Tuesday Morning - September 3, 2019

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues
from SNA

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

Tools for Schools: Focusing on Smart Snacks
FNS Seeks Comment on State Administrative Expense Funds
FRAC: School Meals are a Back-to-School Essential
FNS Seeks Comment on Summer Food Service Program
USDA Updates Procurement Review Tool for School Food Authorities

State Snapshots

Ohio DOE Promotes Contest for National School Lunch Week

Mark Your Calendars

SNA’s Upcoming Webinars
FRAC: Upcoming Conference Call and Webinars
Team Nutrition’s Crediting Updates Webinar
FNS Instruction: Shipment and Receipt of USDA Foods
FNS: Are You Ready for the CSFP Food Package Changes?

Mystery Chat Corner

Federal Policy

Tools for Schools: Focusing on Smart Snacks

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has released Tools for Schools, a new toolkit that contains school nutrition resources that primarily focus on Smart Snacks. Materials include sodium-reduction tools, requirements for Smart Snacks and a Smart Snack calculator. This webpage also contains policy guidance for program standards, fun ideas for Smart Snack fundraisers and useful infographics on how to encourage children to make healthier snack choices in school.

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FNS Seeks Comment on State Administrative Expense Funds

In a Federal Register notice published on August 28, FNS announced it is seeking comments regarding State Administrative Expense (SAE) Funds. FNS issues regulations and prescribes methods for administering expense funds to State agencies. These expense funds are for supervision and technical assistance in child nutrition programs such as the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), the Special Milk Program (SMP), the School Breakfast Program (SBP) and the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). USDA is requesting comments concerning whether this collection is necessary for the agency to perform its proper functions and practical ways to enhance the quality and clarity of the information collected. Comments must be received by September 27.

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FRAC: School Meals are a Back-to-School Essential

The Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) shared an article that reviews the benefits of school meals programs and summarizes the latest research regarding strategies that improve educational outcomes while increasing students access to nutrition programs. This article outlines the critical role school meals play in a student’s health, well-being and academic success. FRAC cites significant research that suggests “school meals programs are linked to improvements in the classroom and also help alleviate food insecurity and poverty for students across the country.”

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FNS Seeks Comment on Summer Food Service Program

On August 28, FNS published a Federal Register notice seeking comments on Summer Food Service Programs (SFSP). SFPS provides meals and snacks to children in low-income areas during the summer months through local sponsors such as public or private non-profit school food authorities (SFAs). FNS is requesting comments concerning whether this collection is necessary for the agency to perform its proper functions and practical ways to enhance the quality and clarity of the information collected. Response to this collection is required if respondents wish to obtain or retain benefits. FNS uses this information to monitor program performance for compliance and reimbursement purposes and also to determine an organization's eligibility. Comments must be received by September 27.

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USDA Updates Procurement Review Tool for School Food Authorities

FNS has published a policy memo regarding updates to the Local Agency Procurement Review Tool for SY2019-20. The procurement review tool is intended to provide State agencies and program operators with technical assistance to ensure that a school district’s procurement procedures comply with federal regulations. The original concepts of the tool remain the same but are now designed to reduce burdens, consolidate questions, clarify instructions and improve functionality for school food authorities (SFAs) and state agencies.

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State Snapshots

Ohio DOE Promotes Contest for National School Lunch Week

The Ohio Department of Education (DOE) has kicked off a statewide contest for National School Lunch Week (NSLW). Ohio schools are invited to submit a planned school lunch week menu relating to SNA’s NSLW theme: What’s on Your Playlist? Each daily menu must represent a reimbursable meal, and the overall week’s menu should meet all meal pattern requirements for the NSLP. The office of integrated Student Support will select entries that most effectively and creatively promote the NSLW theme. NSLW is scheduled for October 14-18. The deadline to submit is Friday, September 27.

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Mark Your Calendars

SNA’s Upcoming Webinars

Check out upcoming SNA webinars, including the "Host a Legislator: Cafeteria Site Visit" webinar. If you missed a particular webinar, catch up with SNA’s on-demand webinars.

Best of #NLC19: Tough Talking: Initiating and Managing Difficult Discussions
Wednesday, September 4, 2019, 2:00 pm ET
This presentation addresses practical skills, phrases, and techniques designed to make even the toughest communication easier.

