Tuesday Morning - October 31, 2017

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues
from SNA

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

Win a Free Trip to SNA’s 2018 Legislative Action Conference
Federal Bill Allowing Low-Fat Flavored Milk in Schools
SNA Files Comments on USDA Summer Meals Study
U.S. House of Representatives Passes 2018 Budget Resolution

State Snapshots

Denver Post Highlights Impressive School Menus
SNA’s Third Quarter State Legislative Report

Mark Your Calendars

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

Cafeteria Chat Corner


Federal Policy

Win a Free Trip to SNA’s 2018 Legislative Action Conference

SNA's 2018 LAC Sweepstakes

SNA’s annual Legislative Action Conference (LAC) is being held March 4-6, 2018 in Washington, D.C. and the LAC Sweepstakes is back! The winner will enjoy FREE registration for LAC 2018, flights, accommodations for themselves and a guest, as well as be recognized during the Opening General Session. The winner and their guest will also be seated at a reserved VIP table at the conference.

This year’s contest comes in two parts. First, you must respond to SNA’s Action Alert regarding H.R. 3738, or the “Healthy Breakfasts Help Kids Learn Act of 2017.” Next, send us a picture of the healthy breakfast options at your school so that we can see how commodity support could help schools sustain and build on school breakfast success!

Contact your legislator and email your pictures to advocacy@schoolnutrition.org by November 27, 2017. Read more details about the LAC Sweepstakes.

Federal Bill Allowing Low-Fat Flavored Milk in Schools

U.S. Representatives G.T. Thompson (R-PA) and Joe Courtney (D-CT) introduced The School Milk Nutrition Act of 2017 on October 24, 2017. H.R. 4101 would allow low-fat flavored milk in school meal programs. On May 1, 2017, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue issued a Proclamation, which, among other provisions, directed U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to begin the regulatory process of providing schools with the ability to serve low-fat flavored milk. In addition, on May 5, 2017, Congress enacted the 2017 Appropriations Act, which gave State agencies authority to grant schools exemptions allowing use of low-fat flavored milk for the 2017-18 school year. The resultant USDA guidance memo encourages State agencies to provide waivers for those schools that can show a reduction in milk consumption or an increase in school milk waste.

The “School Milk Nutrition Act of 2017,” if passed, would allow schools the option of offering low-fat flavored milk without the need to apply for a waiver. The bill also establishes a pilot program to test and demonstrate effective, affordable, sustainable strategies by which schools can increase milk consumption.

SNA Files Comments on USDA Summer Meals Study

This past summer, the USDA announced a proposed Summer Meals Study for the purpose of better understanding several areas of the Summer Meals Program, particularly the administrative differences between the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and the National School Lunch Program’s (NSLP) Seamless Summer Option (SSO). On October 23, 2017, SNA filed official comments and recommendations for the study based on the feedback of a working group comprised of SNA members who sponsor SFSP. SNA warned that “with the broad breadth of entities” sponsoring the summer meals programs, the data collection process would be burdensome and might challenge the accuracy and consistency of the data. Furthermore, SNA is concerned that the proposed study does not address several regulatory barriers that hamper the efforts to expand sponsorship. Read the complete comments submitted to USDA.

Submitting comments to USDA on proposed regulations and studies is an effective way to impact the final regulations that ultimately shape school meal programs. SNA monitors for opportunities to provide input and is currently collecting suggestions on regulatory reform.

U.S. House of Representatives Passes 2018 Budget Resolution

House Republicans passed the Senate budget plan on October 26 with a narrow 216-212 vote. The joint budget resolution brings Congress one step closer to a final plan for the 2018 fiscal year. The budget does not have the force of law and does not need President Trump’s signature, but it does allow an upcoming tax bill to pass the Senate with 50 votes versus the usual 60.

State Snapshots

Denver Post Highlights Impressive School Menus

A recent Denver Post article brings attention to Brighton (Colo.) School District’s push to provide self-service flavor stations and innovate menu selections, noting that many school cafeterias around the country are offering the same exemplary service. “Depending on the day, students can pick orange chicken, pineapple meatballs, baked potatoes or burritos stuffed with healthy fixings and side dishes — all for about $3.” The district serves 1.3 million lunches and 300,000 breakfasts per year.

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.

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: 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.

Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) Meals Matter Webinars

FRAC offers this series of trainings to assist in operations of school meal programs.

Summer Meals Matter: Maximizing Service Days
Thursday, November 2, 2017, 1:00 pm ET
The Summer Nutrition Programs can provide meals on weekends, holidays and when structured programming - like summer school - ends. Learn about ways sponsors and sites can ensure children are accessing the nutrition they need all summer long.

Afterschool Meals Matter: Transitioning from Snacks to Meals
Thursday, November 16, 2017 1:00 pm ET
Serving meals, instead of or in addition to snacks, is an easy transition when programs have the right tools. Join this call to learn about the many ways it pays to serve meals afterschool and tips on how to transition your program from snacks to meals.

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
Norman Jay Coleman was the very first Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, serving from February 15, 1889 to March 6, 1889. He was born near Richfield Springs, NY, and received a law degree from the University of Louisville. Prior to his tenure as Secretary, he was elected to the Missouri State Legislature and became Lieutenant Governor of the State. He was active in state, regional and national agricultural organizations.

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