ANC 2020 Research & Best Practices Poster Showcase
SNA is providing a bonus opportunity to submit poster proposals for the School Nutrition Research & Best Practices Poster Showcase that will take place during SNA's 2020 Annual National Conference (ANC) in Nashville, Tenn. The deadline for all abstracts is March 31, 2020. Learn More
FDA To Issue New Food Safety Plan Next Month
FDA TO ISSUE NEW FOOD SAFETY PLAN NEXT MONTH: The agency plans to roll out its Blueprint for a New Era of Smarter Food Safety in the first half of March, according to Frank Yiannas, deputy commissioner for food policy and response. The FDA's goal is to reduce rates of foodborne illnesses — which have remained flat in recent years — in part by modernizing the way the agency conducts investigations so it can more quickly pinpoint the origin of contamination, Yiannas said during an interview with POLITICO on Thursday.
He described traceability as the "Achilles heel" of the food system. It can be improved through new technology to track supply chains, such as blockchain, sensors and artificial intelligence. "Rapid traceability will allow us to get boots on the ground really fast ... and do a root cause analysis," he said. "When you show up months later, it's too late. You may never uncover the route of contamination."
The FDA has yet to explain how the romaine lettuce implicated in three E. coli outbreaks last year became tainted. The agency was able to identify a common farm with multiple fields among the outbreaks in the lower Salinas Valley. That investigation is still ongoing, and the FDA last month lifted a sweeping warning to consumers to avoid eating the green. The outbreak caused 188 illnesses but no deaths were reported.
Aside from traceability, the blueprint will also touch on data analysis tools that can help the FDA identify potential food safety risks, how the agency can adapt its work to evolving food supply chains — like e-commerce — and educating farmers, food companies and consumers about best practices to prevent foodborne illnesses.
The agency hasn't estimated how much additional funding it might need to implement its new 10-year vision, Yiannas said, but Congress in the last two federal spending packages allocated money for tech-enabled traceability.
12.26.2019 FNS Requests Comments Concerning CACFP
FNS published a Federal Register notice requesting comment on information collection for the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). Comments are specifically requested on whether this collection is necessary for the agency to perform its functions and practical ways to enhance the quality and clarity of the information that is collected.
1.21.2020 USDA Requests Comments on Revised Proposed Information Collection
In a Federal Register notice, USDA requested comments on the revision of currently approved information collection for determining eligibility for free and reduced-price meals and free milk. The proposed collection reports the eligibility burden of the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program and Special Milk Program. Revisions to the proposed information collection updated burden hours associated with the Special Milk Program eligibility criteria.
1.23.2020 USDA Releases Proposed Rules on School and Summer Meal Flexibilities
The Simplifying Meal Service and Monitoring Requirements in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs proposed rule addresses a wide variety of topics, including changes to the Administrative Review cycle and increased flexibility on vegetable subgroups, age/grade groups, breakfast and competitive food rules. View SNA’s summary. The Streamlining Program Requirements and Improving Integrity in the Summer Food Service Program proposed rule covers a variety of operational and monitoring requirements. View SNA’s summary. SNA is collecting member feedback on these proposals. Share your input on the SNA Action Network.
1.23.2020 SNA Comments on Drinking Water Lead and Copper Rule Revisions
SNA filed comments in response to the Federal Register Request for Comment, National Primary Drinking Water Regulations: Proposed Lead and Copper Rule Revisions. The notice requests comments on new requirements to conduct lead in drinking water testing and public education in schools and childcare facilities. SNA notes the importance of this issue and requests that requirements related to schools should be coordinated throughout the local educational agency including school meal locations.
1.30.2020 FNS Posts 2020 Reimbursement Rates for SFSP
FNS announced its annual adjustments to the reimbursement rates for meals served in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) for Children in a Federal Register notice. This notice informs the public of the annual adjustments to the reimbursement rates for meals served in the Summer Food Service Program for Children. These adjustments address changes in the Consumer Price Index.
USDA previously announced the SY 2019/20 Child Nutrition Programs Income Eligibility Guidelines to determine eligibility for free and reduced price meals and free milk. SNA posts current school meal participation statistics, reimbursement rates, income eligibility rates, and other critical information in the About School Meals section of SNA’s website.
2.7.2020 FNS Publishes Notice on Summer Meals Award Program
FNS published a Federal Register notice, “Agency Information Collection Activities: Turnip the Beat! High-Quality Summer Meals Award Program.” This collection was created to recognize the program sponsors’ nutrition efforts in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) or the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the Seamless Summer Option (SSO). Written and electronic comments must be submitted by April 7, 2020.
Bill May Fund School Nutrition Education Programs
The Food and Nutrition Education in Schools Act of 2020, a bipartisan bill introduced in the US Senate, would create a pilot program to fund projects that teach students about nutrition and connect them with healthful food practices. Priority in funding would be given to high-needs schools, including those in which 40% of students qualify for free or reduced-price meals.
Full Story: The Hill (2/13)
President Trump Releases Fiscal 2021 Budget Proposal
On February 10, 2020, the White House released the 2021 President’s Budget. The budget proposes cuts to several agencies, including an 8 percent reduction for the Agriculture Department, with the goal to lower federal spending by $4.4 trillion over the next decade. The President’s annual budget request kicks off the FY 2021 budget process. Next, Congress will hold hearings to question Administration officials about their requests and develop their own budget plan, called a “budget resolution.” SNA will continue to provide updates as developments occur. View SNA’s one-pager on the complete budget process for more information.
US House Committee on Oversight and Reform Hearing
On February 6, 2020, the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform, Economic and Consumer Policy Subcommittee held a hearing titled, A Threat to America’s Children: The Trump Administration’s Proposed Changes to Broad-Based Categorical Eligibility for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. SNA submitted comments on the Proposed Rule on November 1, sharing concerns that close to one million children will lose direct certification for free school meals. You can share your input with SNA and read stories on the Proposed Rule’s impact on SNA’s Action Network.
Funds For Food Educators
Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) are teaming up on legislation aimed at helping teach young students about healthy eating. The measure, which the senators plan to introduce today, would offer grants to local education agencies to fund projects that include hiring full-time nutritional educators. Booker said in a statement that a lack of access to healthy food, especially in underserved communities, is frequently a detriment to academic performance.
Programs backed by grant funding under the bill would be required to incorporate hands-on activities for students like setting up school gardens, taste testing and farm-to-school efforts. The legislation would prioritize schools in neighborhoods with high rates of childhood diet-related illnesses or where 40 percent of students qualify for free or reduced-price meals.
Kumar Chandran, policy director at FoodCorps, said the measure would help more kids "know what healthy food is, care where it comes from and eat it every day." The plan is also backed by the American Heart Association, the National Farm to School Network and other school and nutrition groups.
The backdrop: The bipartisan effort comes as the Agriculture Department is moving to chip away at school nutrition standards and crack down on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, including a rule that would cause some 982,000 low-income students to lose their automatic access to free school meals.
