Tuesday Morning - September 28, 2021

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues from SNA

Table of Contents

COVID-19 Policy Updates

FNS Issues Waivers to Address Meal Service During School Closures and Supply Chain Issues 
SNA Signs onto Letter Pressing Congress to Invest in CNP During Budget Reconciliation

Federal Policy

Fresh Produce Procurement Reform Act 
FNS Releases New Study on SFA Procurement Practices 
Deadline: Apply to Participate in CEP for the 2021-2022 School Year 

State Snapshots

Massachusetts Introduces Legislation Requiring Specific Schools to Participate in CEP
New York Anti-Hunger Advocates Publish Op-Ed Calling for Universal School Meals for All

Mark Your Calendars

Upcoming SNA Webinars
School Nutrition Association
Congressional Management Foundation

Mystery Chat Corner

COVID-19 Policy Updates

FNS Issues Waivers to Address Meal Service During School Closures and Supply Chain Issues

On September 22, in response to concerns previously raised by SNA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) published a new set of child nutrition program waivers for the SY2021-22. These nationwide waivers apply to SFSP sponsors and are designed to maintain children's access to nutritious meals during unanticipated school closures and to support schools facing supply chain challenges. The new waivers include:

Check out  FNS's Policy Memo for complete details on new waivers.  

SNA Signs onto Letter Pressing Congress to Invest in CNP During Budget Reconciliation

On September 20, SNA signed onto an allied letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott, and Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow that urges Congress to invest in students and child nutrition programs during the budget reconciliation process for the Build Back Better Act. Specifically, this letter requests that specific provisions be maintained throughout reconciliation, including expanding schools that could offer free meals to all students through the Community Eligibility Provision by increasing the multiplier from 1.6 to 2.5 and lowering the eligibility threshold by 25%. Other key provisions include giving states the option to implement the Community Eligibility Provision statewide and allowing all states to conduct Medicaid direct certification. Read the full letter.

COVID-19 Stories from the Front Lines

TAM-9-28-21
The school nutrition team at Olympia (Wash.) Public Schools in is serving up fresh breakfast-to-go for students before classes begin.

Federal Policy

Fresh Produce Procurement Reform Act

On September 21, House Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) introduced H.R. 5309, the Fresh Produce Procurement Reform Act. This legislation aims to increase and improve the USDA's fresh fruits and vegetable procurement while prioritizing purchases from generally disadvantaged farmers and producers with regional food inequities in their local and regional food systems. Specifically, this bill would require USDA to partner with local growers, distributors and food hubs to provide fresh, U.S.-grown fruits and vegetables to community organizations like schools and local food pantries. Read Rep. DeLauro's full press release.

FNS Releases New Study on SFA Procurement Practices

Last week, FNS published a new study on School Food Authority (SFA) Procurement Practices. This report is the first study from FNS that comprehensively describes and assesses the decision-making process regarding school food procurement practices at the SFA level. This report surveyed 1,679 SFAs currently participating in Child Nutrition Programs and explains how SFAs develop and publish solicitations, evaluate and award contracts, and monitor contractor performance for all school food purchases. Read the full report summary.

Deadline: Apply to Participate in CEP for the 2021-2022 School Year

The deadline to apply to participate in the Federal Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) or Provision 2 is September 30. CEP allows schools and districts with a high Identified Student Percentage (ISP) to serve free breakfast and lunch to all students without an application. Eligibility to participate in CEP is based on the school or district’s Identified Student rate. Check out FNS’s Community Eligibility Provision Resource Center

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State Snapshots

Massachusetts Introduces Legislation Requiring Specific Schools to Participate in CEP

SB 2532 or H 3999 requires any school or district with an Identified Student Percentage (ISP) of 60% or more to apply for and implement the Federal Community Eligibility Provision or Provision 2 to provide all students with a healthy school breakfast or lunch at no charge.

New York Anti-Hunger Advocates Publish Op-Ed Calling for Universal School Meals for All

Last week, Liz Accles, Executive Director of Community Food Advocates, and Julia McCarthy, Senior Program Officer at the New York State Health Foundation, wrote an op-ed urging for free school meals for all students. The article states, "permanently providing free school breakfast and lunch for all is a fundamental promise of educational opportunity and those students from food-insecure families are less likely to succeed in school, but research shows that free school meals improve academic performance and mental wellbeing." Read the full article.

Mark Your Calendars

Upcoming SNA 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.

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.

School Nutrition Association

Get WILD with Global Flavors
3 p.m. EDT Wednesday, September 29, 2021
Increasing meal participation is critical for all programs. One of the driving questions many operators have is how to keep their menus relevant to the new generations of students while embracing the diversity of their students. Thanks to the adventurous palates of today's parents, your students have been exposed to, and come to love, many more dishes with global flavors than previous generations. Join us for an exciting panel discussion where we will show you how you can easily incorporate international flavors in your menu while keeping your food costs down, utilizing USDA Foods and basic pantry staples you likely have on hand.

School Nutrition Association

Q&A with the USDA Team
3 p.m. EDT Thursday, September 30, 2021
Join SNA and the USDA team as they answer frequently asked questions to some of the key challenges operators are facing. From procurement strategies due to supply chain disruptions to guidance for feeding virtual learners – you don’t want to miss this!

Congressional Management Foundation

Using Research to Connect the Dots Between You and Your Lawmaker >
3:00 p.m.EDT 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 September 28, 1987, which famous sci-fi television show starring Patrick Stewart debuts on the First-run syndication network?

A: Star Trek: The Next Generation

 

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servicecenter@schoolnutrition.org  

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