Tuesday Morning - November 21, 2017

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues
from SNA

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

Submissions for LAC 2018 Sweepstakes Due November 27
USDA Responds to SNA’s Comment Submission on Summer Meals Study
Your End-of-the-Year Advocacy Update!
National CACFP Sponsor Association Puts Out Whole Grain-Rich Food Guide

State Snapshots

Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic and Johns Hopkins Center for a
Livable Future Release Toolkit

Mark Your Calendars

SNA's Upcoming Webinars
National CACFP Sponsors Association National Conference
SNF/Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom Grants & Webinar
USDA Direct Certification Improvement Grants
USDA Farm to School Grant Program

Cafeteria Chat Corner


Federal Policy

Submissions for LAC 2018 Sweepstakes Due November 27

The deadline to enter the Legislative Action Conference (LAC) Sweepstakes is fast approaching! Submissions are due by November 27, 2017. SNA will award one winner and a guest with FREE registration to LAC 2018, flights and hotel accommodations, as well as recognize the winner at the Opening General Session during the conference. SNA will also reserve a VIP table for the winner and their guest at the conference.

To enter, simply respond to SNA’s action alert by asking your Members of Congress to support the Healthy Breakfasts Help Kids Learn Act of 2017 (H.R. 3738). Then, share a colorful picture of your healthy school breakfast options or a (media released) photo of students enjoying the benefits of school breakfast. Picture submissions should be emailed to advocacy@schoolnutrition.org and must be received by November 27, 2017. A panel of judges will choose one winner.

Participants must be an active SNA member. Each picture will count as one entry for one person. No purchase necessary. To learn more, view the sweepstakes flyer or read the complete sweepstakes rules.

USDA Responds to SNA’s Comment Submission on Summer Meals Study

On October 23, 2017, SNA submitted a comment on a proposed Summer Meals Study, as previously mentioned in Tuesday Morning . In that comment, SNA expressed concerns that the data collection process might be burdensome, challenged the accuracy and consistency of the data and suggested that the proposed study does not address application process and Administration Review regulatory barriers that hamper the efforts to expand sponsorship. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) recently responded to SNA’s comment submission.

In their letter, USDA acknowledged SNA’s concerns about the burden to sponsors, site supervisors and families participating in the study and assured that they were working to design an evaluation that places as little burden as possible while simultaneously capturing representative samples of each group. USDA also noted that, though the study does not ask about sponsors’ barriers related to applications and Administrative Reviews, FNS collected data around these issues in the summer of 2015 and will include them in an upcoming 2018 report titled Summer Food Service Program Characteristics.

Your End-of-the-Year Advocacy Update!

As 2017 winds down, now is the perfect time to recap all the school nutrition advocacy action since your Mid-Year Advocacy Update. This was a busy year for SNA as we fought for funding and worked to influence school nutrition policies that are implemented across the country. SNA members have been instrumental in pushing for change and your hard work is certainly paying off as we’ve seen exciting legislation introduced, in addition to a little regulatory breathing room in the school meal programs. So, what exactly has been going on in SNA advocacy?

  • The 2018 Position Paper Survey was sent to all SNA members in early November and results will help to inform the December 4, 2017, 2018 Position Paper drafting meeting. More than 3,600 responses were returned!

  • The “Healthy Breakfasts Help Kids Learn Act of 2017,” H.R. 3738, was introduced by Congressmen McGovern and Davis, and provides an additional 6 cents in commodity support for every school breakfast served. SNA issued an action alert for the bill and more than 6,040 messages have been sent to Members of Congress asking them to support the bill. The total number of cosponsors on the bill is up to 18, and hopefully that number will continue to grow as more SNA members encourage their representatives for their support!

  • The American Commodity Distribution Association (ACDA) joined SNA as an ally and sent a joint letter of support for H.R. 3738 to Congressmen McGovern and Davis.

  • The House FY 2018 Appropriations Bill, H.R. 3354, includes $25 million in grants for equipment and training needs for school nutrition programs. The Senate FY 2018 Appropriations Bill, S.1603, provides for $30 million in grants for equipment for school nutrition programs and an additional $2 million for training. Both bills will need to be reconciled and passed before the final training and equipment funding amounts are determined, but the bill language is promising.

  • SNA signed on to a joint letter to the Senate and House Appropriations Committee leaders in support of the language included in the House of Representatives FY 2018 Agriculture Appropriations bill, which lowers the threshold for USDA School Kitchen Equipment Grant purchases, as mentioned above, from $5,000 to $1,000.

  • Many may remember that U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, encouraged “direct and specific” feedback from school nutrition professionals at SNA’s 2017 Annual National Conference (ANC). As part of this feedback, SNA has submitted 15 comments to USDA to help shape regulations relating to school nutrition programs. USDA’s Federal Register notice titled, Identifying Regulatory Reform Initiatives is still ongoing; submit your suggestions for regulatory reform on SNA’s website.

  • LAC 2018 will be here before you know it, so be sure to keep an eye out for early bird registration, which opens December 1, 2017. Check your mailboxes next month for promos with more information!