No One Eats Alone
No One Eats Alone Day (February 14) was created to help combat feelings of isolation and loneliness that are felt by children each day at school lunch. Learn more about this event and how you can stand against social isolation and bullying! Read More
The Forthcoming Block Grant Program Comes With A New Name
'Healthy Adult Opportunity' — but retains the original mission long sought by conservatives: allowing states to cap a portion of their spending on Medicaid, a radical change in how the safety net health program is financed." POLITICO
SNA's Unpaid Meals Working Group Meets in Arlington
January 23rd and 24th, SNA hosted a two-day Unpaid Meals Working Group session attended by stakeholders from across the country. Participants worked together to define the source of and seek solutions for the growing national issue of unpaid school meal debt. Attendees included SNA members, USDA professionals, State Agency Directors and representatives of the Association of School Business Officials and The Superintendents Association. SNA recognizes that unpaid meal debt is a complex issue that must be addressed through cross-collaboration between all impacted parties. Hear updates on the unpaid meal debt effort at #LAC2020 and stay tuned for more resources including a white paper and advocacy strategies.
The School Food Recovery Act
On January 15, 2020, Rep. Chellie Pingree (ME-01) introduced H.R. 5607, the School Food Recovery Act. This bill establishes a grant program for schools to cut cafeteria food waste and to simultaneously reduce environmental impacts and improve student nutrition.
Proposed School Meal Flexibilities: Read Summaries and Share Your Input
USDA recently released proposed regulations intended to simplify meal service and monitoring requirements in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. SNA has provided summaries and is collecting member feedbackon these proposed changes as it prepares the Association’s official comments in response to the proposed rule.
Increase Breakfast Participation: Promote NSBW!
The National School Breakfast Week (NSBW) kick-off on March 2 is fast approaching! Celebrate with this year's cosmic theme, “School Breakfast: Out of this World.” Learn More
Perdue Talks With Farm Leaders
The USDA chief is in Europe this week, including visits to Rome and the Netherlands. On Monday, Perdue met with farm ministers in Brusselsto discuss the prospects for a partial trade agreement, which President Donald Trump and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen have both said could come together quickly.
After sitting down with EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan, Perdue told reporters there won't be any deal unless Europe agrees to painful concessions on food standards — most notably, allowing acid-rinsed chicken, writes POLITICO Europe's Jakob Hanke.
Hogan has said the EU could compromise on less controversial food and ag issues, like restrictions on apples, pears and molluscs. But Perdue said those smaller measures won't cut it: "We're not going to get there with apples and pears and shellfish."
Perdue also argued that U.S. poultry farmers have shifted to using a chemical called peracetic acid, which he said was essentially "vinegar," instead of chlorine. "To say that's unsafe or not to be used, we don't think there's a basis for that in sound science," he said.
SNA Summary on Proposed Rule on Summer Meal Flexibilities
On Friday, January 17, 2020, USDA announced a proposed rule titled “Streamlining Program Requirements and Improving Integrity in the Summer Food Service Program.” SNA has released a new summary of the proposal and is collecting SNA member feedback as the Public Policy and Legislation Committee prepares to discuss and draft the Association’s official comments in response to the rule.
Once SNA has submitted comments to USDA on the proposed rule, we will notify members, so you will have an opportunity to share the Association’s perspective as part of your own individual comments to USDA on the rule. SNA members are encouraged to review the summary, share your input with SNA and stay tuned to SchoolNutrition.org for SNA’s official comments and the opportunity to have your voice heard as part of the rulemaking process.
SNA Summary & Statement on Proposed Rule on School Meal Flexibilities
On Friday, January 17, 2020, during a roundtable discussion on school nutrition issues, US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the release of a proposed rule titled “Simplifying Meal Service and Monitoring Requirements in the National School Lunch and National School Breakfast Programs.” SNA has released a new summary of the proposal and is collecting SNA member feedback as the Public Policy and Legislation Committee prepares to discuss and draft the Association’s official comments in response to the rule.
Once SNA has submitted comments to USDA on the proposed rule, we will notify members, so you will have an opportunity to share the Association’s perspective as part of your own individual comments to USDA on the rule. In the meantime, SNA has released a statement addressing key issues and clarifying misconceptions about the proposed changes to school meal patterns.
SNA members are encouraged to review the summary and statement, share your input with SNA and stay tuned to SchoolNutrition.org for SNA’s official comments and the opportunity to have your voice heard as part of the rulemaking process.
SNA is finalizing a summary of the proposed rule on summer meal flexibilities and will share it with members next week.
The chancellor of Texas A&M University requested that Harvard University investigate two of its nutrition researchers for their involvement with a group that promotes plant-based diets as part of a healthy lifestyle. The chancellor's request follows a report in JAMA last week documenting how the True Health Initiative called for the retraction of a recent study that determined the scientific evidence on red meat consumption is too weak to recommend adults eat less of it — fueling a debate over conflicts of interest and the quality of nutrition research.
School Nutrition Official Expects Less Food Waste Under New Rules
The USDA's new nutrition standards for school lunches should help curb food waste by requiring smaller portions of fruits and vegetables, says Doug Wordell, nutrition services director for Spokane Public Schools in Washington state. Registered dietitian Natalie Tauzin, a policy and systems advocate with the Spokane Regional Health District, says giving students more time to eat and letting them have recess before lunch also can reduce food waste.
Meanwhile, the total number of recalls of FDA-regulated products like produce, seafood and processed foods have dropped —particularly after new Food Safety Modernization Act rules took effect in 2016. Since that year, recalls fell by 34 percent to 517. Of that total, 173 were Class I.
"[T]he contrasting trends in food safety between the two agencies make it clear additional action is necessary, especially as Americans continue to eat significant amounts of meat," U.S. PIRG said in the report. The group noted that even though the total number of poultry and pork recalls didn't rise last year, they encompassed a larger volume of product compared with 2018 — potentially exposing a greater number of consumers to harm.
Eradicating salmonella in meat: Over the weekend, well-known food safety lawyer Bill Marler and several consumer advocacy groups (not including U.S. PIRG) requested that USDA classify salmonella — the most common foodborne pathogen — as an adulterant. This would give the department the authority to issue mandatory recalls and stop inspection lines, the Washington Post reported.
USDA has previously denied two similar petitions, in part due to a 2001 court case that ruled the department didn't have the authority to shut down meatpacking plants over repeated salmonella contamination because it is a naturally occurring bacteria that can be killed during cooking.
Bill to Reduce Food Waste
House members filed a bipartisan bill to reduce food waste in school cafeterias through a new USDA grant program. The World Wildlife Fund estimates that U.S. schools waste about $1.7 billion or 540,000 tons of food per year, not counting milk.
NSBW: March 2-6, 2020
March 2 kicks off National School Breakfast Week (NSBW)— get ready to energize students and stakeholders with the #NSBW2020 theme, “School Breakfast: Out of this World.” To get a head start on promoting #NSBW2020, blast off into the Marketing and PR resources page to download various items such as the #NSBW2020 Infographic, Sample Guest Invitation Letter; Facebook and Instagram shareable content and more.
(You can also download the Cafeteria Visits 101 Toolkit if you plan on inviting policymakers to your school).
