Tuesday Morning - October 26, 2021

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues from SNA

Table of Contents

COVID-19 Policy Updates

U.S. Senate Urges GAO to Conduct Review of USDA Foods  

Federal Policy

SNA Comments on Team Nutrition Information Collection
USDA Responds to SNA’s APEC IV Comment Letter
SNA and Allied Organizations in Support of School Meals in Build Back Better Act
USDA Deputy Secretary Responds to SNA’s Global School Meals Coalition Inquiry
2022 Farm to School Grant Request for Applications Open
New SNA Sodium Standards Resources

State Snapshots  

Oregon Passes Legislation to Expand School Meals at No Charge

Mark Your Calendars

The Diversity Dilemma
Congressional Management Foundation  

Mystery Chat Corner  

COVID-19 Policy Updates

U.S. Senate Urges GAO to Conduct Review of USDA Foods   

On October 21, U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Ranking Member John Boozman (R-AR) sent a letter to the Honorable Gene Dodaro, Comptroller General of the United States at the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), requesting a review and analysis of the USDA Foods in Schools Program. The letter requests “that GAO explore opportunities to make the program more efficient, implementation clear and predictable in all states, and provide recommendations for how best to streamline processes and maximize the benefit…” Read the full letter.

COVID-19 Stories from the Front Lines  

 

Asher Keeney (left), cafeteria manager, serves kindergarteners in the school cafeteria at Cliftondale Elementary School in College Park, Ga., on Wednesday, Oct. 13. Metro Atlanta school districts are having to be creative to revise and rework menus because of national food supply issues. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult for districts to get some of their usual food items.  Read more.

.

Back-Arrow-Blue Back to the top  

Federal Policy

SNA Comments on Team Nutrition Information Collection

SNA submitted comments in response to the Federal Register notice of September 16, 2021, Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request, Team Nutrition Database. The data collection is to gather contact information of child nutrition professionals in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and Child Care Food Program (CACFP). Among other recommendations, SNA asks that USDA review how program operators access resources to maximize response rate. Read the comment letter.

USDA Responds to SNA’s APEC IV Comment Letter

USDA sent a response to SNA’s comment submitted for the Federal Register Notice of August 4, 2021, Agency Information Collection Activities: Fourth Access, Participation, Eligibility, and Certification Study Series (APEC IV). Within the response, USDA agrees that the data collection burden can be reduced and has taken steps to do so as well as eliminated some data collection requests altogether. APEC IV will also explore the use of a new national dataset of meal claim data, which will draw from data submitted by states during the annual School Meals Operations survey. If successful, future APEC studies will no longer request the data from SFAs. Read the response from USDA.

SNA and Allied Organizations in Support of School Meals in Build Back Better Act

SNA, along with nearly 100 national and state organizations, have sent a letter in support of school meal provisions in the Build Back Better Act to the Speaker of the House, Senate Majority Leader and House and Senate committee chairs. The letter urges Congress to include $634 million in funding for the Healthy Food Incentives Demonstration Program and $500 million in funding for school kitchen equipment grants. Read the letter.

USDA Deputy Secretary Responds to SNA’s Global School Meals Coalition Inquiry

USDA Deputy Secretary Dr. Jewel Bronaugh responded to SNA’s inquiry regarding the global school meals coalition,  “School Meals: Nutrition, Health and Education for Every Child.” The coalition was officially launched at the United Nations’ Food Systems Summit in September and its goal is to promote, strengthen, and expand school feeding programs across the globe to make nutritious meals available for all children by 2030.

In the letter Deputy Secretary Bronaugh states, “The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is a leader in school meals, both domestically and internationally. Our partnership with the School Nutrition Association and its members in meeting the nutrition needs of school children across the Nation is integral to that leadership.”

Back-Arrow-Blue Back to the top  

2022 Farm to School Grant Request for Applications Open

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has opened the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Farm to School Grant Program Request for Applications (RFA) for projects that improve children’s access to local foods in child nutrition programs and promote food and agriculture education. The RFA will remain open until 11:59pm ET on January 10, 2022. Please follow this link to apply to the grant program.

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

Oregon Passes Legislation to Expand School Meals at No Charge

Oregon has passed HB 2536 which requires a school or school district to offer lunches and breakfasts at no charge to students if that school or district meets the Federal requirements for the Community Eligibility Provision or if a student is from a household with an income not exceeding 300% of federal poverty guidelines.

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 26, 1967, this future U.S. Senator and Presidential Candidate was shot down over North Vietnam and spent the next 5 1/2 years in prison, two of those years in solitary confinement.

A: John McCain

Back-Arrow-Blue Back to the top  

Contact Us

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

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

> For The Media
> Work With US

Sign Up for Our Newsletters

Read the latest news and developments facing the school nutrition industry, as well as stay on top of important trends and resources.

 

> Read the Latest Newsletters

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. 

> Learn More