Tuesday Morning - October 24, 2017

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues
from SNA

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

Federal Register: Assessing the Child Nutrition State Administrative Expense Allocation Formula
The Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods Project Sheds Light on School Meals in Rural Districts
“Local Foods, Local Places” Helps Communities Focus on Health
“Five Reasons Why You Should Celebrate Farm to School Month”

State Snapshots

California Recently Chaptered Laws
SNA’s Third Quarter State Legislative Report
Kentucky Incorporates Junior Chef Competition into School Menus

Mark Your Calendars

SNA's Upcoming Webinars
Webinar: SNF/Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom Grants Available
National Dairy Council Fuel Up to Play 60 (FUTP 60) Grants
USDA Direct Certification Improvement Grants

Cafeteria Chat Corner


Federal Policy

Federal Register: Assessing the Child Nutrition State Administrative Expense Allocation Formula

In a Federal Register Notice posted on October 23, 2017, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a study to assess the effectiveness of the current formula used for State Administrative Expense (SAE) allocations. States receive SAE funds from the Federal government to help cover the administrative costs of Child Nutrition Programs (CNPs), which are operated by a variety of local public and private providers. The Child Nutrition Act of 1966 sets the total amount of funds available for SAE and a formula for allocating the majority of the funds to states, in addition to giving the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) the authority to decide how to allocate the remaining “discretionary” funds. The data collected in the study will be used to assess the effectiveness of the current SAE allocation formula, identify and examine factors that influence state spending and develop and test a range of possible alternatives to improve the SAE allocation formula. Comments are due by November 22, 2017, and information on how to submit can be found in the Federal Register Notice.

The Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods Project Sheds Light on School Meals in Rural Districts

The Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods Project, a collaboration between the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, commissioned an in-depth study of rural district meal programs to identify the issues school nutrition professionals face when serving students in remote areas. More than half of public school districts in the United States are in rural communities, and 95% of those schools participate in, at least, the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). The project identified five challenges that play a major role in their nutrition programs: administrative capacity, qualified staff, dispersed student population, food and supply options and equipment and infrastructure. The project goes on to examine the strategies that rural districts use to successfully overcome these challenge areas, such as peer networking; working with nearby higher education institutions to promote school nutrition careers to recruit experienced nutrition staff; and either forming or joining purchasing cooperatives to meet supply needs. Read the full report, titled " Peer and Community Networks Drive Success in Rural School Meal Programs," for recommendations on overcoming rural community district challenges.

“Local Foods, Local Places” Helps Communities Focus on Health

A joint initiative called “ Local Foods, Local Places” was introduced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, USDA, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and the Delta Regional Authority. The initiative helps cities and towns protect the environment and human health by engaging with local partners to reinvest in existing neighborhoods as they develop local food systems. So far, nearly 80 communities have benefited and projects have included: opening year-round downtown markets featuring local foods from farmers; creating community kitchens; and helping school children grow their own food. Communities are invited to apply for a new round of planning assistance from “Local Foods, Local Places,” and the deadline is 11:59 pm ET on October 25, 2017.

“Five Reasons Why You Should Celebrate Farm to School Month”

" Five Reasons Why You Should Celebrate Farm to School Month," a blog post by USDA, is right on time for National Farm to School Month. The purpose of Farm to School Month is to promote the positive impacts farm to school activities have, like improving child nutrition, supporting local economies and connecting children and communities with the source of their food. More than 42,000 schools nationwide reported hosting farm to school programs in the 2015 Farm to School Census, so the USDA came up with five reasons why you should join in the celebration! Check out the blog post and the National Farm to School website for more resources and information to start your farm to school program today!

State Snapshots

California Recently Chaptered Laws

California’s governor recently approved several school nutrition laws, including advertising parameters and unpaid meal balance policy requirements.

  • AB 841 prohibits the advertising or use of incentive programs during the school day for foods that do not meet established nutritional standards.
  • SB 138 expands use of the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) by requiring “very high poverty schools” to adopt the program.
  • SB 250, the “Child Hunger Prevention and Fair Treatment Act of 2017,” requires schools to ensure that a student with unpaid meal charges receives a reimbursable meal regardless of their ability to pay or status of their account. The bill also sets rights and responsibilities of schools and students when notifying parents or guardians of an unpaid meal balance.
  • SB730 requires the State Department of Education (DOE) to take certain actions to monitor and support school food authorities’ compliance with the Buy American provision.

SNA’s Third Quarter State Legislative Report

The 2017 Third Quarter State Legislative Report is now available. Keeping tabs on local legislation provides a lens into the hot issues in your area and is a great way to catch a glimpse of what may show up at the federal level. Five bills were passed into law since SNA’s second quarter report, and top trends include local procurement, liability protections for the donation of excess food and unpaid meal policies.

Kentucky Incorporates Junior Chef Competition into School Menus

Kentucky’s Farm to School Jr. Chef Competition (JCC) has gone viral in the Southeast. The competition is used to provide students with an opportunity to impact school meals. Robin Bailey Jr., Southeast Regional Administrator for the USDA’s FNS, recently announced that the Kentucky state competition helped prompt Southeast Child Nutrition state agencies to work with FNS’s Southeast Regional Office to develop a regional JCC where winners of Southeast State JCCs will come to compete. As a result, Kentucky will host the winners of eight Southeastern State JCCs on May 9, 2018 for the first annual Southeastern Regional Level Jr. Chef Competition.

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.

Excite and Inspire Students with Fruit
Wednesday, November 1, 2017, 2:00 pm ET
Register for this webinar to learn more about produce and fruit trends on school foodservice menus. Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs.

Best of #ANC17 3 of 3: USDA Hot Topic: Meal or No Meal- Offer Vs. Serve Simplified
Wednesday, November 8, 2017, 2:00 pm ET
Register for this webinar to learn about meal patterns and examples of reimbursable breakfasts and lunches. Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs.

Webinar: SNF/Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom Grants Available

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.

National Dairy Council Fuel Up to Play 60 (FUTP 60) Grants

The November 1st grant application deadline is fast approaching for qualified K‐12 schools enrolled in Fuel Up to Play 60 (FUTP 60). Sponsored by the National Dairy Council, state and regional Dairy Councils and other supporting organizations, this funding program provides money—up to $4,000 per year, per school—to jumpstart healthy changes, including breakfast for everyone. Visit the FUTP 60 website for more information and to apply.

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.


Cafeteria Chat Corner

A Look at Agriculture Secretaries of the Past
Orville Freeman was the 16th U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and served under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. Prior to entering office in 1961, Freeman served as the 29th Governor of Minnesota from 1955 to 1961 and is known for being one of the founding members of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party. Freeman’s time as Secretary of Agriculture is most remembered for his proposed legislation to establish the Food Stamp Program, which today is called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and helps feed millions of low-income Americans every day.

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