If you want to have a cosmic blueprint of how to further market this year’s NSBW, you can also download the NSBW Activity Sheets to engage students along with the NSBW 2020 Toolkit to help you get started on your promotion ideas.
The official #NSBW2020 Contest is open now through Wednesday, February 12th! It’s quick and easy to enter, simply fill out your contest information and answer four questions about your #NSBW19 plans to be automatically entered in the contest. At the conclusion of the contest, three winners will each receive a $50 SNA Emporium Shop gift certificate that can be used to promote your program during NSBW! Read the official contest rules and enter today!
You and your staff can take your school celebration to another level, by visiting the SNA Emporium and shopping for the #NSBW2020 themed resources available to ensure you show how your breakfast program is taking off into new territory! From T-shirts and aprons to stickers and decorations for your cafeteria, your #NSBW2020 celebrations are bound to be… out of this world!
Don’t forget to request artwork and downloadable logos online early so you can use these images on menus, social media, in newsletters and on your website.
USDA and HHS this year will publish the latest edition of the government's official advice for eating healthy, updated every five years. Among the issues to watch: A new coalition of low-carb advocates is pushing for the 2020 guidelines to highlight the benefits of cutting back on foods like pasta and bread.
Dietary Guidelines on Deck
USDA and HHS this year will publish the latest edition of the government's official advice for eating healthy, updated every five years. Among the issues to watch: A new coalition of low-carb advocates is pushing for the 2020 guidelines to highlight the benefits of cutting back on foods like pasta and bread.
New FDA Rules for Food Labeling Took Effect on Jan. 1, Requiring More Nutritional Info on Packaging
Food makers are now required to show a side-by-side comparison of the nutritional value of a single serving versus an entire package, reports POLITICO's Oma Seddiq.The agency will allow exemptions for packaged food products that aren't big enough to display the newly required information.
New FDA Food Labels Have More Portion Information
The FDA's new nutrition labeling requirements began with the new year and feature side-by-side columns showing nutrition information for one serving and for the entire package. Registered dietitian nutritionist Beth Kitchin of the University of Alabama said she hopes the changes will get people more interested in reading food labels and prompt them to compare nutrition information before making a purchase.
ABC News (1/1)
10.3.2019 USDA Requests Comments Regarding Food Program Reporting System
USDA has published a Federal Register notice, inviting the general public to comment on the consolidation of reporting requirements for the Food Programs Reporting System (FPRS), an electronic reporting system for State agencies and Indian Tribal Organization (ITO) agencies. USDA requested is requesting comment concerning whether this collection is necessary for the agency to perform its functions and practical ways to enhance the quality and clarity of the information that is collected.
10.15.2019 USDA Releases Analysis of School Meals Eligibility Under Proposed SNAP Rule, Reopens Comment Period
USDA has released an analysis of the potential impact of the proposed revision of Categorical Eligibility in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) on participants in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP). The analysis “shows that potentially as many as 982,000 children would no longer be directly certified for free school meals based on SNAP participation." Read USDA’s press release.
To allow the public to provide input specifically related to these new findings, USDA reopened the comment period on the proposed rule to revise categorical eligibility. See SNA’s submitted comments on the SNA Action Network.
11.1.2019 USDA Increases Guam and Virgin Islands Reimbursement Rates
In a Federal Register notice, the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) established new reimbursement rates for Guam and the Virgin Islands. This rate adjustment is in effect beginning July 1, 2019 for SY 2019-20. This 17 percent increase in the reimbursement rate is based on data indicating that the costs of producing school lunches, breakfasts and snacks are higher than those in the continental United States, as well as other factors impacting both Guam and the Virgin Islands school meal programs.
11.5.2019 Meal Service During Unanticipated School Closures
The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) released updated guidance on meal service during unanticipated school closures. School Food Authorities (SFAs) participating in the National School Lunch Program and/or the School Breakfast Program, institutions participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), and sponsors participating in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) are encouraged to use the flexibilities described in this memorandum to help ensure that children do not experience a lapse in food security when extreme weather or other events force area schools and child care facilities to close. For more information on this topic, don’t miss the Serving Students When the Lights Go Out: Disaster Preparedness & Response pre-conference session at SNA’s Legislative Action Conference in March.
11.13.2019 Proposed Rule: National Primary Drinking Water Lead and Copper Regulations
The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 requires schools to make water available during meal periods at no cost to students. The Act also mandates that childcare facilities provide free drinking water throughout the day. Among other provisions, the EPA is proposing a new requirement for Community Water Systems to provide public education on lead in drinking water and sample for lead at schools and childcare facilities within its distribution system every five years. The intent of the requirement is to inform users about risks from lead in premise plumbing at schools and childcare facilities.
SNA Announces the +1 Membership Challenge
It’s a new year and we have a new challenge for you. SNA is excited to announce the official launch of the all-new +1 Membership Challenge! As a valued Star Club member, we invite you to participate in this new recruitment campaign, as it’s a wonderful opportunity to show your support for SNA and continue earning great incentives for recruiting new members.
The Challenge is simple (and fun!):
As a member of SNA’s exclusive Star Club, you have the added bonus of being able to increase your Star Club credits and level up, earning you great prizes and recognition at the state and national SNA levels. Happy recruiting!
Take the +1 Membership Challenge!
First, watch the official campaign launch video from SNA National President, Gay Anderson.
The White House Sent the Senate Its Nomination of Brandon Lipps to be USDA Undersecretary
The White House sent the Senate its nomination of Brandon Lipps to be USDA undersecretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services. Lipps has served as administrator and acting deputy undersecretary of the division since July 2017.
Is Whole Milk Better For Kids?
Children who drink milk with higher fat content -- such as whole milk -- may be less likely to be obese, according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The study's authors assert these findings may contradict some international guidelines that suggest reduced-fat milk for children. Education Dive (1/6)
Julian Castro Unveils Anti-Hunger Plan
Presidential Candidate Julian Castro announced his People First Plan to End Hunger in America. In addition to expanding SNAP and WIC, the widely encompassing plan increases school meal reimbursement rates, lowers the Identified Student Percentage threshold to participate in CEP to zero percent, and expands summer meals. The plan also rolls back meal pattern flexibilities granted since passage of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. In addition, the Plan expands certain tax credits and benefits and establishes universal pre-K and childcare.
The School Modernization and Efficient Access to Lunches for Students Act of 2019
On December 3, 2019, Representative Marcia Fudge (D-OH11) introduced the School Modernization and Efficient Access to Lunches for Students Act of 2019 or School MEALS Act. H.R. 5283 expands access to school nutrition programs through grants, technical assistance and administrative changes. In a press release, Representative Fudge stated, “Improvements to direct certification and community eligibility will help to reduce barriers that prevent eligible students from receiving the nutritious school meals they deserve.” This bill has been referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor. You can find more information on school nutrition program federal bills on SNA’s Action Network.
