Tuesday Morning - October 8, 2019

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues
from SNA

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

SNA Comments on State Administrative Expense Funds and Summer Food Service Programs
SNA Comments on Proposed Collection for FPRS
USDA Updates Guidance on School Meal Programs
Apples4Ed Grant Opportunity
USDA Launches 2019 Farm to School Census
FNS Announces New CSFP Food Package Toolkit and Upcoming Policy Changes

State Snapshots

California Passes Four New Child Nutrition Laws

Mark Your Calendars

SNA's Upcoming Webinars
CACFP Halftime: Thirty on Thursdays Training Webinar Series

Mystery Chat Corner

Federal Policy

SNA Comments on State Administrative Expense Funds and Summer Food Service Programs

Last week, SNA submitted its comments in reply to the Federal Register notice, Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request Title: 7 CFR Part 235—State Administrative Expense (SAE) Funds and Title: 7 CFR part 225, Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) on August 28, 2019. The purpose of this collection is to improve the administration of funds that are distributed by USDA to State Agencies for administrative expenses. State Agencies administer these funds to provide supervision and technical assistance to School Food Authorities (SFAs). In these comments, SNA encourages USDA to offer increased flexibility for determining SFSP sponsor eligibility to maintain efficiency and integrity. Also, there are several measures in USDA’s Child Nutrition Burden Study Analysis Report that help to reduce administrative burdens for program operators and school nutrition professionals. Read the full comment letter for more details.

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SNA Comments on Proposed Collection for FPRS

On September 30, 2019, SNA submitted its comments in response to the Federal Register notice, Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request—Food Programs Reporting System (FPRS), published on July 30, 2019 by USDA FNS. This notice requested comments regarding the consolidation of program information and financial reporting requirements under the FPRS, specifically for States and Indian Tribal Office (ITO) Agencies. The purpose of this collection is to eventually provide one portal for States and ITO Agencies to meet all reporting requirements for various programs. SNA has recommended several practices from USDA’s Child Nutrition Burden Study Analysis Report, specifically ways to help to streamline processes that are meant to reduce administrative burdens for program administrators and operators. Read the full comment letter for more details.

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USDA Updates Guidance on School Meal Programs

USDA has published a collection of policy memoranda to provide administrators and operators with updated guidance for Child Nutrition Programs (CNP). This guidance, which is being distributed by State Agencies, covers programs such as the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), School Breakfast Program (SBP), Special Milk Program (SMP), Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). Updates to this guidance include questions and answers documents pertaining to school meal flexibility and meal pattern requirements; clarification on milk and water requirements; and updates to guidance on smoothies and salad bars in schools.

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Apples4Ed Grant Opportunity

The NSLP supports millions of students across the country and Apples4Ed, presented by the U.S. Apple Association (USApple), can provide additional nutrition to students between meals, over the weekend, or by helping students practice healthier eating habits. USApple will present five different schools across the United States with $4,000 grants to help them provide more comprehensive support for student nutrition. Learn more and submit your school for grant funding at apples4ed.com.

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USDA Launches 2019 Farm to School Census

USDA has officially launched the 2019 Farm to School Census, a survey for all School Food Authorities (SFAs) that currently participate in the National Farm to School Program. This survey will examine the unique practices of this program such as the utilization of school gardens, expansion of agricultural education and food purchasing behaviors of districts. The goal of this census is to determine the effectiveness and overall reach of Farm to School Programs. If you work within a school and currently perform farm to school-related tasks, make sure to share that information with your local SFA director. If you are a part of an SFA, please be sure to complete the Farm to School Census survey as soon as possible. Check out the Farm to School Census homepage for more information.

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FNS Announces New CSFP Food Package Toolkit and Upcoming Policy Changes

USDA FNS published a new Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) Toolkit and has announced that it will release new items, flexibilities and increased quantities for some food package categories starting in November. The CSFP Toolkit includes Food Package Monthly Distribution Rates, a list of upcoming food options and a CSFO Order Planning Tool. All new resources, enhancements and policy changes were made in collaboration with local and state partners that participate in the CSFP.

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State Snapshots

California Passes Four New Child Nutrition Laws

In September, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed four new child nutrition bills into law. All bills listed below are either currently enrolled or enacted as part of California state law.

  • SB 265, amends the Child Hunger Prevention and Fair Treatment Act of 2017 by repealing the requirement that students with unpaid meal debt may not be served a meal that differs from what a pupil “paying for a school meal would receive” and replacing it with the requirement that a student with unpaid meal debt may not be served a meal that differs from what a pupil “whose parent or guardian does not have unpaid school meal fees would receive under that local educational agency’s policy.”
  • AB 1377, requires any child to be automatically eligible for the CalFresh program if that child meets federal eligibility criteria for Free or Reduced-Price meals. The CalFresh Program is similar to SNAP as it issues electronic benefits monthly that can be used to buy food at local markets and food stores.
  • AB 842, requires all per-meal reimbursement rates to be equal for all schools, childcare centers and family daycares. This new law states that all child development programs must comply with nutrition-related exclusions and requirements. In addition, child development programs must provide each child in need with one nutritionally adequate free or reduced-price meal during each program day.
  • AB 354, requires all California schools that do not currently participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the School Breakfast Program (SBP) to provide adequate space for children to consume breakfast and lunch. All schools that do not participate in the NSLP or SBP must report annually to California’s Department of Education (DOE) regarding an alternative meal program that must ensure each student in need is provided a free or reduced-price meal. Also, this new law requires the DOE to conduct onsite reviews of sites to verify compliance with federal meal benefit issuance and meal pattern regulations under NSLP and SBP.

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Mark Your Calendars

SNA's Upcoming Webinars

Calling all directors from small districts! Register for this Wednesday's webinar and learn how to make the most of available resources. Plus, register for four additional webinar opportunities in the coming weeks! If you missed a particular webinar, catch up with SNA’s on-demand webinars.

ANC Ideas@Work: Small District? Make the Most of Your Resources
Wednesday, October 9, 2019, 2:00 pm ET
Calling all directors from small districts! Learn how to make the most of available resources and find out how you can include managers and kitchen staff in the broader decision-making process so that your small team is empowered to do GREAT things.

Best of #ANC19: Redesign Your Serving Line
Wednesday, October 16, 2019, 2:00 pm ET
Learn simple, easy and cost-effective ways to redesign your cafeteria line and create an inviting space for everyone that walks into the cafeteria!

Best of #ANC19: News You Can Use - Recent Updates in USDA Research
(and Why We Need It)

Wednesday, October 23, 2019, 2:00 pm ET
Join USDA experts as they walk you through key findings from the new School Nutrition and Meal Cost Study and other recent studies.

Best of #ANC19: Simple Solutions for Handling Change
Wednesday, October 30, 2019, 2:00 pm ET
Change seems to be the only constant in our world. In this webinar, learn coping strategies that can make change work for you and how to recognize non-productive behaviors that can make even the smallest changes difficult.

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.

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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

In 2001 the establishment of the Office of Homeland Security was announced by which U.S. President?
A: President George W. Bush

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Arlington, VA 22206
servicecenter@schoolnutrition.org  

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

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