Halftime: Thirty on Thursdays Training Webinar Series

Mystery Chat Corner

Federal Policy

SNA Submits Comment on School Meals Eligibility Under Proposed SNAP Rule

On November 1, SNA submitted its comment letter on the Proposed Rule, Revision of Categorical Eligibility; Reopening of Comment Period. In the letter, SNA states that the informational analysis, Potential Impacts on Participants in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program is concerning. The analysis states that close to one million children will lose direct certification for free school meals, requiring a return to applications. This is a setback to the current data matching successes that have dramatically reduced the administrative burden and costs from outreach, paperwork and processing of applications. In addition, some of the impacted families will not realize that they need to apply for school meal assistance, resulting in students being denied a meal in the cafeteria and schools amassing unpaid meal debt. Read the full letter.

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The School MEALS Act of 2019

On October 24, Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced S. 2692, the School Modernization and Efficient Access to Lunches for Students Act of 2019. This legislation enhances direct certification through USDA grants and technical assistance, expedites the direct certification process and provides flexibilities for eligibility data collection. Direct certification and CEP have been shown to significantly increase access to school breakfast and lunch programs by reducing administrative burdens and eliminating unpaid meal debt. Read Senator Casey’s full press release.

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USDA Increases Guam and Virgin Islands Reimbursement Rates

In a Federal Register notice published on November 1, the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) established new reimbursement rates for Guam and the Virgin Islands. This rate adjustment is in effect beginning July 1, 2019 for SY 2019-20. This 17 percent increase in the reimbursement rate is based on data indicating that the costs of producing school lunches, breakfasts and snacks are higher than those in the continental United States, as well as other factors impacting both Guam and the Virgin Islands school meal programs.

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Enter to Win a Free Trip to SNA’s LAC in Washington, D.C.!

It’s time for SNA’s annual sweepstakes to win a free trip for two to the 2020 Legislative Action Conference (LAC), happening March 8-10, 2020 in Washington, D.C. An SNA member may enter by sending proof of inviting or hosting a cafeteria site visit with a local legislator, Congressman or Senator. Evidence includes but is not limited to invitation letters, photos, news articles, press releases or videos; one entry per member. All invitations and/or visits must occur on or after September 26, 2019. One submission will be selected at random after the submission deadline. This randomly selected member will win free travel, hotel and registration for themselves and a guest to LAC 2020. Please see Complete Sweepstakes Rules for full details, eligibility and entry conditions. Also, be sure to check out Cafeteria Site Visit resources for more information on how to conduct a site visit. Please submit all entries to advocacy@schoolnutrition.org. All submissions are due by December 13, 2019.

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State Snapshots

New Jersey Provides Evening Meals for Students in Need

On October 29, Hunter College’s Food Policy Center published an article that showcases the School Dinner Program in Paterson, New Jersey. The Paterson School District has implemented a free school dinner program in addition to its breakfast and lunch programs. The goal of this program is to ensure that all low-income students have access to three full meals a day, including dinner. Currently, the program provides dinner to 1,281 students in 15 different schools and is continuing to expand. This program is reimbursed by the Federal Government but is operated locally under the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). Students who participate in after-school activities can receive a nutrition dinner through this program. Read the full article.

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Mark Your Calendars

SNA's Upcoming Webinars

Looking for innovative ways to engage your student customers and connect your school cafeteria to the classroom? Register for this Wednesday's webinar and learn how one district worked with the curriculum department to build lesson plans that have been implemented state-wide. Plus, register for three additional webinar opportunities in the coming weeks! If you missed a particular webinar, catch up with SNA’s on-demand webinars.

ANC Ideas@Work: Connecting the Cafeteria to the Classroom
Wednesday, November 6, 2019, 2:00 pm ET
Learn innovative ways to engage your student customers and connect your school cafeteria to the classroom.

Best of #ANC19: Self-Awareness - Knowing Yourself to Improve as a Leader
Wednesday, November 13, 2019, 2:00 pm ET
Learn the tools and steps it takes to become self-aware which will help improve your productivity, management style and work relationships.

Best of #ANC19: Blast Off With Out-of-This-World Breakfast Strategies
Wednesday, November 20, 2019, 2:00 pm ET
Learn insights from a panel of school breakfast experts on cosmic trends designed to maximize participation during National School Breakfast Week (NSBW) and all year long.

Top 10 Steps to Managing the Procurement Process (and Preventing a Bid Protest!)
Wednesday, December 4, 2019, 2:00 pm ET
Procurement is complex but there are fundamental steps districts should take to manage the process effectively. In this webinar, hear a top 10 list compiled by the experts!

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FRAC: November 2019 Breakfast Matters Webinar

On Thursday, November 14, 2019, 3:00-4:00 pm, the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) is hosting a webinar on the improvement of direct certification methods, including tips on how to increase identified student percentage (ISP) in your school or district. Along with student applications, direct certification is an essential tool to ensure that low-income students can receive a healthy and nutritious meal. A careful and thorough process for direct certification can provide a more accurate representation of the number of students living in poverty in any given school. In turn, a school or district’s ability to accurately report may allow for more schools in need to qualify for the Community Eligibility Program (CEP). Tune in to learn direct certification best practices and advice for increasing your ISP throughout the school year. Register here.

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CACFP Halftime: Thirty on Thursdays Training Webinar Series

Join Team Nutrition and USDA professionals on Thursday, November 14, 2019, 2:00-2:30 pm EDT, for a brand-new webinar that focuses on resources and easy-to-use tools for determining serving amounts for the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). This webinar is part of a series of interactive, skills-building webinars that focus on several complex topics related to the updated CACFP meal patterns. USDA is offering a certificate of participation to all those that complete post-webinar practice questions. Register here.

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Mystery Chat Corner

On this day (November 5th) in 1968, Republican candidate Richard Nixon is elected President of the United States, defeating Democratic candidate Hubert Humphrey, and which Independent candidate?
A: George Wallace

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