Best of #LAC19: Group Purchasing Cooperatives: Should You Buy In?
Wednesday, September 11, 2019, 2:00 pm ET
Cooperative purchasing agreements are an efficient method to procure goods and services but with so many variables it can be hard to know where to begin. As presented at #LAC19, this webinar will provide insight from two different purchasing groups and a state agency perspective, so you can learn if group purchasing is right for you, how it works, and what’s required.

Best of #ANC19: Farm to Table: A Small District Approach to Partnership in Nutrition
Wednesday, September 18, 2019, 2:00 pm ET
As presented at #ANC19, learn how one school district in rural Georgia increased their nutritional awareness, school meal participation and student and staff education through the implementation of a farm-to-school program.

Host a Legislator: Cafeteria Site Visit
Wednesday, September 25, 2019, 2:00 pm ET
Looking to make a splash this school year? Be a school meal advocate and invite your legislator for a behind-the-scenes look at your school nutrition program! With the 2020 elections around the corner, your legislators are looking for an opportunity to engage with your school and the community. Join SNA and a panel of experienced school nutrition professionals to get an exclusive look at how to host a legislator during a cafeteria site visit. This webinar will feature an update on Cafeteria Site Visit resources, information on what to expect when conducting a visit, and tips on how to earn support for your essential programs.

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FRAC: Upcoming Conference Call and Webinars

The Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) is hosting two webinars and a conference call on some of the opportunities and challenges in child nutrition programs including the Summer Meals Program (SMP), the School Breakfast Program (SBP) and the Afterschool Meal Program (AMP).

  • Summer Meals Matter Conference Call
    Thursday, September 5, 2019, 1:00-2:00 pm EDT
    Now that the new school year has started, it’s a great time to reflect on summer programs and identify what worked, what didn’t and the opportunities to expand participation next summer.
  • Breakfast Matters Webinar
    Thursday, September 12, 2019, 3:00-4:00 pm EDT
    This webinar will discuss the barriers to establishing and maintaining School Breakfast Programs (SBP) in charter schools.
  • Afterschool Meals Matter Webinar
    Thursday, September 19, 2019, 1:00-2:00 pm EDT
    This webinar covers the ten things operators should know about managing an Afterschool Meal Program (AMP), including resources for getting started, program expansion, eligibility requirements and current participation data.

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Team Nutrition’s Crediting Updates Webinar

On Wednesday, September 4, 2019 (2:00-3:00 pm EST), Team Nutrition is hosting a new webinar that provides an overview of crediting updates for Child Nutrition Programs (CNP). This webinar is open to all CNP operators, State agencies and food manufacturers and will cover crediting guidance for food products such as popcorn, hominy, corn masa, and masa harina. These updates are a direct result from last year's Request for Information regarding the FNS crediting system. This information request was issued to gather feedback on how the crediting system can best address today's evolving food and nutrition environment while offering first-rate customer service. This webinar was developed to help program operators get crediting technical assistance and guidance with hands-on practice. Register here.

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FNS Instruction: Shipment and Receipt of USDA Foods

On Thursday, September 5, 2019 (1:00-2:00 pm EDT), FNS is hosting a refresher webinar for regional operators, state agencies, recipient agencies, and warehouses on FNS Instruction 709-5: Shipment and Receipt of USDA Foods. This webinar will highlight five key areas that focus on the shipment and receipt of all USDA Foods. These key areas include procedure, arrangement and delivery, guidance on inspection, receipt materials and the displacement and replacement of USDA Foods. This webinar applies to all USDA food programs but features special information on electronic invoicing for the Web-Based Supply Chain Management (WBSCM) and other relevant filings. Register here.

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FNS: Are You Ready for the CSFP Food Package Changes?

On Thursday, September 19, 2019 (1:00-2:00 pm EDT), FNS is hosting a webinar on the enhanced Food Package for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) that set to go into effect November 1. This webinar will cover transition updates concerning direct shipment purchases, food availability from the National Warehouses, including when to expect new foods and what package sizes for multi-food ordering. Attendees will also have the opportunity to ask any additional questions before implementing the enhanced food package. Register here.

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Mystery Chat Corner

On Tuesday, September 3rd, 1989, which American tennis star beat 15-year-old Monica Seles for her 101st and last US Open singles victory?
Chris Evert

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servicecenter@schoolnutrition.org  

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

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