The Expanding Access to School Meals Act
On December 5, 2019, Representative Tim Ryan (D-OH13) introduced H.R. 5308, the Expanding Access to School Meals Act. The bill expands the poverty threshold for free school lunch and breakfast, eliminates the reduced-price category, expands CEP and allows states to use Medicaid and CHIP participation data to directly certify students. This bill has been referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor. You can find more information on school nutrition program federal bills on SNA’s Action Network.
NSBW Planning is Ready for Takeoff!
Mark your calendar for National School Breakfast Week(NSBW)—March 2-6, 2020 and pump up students and stakeholders with an “Out of this World” campaign! The theme for #NSBW2020 is “School Breakfast: Out of this World,” so start planning your NSBW celebration today by downloading the NSBW 2020 Toolkit to help you get started on your promotion ideas. Another way to get your breakfast program ready for takeoff, is to visit the SNA Emporium and shop for the #NSBW2020-themed resources available to ensure you show how your breakfast program is blasting off into new territory!
Setting the Agenda: SNA Releases 2020 Research Agenda
SNA has published its 2020 Research Agenda, outlining five of the highest priority research topics for the school nutrition field going into 2020. Read More
We talked about this at HOD at the MdSNA Convention in October. We submitted our top ten issues for the SNA LAC Position Paper and this was one of them.
SNA Launches Research Initiative On Universal Meals
Studies have shown that school meals contribute to the health, attentiveness, behavior and academic achievement of students. SNA believes all students should have equal access to nutritious school meals, and that is why we are excited to announce a new research initiative that will evaluate the potential social benefits and costs of expanding the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs, to serve all students at no charge.
SNA: Combatting Outdated Stereotypes Of School Meals
SNA recently communicated with Sweetgreen founder Nicolas Jammet and called on the company to stop spreading misconceptions about the quality of school meals. Read More
Same Address, Fresh New Look For The PBIC
Visit the Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom (PBIC) website to see the fresh new look, complete with a brand-new logo. The Partners have added new resources, like case studies and videos, and now you can filter resources by topic and stakeholder role for greater ease of use. Visit them today at http://breakfastintheclassroom.org.
2020 FAME Award Winners Announced
SNA extends congratulations to the four winners of the 2020 FAME (Foodservice Achievement Management Excellence) Awards. The FAME Awards ceremony will be held in conjunction with SNA’s School Nutrition Industry Conference (SNIC) in Indian Wells, Calif., on January 12, 2020. Read More
Donate To SNF With Amazon Smile This Holiday Season
Did you know that you can support the School Nutrition Foundation simply by shopping on Amazon? Through AmazonSmile, SNF will get a percentage of the purchase price of everything you order. There is no cost to you or to the Foundation. Watch this short tutorial and learn how to sign up today.
Read The Fall 2019 Edition Of The Journal Of Child Nutrition & Management
The Fall 2019 edition of the Journal of Child Nutrition & Management delves deep into the complex topic of special diets with research-based and thought-provoking articles to support those in school foodservice. Articles include a training review on the role of food sensitivities to meet the needs of students with intolerances and other concerns; research about resources to provide texture-modified diets for special needs children with developmental disorders and on perceptions of menu planners of costs in making meal accommodations; and a behind-the-scenes look at a Washington D.C. school that introduced vegan entrees as part of their lunch menus.
SNA Submits Comment On School Meals Eligibility Under Proposed SNAP Rule
On November 1, 2019, SNA submitted its comment letter on the Proposed Rule, Revision of Categorical Eligibility; Reopening of Comment Period. Read More
Why We Don't Know What To Eat To Stay Healthy
Nutrition research is an afterthought in Washington even though diet-related diseases like obesity and Type 2 diabetes are skyrocketing, threatening the fiscal sustainability of the U.S. health care system, reports your host and Pro Ag's Helena Bottemiller Evich.
A POLITICO analysis of federal budget documents dating back decades reveals that NIH and USDA, as a share of their overall research dollars, are shrinking investments in nutrition. NIH in 2018 invested $1.8 billion, or just under 5 percent of its total budget. USDA's Agricultural Research Service spends much less: Just $88 million was devoted to nutrition last year, or a little more than 7 percent of its overall research portfolio — virtually the same as in 1983 when adjusted for inflation.
To boot, there's a lack of federal leadership on nutrition research, no major lobbying force on Capitol Hill, and a nutrition science community that finds itself fighting over whether public health enemy No. 1 is processed carbs or fat or sodium or sugar. Meanwhile, consumers get a regular dose of whiplash on diet advice: One day coffee is healthy, the next it's not; red wine is good for your heart, or maybe not; cheese is either a healthy source of protein and calcium, or a dangerous overdose of fat and salt.
This has prompted calls for establishing a National Institute of Nutrition, to be housed under NIH. Leading that effort is Joon Yun, a Silicon Valley investor better known for putting up millions to spur innovations to end aging. He and two high-profile allies — Dariush Mozaffarian, dean of Tufts University's nutrition school, and David Kessler, who led the FDA during the George H.W. Bush and Clinton administrations — are trying to build momentum on Capitol Hill.
"I don't think we can afford not to have a National Institute of Nutrition," Yun said. Pros, read the profile from yours truly and Helena here.
Maryland's Own Gary Childress...
VOTE FOR GARY FOR MIDEAST REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE!
2020 SNA Election Ballot Announcement
The SNA Leadership Development Committee met during the 2019 Fall Committee Days in Alexandria, Va., last week to review nominations for positions on the SNA Board of Directors and Leadership Development Committee. After reviewing the biographical information on each candidate, as well as supporting documents such as the candidate’s goals and the recommendations submitted by colleagues on leadership experience and competencies, the Committee selected a slate for the 2020 election.
SNA is pleased to announce the 2020 election ballot:
Candidates for the six open positions on the Board of Directors:
Lori Adkins, SNS, Oakland Schools, MI
Sara Gasiorowski, SNS, MSD of Wayne Township, Indianapolis, IN
Stephanie Dillard, SNS, Geneva County Board of Education, Geneva, AL
Micheline Piekarski, MSM, SNS, Oak Park & River Forest HS #200, Oak Park, IL
Mideast Regional Director
Gary Childress, SNS, Harford County Public Schools, Forest Hill, MD
Jill Riggs, Penn Harris Madison, Mishawaka, IN
Midwest Regional Director
Noah Atlas, SNS, Anoka-Hennepin School District, Anoka, MN
Lynelle Johnson, SNS, Williston Public School District #1, Williston, ND
Southwest Regional Director
Teresa Brown, MS, RD, LDN, SNS, St. Charles Parish Public Schools, Luling, LA
Cindy Jones, Olathe Public Schools, Olathe, KS
At Large Director
Lori Danella, SNS, Lees Summit R7, Lees Summit, MO
Anne Leavens, SNS, Central Point School District #6, Central Point, OR
Candidates for the four open positions on the Leadership Development Committee:
Mideast Regional Representative
Elizabeth Foland, MS, RD, Indiana Department of Education, Indianapolis, IN
Midwest Regional Representative
LaRae Doll, SNS, Johnston Community School District, Johnston, IA
Deborah Egeland, SNS, ND Department of Public Instruction, Bismarck, ND
Southeast Region Representative
Todd Bedenbaugh, District Five of Lexington and Richland Counties, Irmo, SC
Timikel Sharpe, MS, Bibb County School District, Macon, GA
West Region Representative
Dean Gallegos, Bernalillo Public Schools, Bernalillo, NM
Kelly Orton, SNS, Salt Lake City School District, Salt Lake City, UT
Biographies of candidates selected for the ballot will be available to view online in early January 2020. The election will be held February 15-29, 2020.
