Tuesday Morning - November 9, 2021

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues from SNA

Table of Contents

COVID-19 Policy Updates

U.S. House Committee on Agriculture Supply Chain Hearing

Federal Policy

U.S. Senate Agriculture Food and Nutrition Subcommittee Hearing
SNA Comments on Buy American Request for Information
State of Childhood Obesity Report

State Snapshots
Wisconsin Farm to Fork Program Bill

Mark Your Calendars

The Diversity Dilemma
Congressional Management Foundation
FY2022 Farm to School RFA Webinars
Getting Your Grant Package Together

Mystery Chat Corner  

COVID-19 Policy Updates

U.S. House Committee on Agriculture Supply Chain Hearing

On Wednesday, November 3, the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture held the hearing, “The Immediate Challenges to our Nation’s Food Supply Chain.” Industry witnesses from across the supply chain described staffing and distribution shortages impacting foods delivered to schools.

“Recently, we have seen a supply shortage of critically important ingredients such as gluten emulsifiers, soybean oil and packaging. Upcoming issues are being projected for honey sesame seeds and durum flour, which is a main part of the school lunch programs,” said Ed Cinco, Director of Purchasing for Schewbel’s, a baking company. “The impact of the specifications for the ingredients for the school products makes it difficult to get the specific ingredients. You have to have their own flour, which, for example, comes from North Dakota. The crop was 50% less than what was expected. The price has gone up almost double. It's hard to get. It's hard to make and, until the specifications get adjusted, I think we're going to have some issues with supplying the schools.”

Click on the links for more information on the hearing, including a recording and submitted testimony.

COVID-19 Stories from the Front Lines

Dallas Independent School District gets creative with finger food menus amid ongoing shortage of cutlery and other nonfood supplies. Read more.

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Federal Policy

U.S. Senate Agriculture Food and Nutrition Subcommittee Hearing

On Tuesday, November 2 the U.S. Senate Agriculture Subcommittee on Food and Nutrition, Specialty Crops, Organics and Research hosted a hearing, “The State of Nutrition in America 2021." During the hearing, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) emphasized the importance of bolstering regional supply chains and lowering procurement barriers to mitigate supply chain disruptions and food shortages in schools across the country. Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, Dean of Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, spoke before the Senate committee and urged increased investments in the school lunch program. Chairman Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Ranking Member Mike Braun (R-IN) recommended moving forward with a bipartisan, bicameral bill that would convene a second national White House Conference on Food, Nutrition, Hunger and Health. Click here for more information on the hearing, including a recording and submitted testimony.

SNA Comments on Buy American Request for Information

SNA provided comments on USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service’s (FNS) Request for Information: Buy American in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program, published in the Federal Register on August 4, 2021. To gain feedback on the application of the Buy American Provision, SNA convened a group of stakeholders, including school nutrition professionals at the state and local level and industry members. Each segment shared challenges to implementation as it pertains to the procurement of foods for school nutrition programs. Read the comment letter.

State of Childhood Obesity Report

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released its annual State of Childhood Obesity Report. The report highlights the latest childhood obesity rates and trends and provides research and policy recommendations for the future. The report notes that the national obesity rate for youth ages 2-19 nationwide rose from 19.3% to 22.4% between August 2019 to August 2020.

State Snapshots

Wisconsin Farm to Fork Program Bill

Among other provisions, AB 663 provides funding for the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection to award grants for creating and expanding farm to school programs and requires that when awarding grants under the farm to school programs, DATCP must give preference to school districts that have a high percentage of students who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals under federal law. 

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.  

The Diversity Dilemma
3 p.m. ET Wednesday, November 10, 2021
This leadership workshop will challenge you to create true diversity and explore the myth that "difference automatically produces diversity." Attendees will analyze how their organization(s) may be unknowingly impacted by the culture they have created or inherited. You’ll leave this session with the action steps you can take to address your own diversity dilemma.

Congressional Management Foundation

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.

FY2022 Farm to School RFA Webinars

Review the important details of the FY 2022 Farm to School Grant RFA and key characteristics of competitive Farm to School Grant applications

Getting Your Grant Package Together
2:30 p.m. ET Tuesday, November 9, 2021
Explore the key characteristics of a competitive Farm to School Grant application. Review the required components and provide technical assistance on how to submit a complete application. Attendees will learn tips and tricks for writing a succinct application that clearly outlines your farm to school project.

On November 9, 1979, human error caused the U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) system to provide this false alarm at 3 a.m.

A: What analysts saw on their monitors at 3 a.m. that morning was sobering— the Soviet Union had fired hundreds of nuclear ballistic missiles at the United States. The frightening false alarm, as it was later determined, had resulted from a nearly grave mistake made by one military officer and the failure of U.S. defense computers to recognize it.

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