  • SNA is working hard to defend school meal programs from any block grant proposal that would threaten adequate funding. Stay tuned for the unveiling of a brand-new campaign in early 2018.

Thank you for such a successful year in advocacy, SNA! Let’s carry this progress into 2018. Looking for more ways to get involved in school nutrition advocacy?

  • Enter SNA’s 2018 LAC Sweepstakes contest by responding to SNA’s Action Alert about H.R. 3738 and submitting a picture showing off healthy breakfast options at your school to win a free trip for two to LAC this year!
  • November 20-24 marks a State Work period for Members of Congress, meaning they will be home in their districts during this time. This provides a great opportunity to call, visit and connect with your representatives and make sure they understand the importance of school meal programs!
  • Check out the SNA Action Network to see federal bills, read policy news, participate in advocacy engagements and view the latest school nutrition policy media.
  • Share your personal school nutrition story!
  • Donate to PAC to show support for those legislators who advocate on our behalf.
  • Pat yourself on the back for going the extra mile to design and defend the school nutrition policies that feed over 30 million kids in schools every school day!

National CACFP Sponsor Association Puts Out Whole Grain-Rich Food Guide

Meeting Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) nutrition guidelines can at times be confusing, so the National CACFP Association put together a guide to assist in identifying whole grain-rich foods that are CACFP creditable and meet the requisite sugar guidelines. The comprehensive guide explains three different ways to identify whole grain-rich food, as well as how to identify creditable cereals. The guide lists examples of creditable cereals and even has a flow chart you can use to figure out if your food is whole grain-rich!

State Snapshots

Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic and Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future Release Toolkit

The Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic and the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future released a food policy local advocacy toolkit called " Putting Local Food Policy to Work for Our Communities." Starting on page 127, an extensive section on School Food & Nutrition Education highlights current laws, practices and policies surrounding school meals, as well as how community advocates can help improve them. Included in the toolkit are ideas for advocating for things in your school district, such as: the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), universal breakfast, alternative breakfast service models and celebrating different cultures through school food. Two other key concepts that the toolkit focuses on are incorporating nutrition education in curriculums and improving summer meal programs. Check out the toolkit for more information and ideas. Beyond this expansive toolkit, SNA also provides Resources & Research with updated tools and information.

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.

In a Crazy World… There Are Simple Solutions for Positive Communication
Wednesday, December 6, 2017, 2:00 pm ET
Communication with those we work with is not always easy but a necessity nonetheless. In this seemingly unhinged world we all need to be reminded that the true quality of both our work and personal lives are a direct result of our relationships. This webinar takes a focused, and sometimes humorous, look at ourselves and how we interact with others. Join us to learn and reinforce simple solutions for positive communications during your day. Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs.

National CACFP Sponsors Association National Conference

The annual National CACFP Sponsors Association conference for the Child and Adult Care Food Program, Afterschool Program, and Summer Food Program is open for registration. Visit www.cacfp.org to learn more and to register.

SNF/Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom Grants & Webinar

The School Nutrition Foundation (SNF), along with the Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom, are offering grants for direct delivery, grab n’ go, and second chance breakfast. These grants are available to high-need schools and districts in Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah to cover the upfront costs often associated with the startup and implementation of breakfast in the classroom and grab n’ go programs, such as purchasing equipment, outreach efforts to parents, program promotion, and other related expenses. Grants are flexible, based on need, and accepted on a rolling deadline. Watch an archived webinar highlighting a previously funded district with a great panel of stakeholder perspectives including a school nutrition director, principal, and superintendent.

USDA Direct Certification Improvement Grants

USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) announced its release of the fiscal year 2018 Direct Certification Improvement Grant Request for Applications (RFA). Grants are available to state agencies that administer the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the School Breakfast Program (SBP) to fund the costs of improving direct certification rates with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and other needs-based assistance programs. States will have six opportunities to apply for Tier 1 or Tier 2 grants, beginning November 15, 2017, and ending February 15, 2019.

USDA Farm to School Grant Program

The purpose of the USDA Farm to School Grant Program is to assist eligible entities in implementing farm to school (F2S) programs that improve access to local foods in eligible schools. On an annual basis, USDA awards up to $5 million in competitive grants for training, supporting operations, planning, purchasing equipment, developing school gardens, developing partnerships and implementing F2S programs. Complete applications must be submitted on Grants.gov by 11:59 p.m. ET on December 8, 2017. Check out F2S resources for applicants and see a list of awardees since the release of our first RFA in 2013!


Cafeteria Chat Corner

Countdown to SNA’s LAC: 102 Days!
SNA’s 2018 Legislative Action Conference (LAC) features an exciting Pre-Conference Session about how to write a winning grant application! Learn how to identify grant opportunities that your program qualifies for, as well as how to write a grant application that stands out among the crowd. The four-hour session will be held on Saturday, March 3. Registration opens in December!

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National Harbor, MD 20745
servicecenter@schoolnutrition.org  

Tel (301) 686-3100
Fax (301) 686-3115

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