The elected candidates for the positions on the Board of Directors will be installed in July 2020 at ANC. The elected candidates for positions on the Leadership Development Committee begin their terms on March 1, 2020 to coincide with the annual nominations and election calendar.
Congratulations and good luck to all the ballot candidates!
FDA To Give 6 Months Leeway On Nutrition Facts Update
The agency said this week it's going to give food manufacturers a bit more time to fully comply with the long-awaited Nutrition Facts update that's supposed to formally take effect in January (though you can find plenty of updated labels at the grocery store already).
"The FDA has heard from several manufacturers and groups that more time may be needed to meet all of the requirements," the agency wrote in an updated Q&A on its website. "Therefore, during the first 6 months following the January 1, 2020, compliance date, FDA plans to work cooperatively with manufacturers to meet the new Nutrition Facts label requirements and will not focus on enforcement actions regarding these requirements during that time."
Get Ready For the SNA Compensation Survey
SNA is conducting its first compensation survey on the school nutrition workforce since 2006. The objective of this survey is to collect data on salaries and benefits to be used for benchmarking purposes by member Directors. We hope you will participate in this important survey by contributing data on your district!
A unique link to the survey will be emailed directly to you from The School Nutrition Association at 9 AM on the morning of Monday, October 21st.
Having a unique link will allow you to start, stop, and re-start the survey. This means that you will not need to complete this survey in one sitting—you can stop and start by clicking on your unique link. To maintain the security of your salary data, do not share your link with anyone else. Please keep this email or bookmark your unique link so you can re-enter the survey.
You will need to know the following information to complete the survey:
If you have this information ready when you sit down to complete the survey, it typically takes 15 – 25 minutes to complete this survey.
Everyone who completes the survey will be entered into a drawing for a free registration to the SNA 2020 conference of their choice, as well as a drawing for one of five $20 gift cards.
If you have any questions about this survey, please contact Donovan Lessard, Research Manager at SNA, at 703 824 3000, extension 156, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
8.07.2019 National School Lunch, Special Milk, and School Breakfast Programs, National Average Payments/Maximum Reimbursement Rates
The USDA, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) announced its SY2019-20 adjustments to the national average payments and reimbursement rates for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), School Breakfast Program (SBP), Special Milk Program (SMP) and Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). Overall, the reimbursement rates for the NSLP, SBP and SMP either increased or remained the same compared to last year. The performance-based reimbursement for lunches certified as meeting the meal pattern increased from 6 cents to 7 cents. These rates are effective from July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020.
8.12.2019 Food Distribution Program: Value of Donated Foods
The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) published a notice announcing the value of donated foods, explicitly the national average value of donated foods for those states and schools participating in the NSLP and CACFP. The new rates for donated foods apply to SY2019-20 and are effective July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020.
8.14.2019 Final Rule: Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a Final Rule titled “Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds.” This change to U.S. immigration policies impacts applications for a green card or visa for those deemed likely to depend on government aid. Under the new rule, benefits provided under the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs, Seamless Summer Option, Afterschool Meal Supplement, Special Milk Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program, Summer Food Service Program, and the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program “would not be considered public benefits under the public charge inadmissibility determination.”
8.16.2019 Best Practices to Minimize Food Waste
In this policy memo FNS provided program operators with best practices to minimize food waste for privately donated foods. This memo offers USDA methods and procedures for all food waste activities, donated food storage, USDA commodities, distribution and product dating. These planning methods are meant for all nutrition programs but are a crucial resource, especially for The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), state agencies and other emergency feeding organizations.
8.19.2019 Updated Template: Local Agency Procurement Review Tool SY 2019-2020
This policy memo provides 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.
8.28.2019 Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request
FNS announced a Comment Request 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. USDA requested 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.
8.28.2019 Summer Food Service Program, Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request
FNS published a Federal Register notice seeking comments on a routine record collection for Summer Food Service Programs (SFSP) 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. FNS uses this information to monitor program performance for compliance and reimbursement purposes and to determine an organization's eligibility.
9.03.2019 Final Rule: Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations: Revisions to the Administrative Match Requirement
FNS is requesting comments on a Final Rule regarding several revisions to the administrative match requirements for the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR). First, there are changes to the minimum federal share of the FDPIR administrative costs for mandatory match requirements for State agencies/Indian Tribal Organization (ITO). There are also changes to the conditions that allow State agencies and ITOs to qualify for administrative match waivers. Additionally, this Final Rule permits supplemental federal funds if the purpose of these funds is consistent with other Federal and FDPIR administrative costs. This rule is effective as of September 3, 2019. All comments for this Final Rule must be received by November 4, 2019.
9.10.2019 Completion of Interim Rules and Withdrawal of Certain Proposed Rules
USDA issued two separate Federal Register notices, both in response to USDA’s Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions. The first notice announced the Completion of Interim Rules, including the Direct Certification and Certification of Homeless, Migrant and Runaway Children Interim Rule. The second notice is the subsequent Withdrawal of Certain Proposed Rules, removing prior proposals concerning “inactive” regulatory actions that were under review but decidedly not included in the unified agenda. This action is part of USDA’s effort to reduce its regulatory backlog and focus its resources on higher priorities. These notices took effect on September 10, 2019.
9.13.2019 Notice Announcing Availability of Funds and Application Deadline for the 2019 Immediate Aid to Restart School Operations Program; Disaster Recovery Assistance for Education
The Department of Education (DOE) published a Federal Register Notice announcing the availability of funds and the application deadline for the 2019 Immediate Aid to Restart School Operations program. Under this program, the DOE will award grants to eligible State education agencies (SEAs) to assist local education agencies (LEAs) and non-public schools with expenses related to the restart of schools affected by Hurricane Florence and Michael, Typhoon Mangkhut, Super Typhoon Yutu, and wildfires, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions occurring in calendar year 2018 and tornadoes and floods occurring in 2019 in areas in which a major disaster or emergency has been declared. The deadline for applications is October 23, 2019.
9.23.2019 Information Collection; Improving Customer Experience
USDA announced it is seeking comments on methods and practices for improving the customer experience. The 2016 American Consumer Satisfaction Index illustrated that government services on average, lagged nine percentage points behind that of the private sector. Therefore, this collection request is in part an effort by USDA to improve customer service by collecting qualitative and quantitative comments directly from its consumers. Comments may be obtained by a variety of means such as electronic or social media, direct or indirect observation, interviews, questionnaires, surveys and focus groups. The results of this comment collection will be used to improve Federal services and programs. All comments must be submitted by November 22, 2019.
