Tuesday Morning - October 19, 2021

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues from SNA

Table of Contents

COVID-19 Policy Updates

USDA Team Nutrition Supply Chain Resources
Time to Share Your Story  

Federal Policy

USDA School Food Industry Listening Session
USDA Celebrates National School Lunch Week
New SNA Sodium Standards Resources  

State Snapshots  

Third-Quarter State Legislative Summary Now Available  

Mark Your Calendars

The Diversity Dilemma
Congressional Management Foundation  

Mystery Chat Corner  

COVID-19 Policy Updates

USDA Team Nutrition Supply Chain Resources   

USDA’s Team Nutrition provides guidance for navigating supply chain disruptions. Procurement authority under  2 CFR 200 provides SFAs with the flexibility to conduct emergency noncompetitive procurement(s) when an urgent need or emergency arises, such as the need to replace missing foods or paper goods with alternative sources or products quickly. Emergency noncompetitive procurement methods are a standing flexibility and do not require a waiver. Read more.

USDA Team Nutrition’s tips for making last-minute substitutions to your school meal menu include: 

  1. The Child Nutrition (CN) Label is one way of verifying the crediting of processed foods that include meats and meat alternates.
  2. The Food Buying Guide (FBG) can be used to document the specific contribution that a food makes towards the meal pattern.
  3. A  Product Formulation Statement (PFS)  from a food manufacturer or your vendor may be used to show how a food product credits toward meal pattern requirements.
  4. The Nutrition Facts Label and the ingredient list on retail-purchased food items provide information such as the serving size, nutrition information, and ingredients for the product.
  5. Product Specifications provide the detailed standards of quality and wholesomeness by which the food item must be produced and processed. They may be used to document how the purchased foods contribute towards the meal pattern requirements.

Time to Share Your Story  

Please share your personal experience with supply chain disruptions, including any issues surrounding labor, product shortages and item unavailability. Your story may be featured online and viewed by USDA and Congressional staff. Sharing your experience is the most impactful way to bring meaningful change. Read submissions and add your own on SNA’s Action Network

COVID-19 Stories from the Front Lines  

 

TAM-10-05-21
USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack visits Riverdale (Md.) Elementary School in honor of National School Lunch Week.

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Federal Policy

USDA School Food Industry Listening Session

On October 15, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Stacy Dean and USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) Administrator Cindy Long hosted a virtual listening session with 19 school food industry executives to discuss their critical role in strengthening access to nutritious foods for school meals programs, now and into the future. 

“USDA’s school meal programs have a wide-reaching impact on the health and well-being of our nation’s children,” said Vilsack. “Now, more than ever, America’s children need access to the healthy and nutritious foods, and our industry partners play a huge role in making that happen.” Read USDA’s press release.

USDA Celebrates National School Lunch Week

On October 12, in recognition of National School Lunch Week, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack joined students for school lunch at Riverdale (Md.) Elementary School “This National School Lunch Week, we recognize the importance of school meals to children’s ability to learn and grow, and we honor the hard work and dedication of the school nutrition professionals that make those meals possible, no matter the circumstances,” Sec. Vilsack said in USDA’s press release. In a Politico story on the event, the Secretary commented on ongoing procurement challenges for school meal programs, with Politico reporting, “Vilsack said he would meet with food industry and School Nutrition Association representatives to learn more about the supply chain challenges hitting school cafeterias nationwide.” 

New SNA Sodium Standards Resources

Learn more about the sodium reductions already achieved in school meals and why USDA should ease the timeline for Target 2 reductions, eliminate unachievable Final Target mandates and empower schools that are able to voluntarily reduce sodium beyond Target 2. As we approach the release of the Interim Final Rule, Child Nutrition Programs Temporary Standards for Milk, Whole Grains and Sodium, these resources can serve as useful educational tools legislators, school boards, superintendents and all stakeholders in school nutrition programs.

State Snapshots

Third-Quarter State Legislative Summary Now Available

SNA’s third-quarter state legislative summary for 2021 is now available on SNA’s website. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of states have introduced legislation to combat the effects of school closures on school nutrition programs. These bills include provisions such as compensation and commendation for foodservice workers, program guidance and funds to maintain school meal services.  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.  

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. 

Mystery Chat Corner  

On October 19, 1781, British forces under General Charles Cornwallis signed terms of surrender effectively ending this war.

A: U.S. Revolutionary War

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Contact Us

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

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

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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. 

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