Tuesday Morning - September 4, 2018

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues
from SNA

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

Farm Aid Package to Include NSLP and SBP Commodities Purchasing
SNA Comments on Proposed NSLP and CACFP Record Collection

State Snapshots

Bethlehem Meal Debt Jumps After PA Passes Unpaid Meals Law
Illinois Governor Signs Unpaid Meals Bill
New York Governor Announces “No Student Goes Hungry” Launch
California Legislature Advances School Meals Bills, Approves Equipment Grants

Mark Your Calendars

School Nutrition Association Upcoming Webinars
USDA ERS Hosts Webinar on Food Security

Mystery Chat Corner


Federal Policy

Farm Aid Package to Include NSLP and SBP Commodities Purchasing

As part of a $12 billion farm aid package, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will administer a Food Purchase and Distribution Program to purchase up to $1.2 billion in commodities for nutrition assistance programs, including school lunch and breakfast. AMS will work with USDA’s Food and Nutrition Services to distribute products to State Agencies that participate in the NSLP and SBP. SNA recently urged the Secretary of Agriculture to use these commodity purchases to support school nutrition programs. More details on the Food Purchasing and Distribution Program can be found in USDA’s press release.

SNA Comments on Proposed NSLP and CACFP Record Collection

SNA provided recommendations to reduce burden, improve efficiency, and increase accuracy for the proposed collection of contact information for schools participating in the NSLP and CACFP. The data collection is to gather contact and other information on a voluntary basis from schools and organizations that participate in the NSLP and CACFP to enter these schools and organizations into the Team Nutrition database.

State Snapshots

Bethlehem Meal Debt Jumps After PA Passes Unpaid Meals Law

An article in The Morning Call highlighted the challenges facing the Bethlehem Area School District after Pennsylvania passed an unpaid meals bill. The law now requires that a meal be served to all students who request one and prohibits actions that would identify or stigmatize students that are unable to pay. The district had previously served an alternative meal to students with meal debt, but that practice is no longer allowed under Pennsylvania law.

Since the law went into effect, the district’s meal debt increased 50% to $154,590. The results mirror those in Denver, where meal debt rose to $356,000 after the district adopted a similar policy. Since 2017, unpaid meals legislation has been introduced in 27 states.

Illinois Governor Signs Unpaid Meals Bill

Last week Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law SB 2428, which requires schools to provide a reimbursable meal to any student who requests one, regardless of ability to pay. The bill also prohibits actions that would identify or stigmatize a student who cannot afford a meal or carries debt from previous meals. The bill also allows districts to petition the state treasurer for an offset on a parent’s income tax refund for meal debt exceeding $500.

New York Governor Announces “No Student Goes Hungry” Launch

Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York announced the launch of the “No Student Goes Hungry” program, which aims to address food insecurity by expanding breakfast after the bell in schools throughout the state. The state government will provide $7 million in equipment funding for high-poverty schools. The program also provides $1.5 million in funding to support Farm-to-School programs and increases the state reimbursement for school lunches from $0.059 to $0.25 for schools that purchase at least 30% of their ingredients from New York farms.

California Legislature Advances School Meals Bills, Approves Equipment Grants

The California legislature advanced two pieces of legislation impacting school nutrition programs. AB 2771, which passed both chambers and is awaiting action by the Governor, provides matching state grants (up to $100,000) to school food authorities that are awarded a federal Equipment Assistance Grant. AB 3043 was passed with amendments by the State Senate and returned to the Assembly; if passed it would allow nonprofit school food service funds (cafeteria funds) to be used to provide “universal breakfast.” It would also permit the use of cafeteria funds to purchase a mobile food facility that is used to administer federal child nutrition programs.

Mark Your Calendars

SNA's Upcoming Webinars

Learn about hot topics in school nutrition and earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs) with SNA’s popular professional development webinars.

Register Now:

Best of #ANC18: No more Guessing Games- Using Data to Get Exactly What You Need
Wednesday, September 5, 2018, 2018, 2:00 pm ET 
Join this panel discussion to take home forecasting how to’s, templates and ideas to take back to your district.
Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs. 

Best of #ANC18: Marketing to Generation Z
Wednesday, September 12, 2018, 2:00 pm ET
Generation Z, the kids you serve, have a distinct palate, bright ideas, and a hungry appetite. Ever wish you could read their minds and really understand what they want and how to get them excited for school lunch? Cheyenne is the Gen Z whisperer, and she’s ready to share their secrets!
Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs. 


USDA ERS Hosts Webinar on Food Security

USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) will hold a webinar on September 5, 2018. This webinar will cover food security in American households in 2017.

Register Now:

Household Food Security in the United States in 2017
Wednesday, September 5, 2018, 2018, 11:00 pm ET 
USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) will provide an overview of USDA’s annual report on the prevalence and severity of food insecurity in U.S. households in 2017. The report includes changes in food insecurity from previous years, the prevalence of food insecurity by selected household characteristics, and food insecurity among children.


Upcoming Webinars in the #ANC18 Webinar Series:

  • A Director’s Guide to SLAY the Administrative Review
  • Making it Count with Offer Versus Serve
  • Please Stop Working on Your Weaknesses
  • Rolling the Dice with Mobile Buses

Missed a webinar? Check out our webinars on-demand and catch up on the hottest topics in school nutrition.



Mystery Chat Corner

On September 4, 1882, Thomas Edison turned on the first permanent electric power plant, lighting up one square mile in lower Manhattan.

The Pearl Street Station was located on the Lower East Side and used coal-fired steam engines to provide electricity to 82 customers. Though the station’s direct current technology would eventually lose out to Westinghouse’s alternating-current, remnants of Edison’s Manhattan grid would remain in use until 2007.

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