9.25.2019 Final Rule: Delayed Implementation of Grains Ounce Equivalents in the CACFP
This Final Rule delays the implementation of the "ounce equivalents" requirement for crediting grains served through the CACFP until October 1, 2021. The delay of implementation allows FNS to develop additional materials and technical assistance to help operators meet requirements. It provides State agencies with the opportunity to offer more training to assist meal planners and ensure compliance. This regulatory action is consistent with FNS' efforts to improve customer service and work with allied partners in the CACFP. This rule is in effect starting October 1, 2019.
9.25.2019 Information Collections, Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request
USDA posted three information collections to the Federal Register for public comment.
Comments in response to these three notices are due October 25, 2019.
9.26.2019 Updated School Meal Guidance
USDA has published a collection of policy memoranda to provide administrators and operators with updated guidance for Child Nutrition Programs (CNP). This guidance, which is being distributed by State Agencies, covers programs such as the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), School Breakfast Program (SBP), Special Milk Program (SMP), Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). Updates to this guidance include questions and answers documents pertaining to school meal flexibility and meal pattern requirements; clarification on milk and water requirements; and updates to guidance on smoothies and salad bars in schools.
Apply Today for a Professional Development Conference Scholarship or Equipment Grant
The School Nutrition Foundation (SNF) is now accepting applications for scholarships! Apply for a SNA Conference Scholarship for a chance to earn $1,000 to help cover the costs to attend SNA’s School Nutrition Industry Conference and Legislative Action Conference.
Employee and Manager level members with a passion for advocacy can also apply for the Josephine Martin National Policy Fellowship.
Visit this link to apply for a SNA Conference Scholarship! Applications are due online by November 30th and require a signed approval form from your supervisor. You must be an SNA member for at least 2 years to be eligible.
Want to earn your degree? SNF is also accepting applications for Professional Development Scholarships to help cover the costs of tuition and books for a degree in a school nutrition related field.
New this year, eligible applicants have the opportunity to win one of three equipment grants! These three grants are the Winston Equipment Grant, the Vulcan/Hobart Equipment Grant, and the Collection Grant. SNF is now accepting applications for the SNF Equipment Grants. If your kitchen needs new equipment, consider applying today!
For questions, please contact email@example.com.
Harvard Report Urges Nutrition Education in Med School
The Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic has issued a set of recommendations for improving nutrition education in undergraduate, graduate and continuing medical training. The report says nutrition education should be required in medical school, and states should encourage or require nutrition education courses to maintain medical licenses.
Share Your Thoughts: SNA's 2020 Position Paper
SNA is preparing to craft its 2020 Position Paper, and it’s time to make your voice heard! Please provide your input on the school nutrition program challenges you believe should be addressed in SNA's 2020 Position Paper. We would like to hear from YOU about what can be done here in Washington, D.C., to support school nutrition professionals nationwide. SNA’s Public Policy and Legislation Committee will meet to draft the Paper on December 9th and your responses will determine what your regional committee representative will discuss during the drafting.
The deadline to submit is November 23, 2019. If you have any questions, please reach out to SNA’s Government Affairs and Media Relations team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
USDA Updates Guidance on School Meal Programs
USDA has published a collection of policy memoranda to provide administrators and operators with updated guidance for Child Nutrition Programs (CNP). Read More
Register Now For Upcoming Fall Webinars
Fall into SNA's Webinar Wednesdays for all the latest and greatest on school nutrition trends. Register now and earn CEUs while you learn. Learn More
SNA Comments on State Administrative Expense Funds and Summer Food Service Programs
SNA recently submitted its comments in reply to the Federal Register notice, Submission for OMB Review; State Administrative Expense (SAE) Funds and Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). Read More
How to Share Your #NSLW19 Lunch Playlist with Parents
Celebrations for National School Lunch Week 2019 (NSLW) are less than two weeks away so be sure to get parents on-board with your #SchoolLunchPlaylists during #NSLW19! Encourage them to join the conversation, have lunch with their child and engage your school further by using the following resources from SNA.
Studies show that school lunches are more likely to include fruit, vegetables, and dairy than those from home. This information is in the fun new NSLW 2019 Infographic available in English and Spanish.
Another helpful tool with ideas and tips to get your crowd of parents excited about what’s on the menu for their child’s school lunch playlist is the NSLW 2019 Toolkit. Ideas and tips include giving parents a free lunch coupon for an upcoming meal to providing parents with a family-sized recipe of a student-favorite menu item to make at home! You’ll find the NSLW 2019 Infographic, Toolkit and new Activity Sheets in English and Spanish for your students on the Toolkit & Handouts page here!
Amplify your engagement further by inviting parents to enjoy healthy lunch options with their child on National Take Your Parents to Lunch Day (Wednesday, October 16, 2019), or any other day that works for them. As parents make plans to attend lunch with their child, encourage them to also review the lunch menu as well as follow the SNA TrayTalk Facebook page and blog for school lunch innovations and success stories.
SNA resources have bonus features to create a NSLW 2019 playlist full of lunch hitmakers. Before time runs out, be sure to purchase your “playlist” merchandise from the SNA Emporium to promote NSLW. Also, you have until Monday, October 7 to enter the NSLW 2019 Contest for a chance to win top of the chart essentials for your school lunch programs.
No matter how you inform parents about NSLW 2019, make sure to keep them in rhythm with their child’s school lunch playlist but most of all, have fun and share your celebrations with us on social media!
Register for the Third Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Meeting and View New & Updated Protocols
The 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee will hold its third meeting October 24 and 25 in Washington, D.C. The meeting will be available to attend in-person or view by webcast. Register for the third meeting now.
Please note: Registration for in-person attendance closes on Friday, October 18, at 5:00PM EDT.
Apply Today for a Professional Development & Conference Scholarship
The School Nutrition Foundation (SNF) is now accepting applications for scholarships! Apply for a SNA Conference Scholarship for a chance to earn $1,000 to help cover the costs to attend SNA’s School Nutrition Industry Conferenceand Legislative Action Conference. SNF is also accepting applications for Professional Development Scholarships to help cover the costs of tuition and books for a degree in a school nutrition-related field. Learn More
SNF Equipment Grants for 2020
The School Nutrition Foundation is teaming up with more industry partners than ever before to provide new kitchen equipment to deserving districts! Apply now for the 2020 SNF Equipment Grant Program, featuring a common application for not one but THREE grants! Learn More
Marketing & PR Resources
Cook up a complete NSLW promotional plan by adding marketing and PR resources to the mix. View Resources
Tools & Resources
Anne DeCesaro Joined USDA's Office of the Undersecretary
Anne DeCesaro joined USDA's office of the undersecretary for food, nutrition and consumer services. DeCesaro was previously the Republican staff director for the House Ways and Means Worker and Family Support Subcommittee.
MD Public Schools Offer More Local Food In Meals
Public schools across Maryland will serve more local fruits and vegetables in school meals this week as part of a farm-to-table program. The program helps provide nutritious food for students and teaches them about gardening and nutrition.
WBOC-TV (Salisbury, Md.) (10/1)
National School Lunch, Special Milk, and School Breakfast Programs, National Average Payments/Maximum Reimbursement Rates
This Notice announces the annual adjustments to the national average payments, the amount of money the Federal Government provides States for lunches, afterschool snacks, and breakfasts served to children participating in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs; to the maximum reimbursement rates, the maximum per lunch rate from Federal funds that a State can provide a school food authority for lunches served to children participating in the National School Lunch Program; and to the rate of reimbursement for a half-pint of milk served to non-needy children in a school or institution that participates in the Special Milk Program for Children. The annual payments and rates adjustments for the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs reflect changes in the Food Away From Home series of the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers. The annual rate adjustment for the Special Milk Program reflects changes in the Producer Price Index for Fluid Milk Products. Further adjustments are made to these rates to reflect higher costs of providing meals in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. The payments and rates are prescribed on an annual basis each July.
Overall, reimbursement rates this year for the National School Lunch, Breakfast Programs and the Special Milk Program either remained the same or increased compared to last year. Of note, the performance-based reimbursement for lunches certified as meeting the meal pattern increased from 6 cents to 7 cents.
These rates are effective from July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Jessica Saracino, Branch Chief, Program Monitoring and Operational Support Division, Child Nutrition Programs, Food and Nutrition Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 3101 Park Center Drive, Room 640, Alexandria, VA 22302-1594.
Special Milk Program for Children—Pursuant to section 3 of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966, as amended (42 U.S.C. 1772), the Department announces the rate of reimbursement for a half-pint of milk served to non-needy children in a school or institution that participates in the Special Milk Program for Children. This rate is adjusted annually to reflect changes in the Producer Price Index for Fluid Milk Products, published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Department of Labor.
National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs—Pursuant to sections 11 and 17A of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, (42 U.S.C. 1759a and 1766a), and section 4 of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (42 U.S.C. 1773), the Department annually announces the adjustments to the National Average Payment Factors and to the maximum Federal reimbursement rates for lunches and afterschool snacks served to children participating in the National School Lunch Program and breakfasts served to children participating in the School Breakfast Program. Adjustments are prescribed each July 1, based on changes in the Food Away From Home series of the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Department of Labor.
Lunch Payment Levels—Section 4 of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1753) provides general cash for food assistance payments to States to assist schools in purchasing food. The Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act provides two different section 4 payment levels for lunches served under the National School Lunch Program. The lower payment level applies to lunches served by school food authorities in which less than 60 percent of the lunches served in the school lunch program during the second preceding school year were served free or at a reduced price. The higher payment level applies to lunches served by school food authorities in which 60 percent or more of the lunches served during the second preceding school year were served free or at a reduced price.
To supplement these section 4 payments, section 11 of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C.1759 (a)) provides special cash Start Printed Page 38591assistance payments to aid schools in providing free and reduced price lunches. The section 11 National Average Payment Factor for each reduced price lunch served is set at 40 cents less than the factor for each free lunch.
As authorized under sections 8 and 11 of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1757 and 1759a), maximum reimbursement rates for each type of lunch are prescribed by the Department in this Notice. These maximum rates are to ensure equitable disbursement of Federal funds to school food authorities.
Performanced-based Reimbursement—In addition to the funding mentioned above, school food authorized certified as meeting the meal pattern and nutrition standard requirements set forth in 7 CFR parts 210 and 220 are eligible to receive performance-based cash assistance for each reimbursable lunch served (an additional seven cents per lunch available beginning July 1, 2019, increased by inflation from six cents to seven cents, and will continue to be adjusted and rounded down to the nearest whole cent).
Afterschool Snack Payments in Afterschool Care Programs—Section 17A of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1766a) establishes National Average Payments for free, reduced price and paid afterschool snacks as part of the National School Lunch Program.
Breakfast Payment Factors—Section 4 of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (42 U.S.C. 1773) establishes National Average Payment Factors for free, reduced price, and paid breakfasts served under the School Breakfast Program and additional payments for free and reduced price breakfasts served in schools determined to be in “severe need” because they serve a high percentage of needy children.
The following specific section 4, section 11, and section 17A National Average Payment Factors and maximum reimbursement rates for lunch, the afterschool snack rates, and the breakfast rates are in effect from July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020. Due to a higher cost of living, the average payments and maximum reimbursements for Alaska, Puerto Rico and Hawaii are higher than those for all other States. The District of Columbia, Virgin Islands, and Guam use the figures specified for the contiguous States. These rates do not include the value of USDA Foods or cash-in-lieu of USDA Foods which schools receive as additional assistance for each meal served to participants under the Program. A notice announcing the value of USDA Foods and cash-in-lieu of USDA Foods is published separately in the Federal Register.
Adjustments to the national average payment rates for all lunches served under the National School Lunch Program, breakfasts served under the School Breakfast Program, and afterschool snacks served under the National School Lunch Program are rounded down to the nearest whole cent.
Special Milk Program Payments
For the period July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020, the rate of reimbursement for a half-pint of milk served to a non-needy child in a school or institution that participates in the Special Milk Program is 21.50 cents reflecting an increase of 1 cent from the School Year (SY) 2018-2019 level. This change is based on the 3.92 percent increase in the Producer Price Index for Fluid Milk Products from May 2018 to May 2019.
As a reminder, schools or institutions with pricing programs that elect to serve milk free to eligible children continue to receive the average cost of a half-pint of milk (the total cost of all milk purchased during the claim period divided by the total number of purchased half-pints) for each half-pint served to an eligible child.
National School Lunch Program Payments
Overall, payments for the National School Lunch Program and the Afterschool Snack Program either remained the same or increased from last years payments due to a 2.94 percent increase in the national average payment rates for schools and residential child care institutions for the period July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020 in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers for the food away from home series during the 12-month period May 2018 to May 2019 (from a level of 275.307 in May 2017, as previously published in the Federal Register to 283.394 in May 2019).
These changes are reflected below.
Section 4 National Average Payment Factors—In school food authorities that served less than 60 percent free and reduced price lunches in School Year (SY) 2017-2018, the payments for meals served are: Contiguous States: Paid rate—32 cents (1 cent increase from the SY 2018-2019 level), free and reduced price rate—32 cents (1 cent increase), maximum rate—40 cents (1 cent increase); Alaska: Paid rate—53 cents (2 cents increase), free and reduced price rate—53 cents (2 cents increase), maximum rate—63 cents (2 cents increase); Hawaii and Puerto Rico: Paid rate—38 cents (1 cent increase), free and reduced price rate—38 cents (1 cent increase), maximum rate—46 cents (1 cent increase).
In school food authorities that served 60 percent or more free and reduced price lunches in School Year 2017-2018, payments are: Contiguous States: Paid rate—34 cents (1 cent increase from the SY 2018-2019 level), free and reduced price rate—34 cents (1 cent increase), maximum rate—40 cents (1 cent increase); Alaska: Paid rate—55 cents (2 cents increase), free and reduced price rate—55 cents (2 cents increase), maximum rate—63 cents (2 cents increase); Hawaii and Puerto Rico: Paid rate—40 cents (1 cent increase), free and reduced price rate—40 cents (1 cent increase), maximum rate—46 cents (1 cent increase).
Beginning this year, School food authorities certified to receive the performance-based cash assistance will receive an additional 7 cents (adjusted annually) added to the above amounts as part of their section 4 payments.
Section 11 National Average Payment Factors—Contiguous States: Free lunch—3 dollars and 9 cents (9 cents increase from the SY 2018-2019 level), reduced price lunch—2 dollars and 69 cents (9 cents increase); Alaska: Free lunch—5 dollars and 1 cent (14 cents increase), reduced price lunch—4 dollars and 61 cents (14 cents increase); Hawaii and Puerto Rico: Free lunch—3 dollars and 62 cents (11 cents increase), reduced price lunch—3 dollars and 22 cents (11 cents increase).
Afterschool Snacks in Afterschool Care Programs—The payments are: Contiguous States: Free snack—94 cents (3 cents increase from the SY 2018-2019 level), reduced price snack—47 cents (2 cents increase), paid snack—8 cents (no change); Alaska: Free snack—1 dollar and 52 cents (4 cents increase), reduced price snack—76 cents (2 cents increase), paid snack—13 cents (no change); Hawaii and Puerto Rico: Free snack—1 dollar and 10 cents (4 cents increase), reduced price snack—55 cents (2 cent increase), paid snack—10 cents (1 cent increase).
School Breakfast Program Payments
Overall, payments for the National School Breakfast Program either remained the same or increased from last years payments due to a 2.94 percent increase in the national average payment rates for schools and residential child care institutions for the period July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020 in the Consumer Price Index for Start Printed Page 38592All Urban Consumers in the Food Away from Home series during the 12-month period May 2018 to May 2019 (from a level of 275.307 in May 2018, as previously published in the Federal Register to 283.394 in May 2019).
These changes are reflected below.
For schools “not in severe need” the payments are: Contiguous States: Free breakfast—1 dollar and 84 cents (5 cents increase from the SY 2018-2019 level), reduced price breakfast—1 dollar and 54 cents (5 cents increase), paid breakfast—31 cents (no change); Alaska: Free breakfast—2 dollars and 95 cents (8 cents increase), reduced price breakfast—2 dollars and 65 cents (8 cents increase), paid breakfast—47 cents (1 cent increase); Hawaii and Puerto Rico: Free breakfast—2 dollars and 15 cents (6 cents increase), reduced price breakfast—1 dollar and 85 cents (6 cents increase), paid breakfast—36 cents (1 cent increase).
For schools in “severe need” the payments are: Contiguous States: Free breakfast—2 dollars and 20 cents (6 cents increase from the SY 2018-2019 level), reduced price breakfast—1 dollar and 90 cents (6 cents increase), paid breakfast—31 cents (no change); Alaska: Free breakfast—3 dollars and 53 cents (10 cents increase), reduced price breakfast—3 dollars and 23 cents (10 cents increase), paid breakfast—47 cents (1 cent increase); Hawaii and Puerto Rico: Free breakfast—2 dollars and 57 cents (7 cents increase), reduced price breakfast—2 dollars and 27 cents (7 cents increase), paid breakfast—36 cents (1 cent increase).
The following chart illustrates the lunch National Average Payment Factors with the sections 4 and 11 already combined to indicate the per lunch amount; the maximum lunch reimbursement rates; the reimbursement rates for afterschool snacks served in afterschool care programs; the breakfast National Average Payment Factors including severe need schools; and the milk reimbursement rate. All amounts are expressed in dollars or fractions thereof. The payment factors and reimbursement rates used for the District of Columbia, Virgin Islands, and Guam are those specified for the contiguous States.
Beef Up Your Culinary Skills With New Online Training
We are excited to announce our new Culinary Skills module, available to you online in the Training Zone! This new module includes a series of video tutorials, presented by members of SNA’s Chef’s Task Force. Utilizing the proper technique in the kitchen saves time and cost.
The modules will instruct new and veteran kitchen staff alike on three critical skills needed for food preparation. Each 20-minute module includes a video demonstration of the skill along with fun and engaging activities and questions to not only make the learning fun, but to also help you retain what you’ve learned.
Once completed, you will have earned one CEU, but most importantly, you have either learned a new skill or brushed up on a skill. Join Chefs Brenda Wattles, Cyndie Story and Sharon Schaeffer as they demonstrate three critical food preparation skills needed in your school kitchen!
This module includes tutorials in:
And, we now offer District Packages at discount prices to train your entire kitchen staff:
Breakfast Commodities Bill Introduced
This bipartisan bill, supported by SNA, would strengthen and expand the School Breakfast Program (SBP) by proving additional federal support to those schools participating in the SBP. Read More
SNA Comments on Proposed Revision of Categorial Eligibility
SNA submitted comments in response to the USDA Proposed Rule: Revision of Categorical Eligibility in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Read More
Updated Unpaid Meal Charge Talking Points
Last month, SNA released the 2019 School Nutrition Trends Report, which included new data on the growing problem of unpaid meal debt in school cafeterias. This topic continues to be the focus of national media stories, and given heightened interest in this issue, school nutrition professionals should be prepared to discuss district charge policies, how they compassionately respond to students unable to pay for their meals and work to enroll needy families in the Free and Reduced-Price Meal Program. To assist with these conversations, SNA has updated member talking points on unpaid meal charges. SNA members can access these points on the “Talking Points and Customizable PR Tools” webpage. A variety of other helpful PR resources, including backpack brochures and media outreach guides can be found at www.SchoolNutrition.org/PR.
National School Lunch Week - Enter the #NSLW19 Contest For You Chance to Win!
We know there is no shortage of creativity and talent among SNA members when it comes to promoting their amazing school lunch programs during National School Lunch Week. So make sure you enter the #NSLW19 Contest in the next 3 weeks! Monday, October 7 is the deadline to amplify your chance to win hitmaking essentials for your school lunch program! Prizes include a free $50 Emporium Gift Card to promote your program (2 will be awarded) or a complimentary registration for SNA’s new chef-taught Culinary Skills online training module in the Training Zone.
Entering the contest is as easy as creating a playlist! Simply fill in your information, share with us your #NSLW19 plans and the resources you plan to use, and tell us how much you think school participation will increase in your school or district during NSLW!
As you ramp up your plans, don’t wait until the last minute to place your orders for Emporium Playlist merchandise—popular items often sell out! View and download the Emporium catalog and print the order form to fax in your order, order online 24-7 or call Phone # 1-800-728-0728.
National School Lunch Week is just one month away—we can’t wait to see what you have planned!
Updated NSLP and SBT Participation Analyses Reports Now Available
Here at SNA we are dishing up analysis of the freshest USDA FNS data on NSLP and SBP participation. Read More
New York City is considering banning chocolate milk in public schools, citing health concerns, specifically sugar content, as the driving force, the New York Post writes. Many parents and students complain that such a ban doesn't address the highly processed foods served in schools.
SNAP Change Would Affect Free School Meals
The proposed changes to the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program eventually would affect free school meal programs by limiting who could be considered under the Community Eligibility Provision. A coalition of 70 mayors recently sent a letter to the USDA Food and Nutrition Service saying the proposal would harm the health of children, in part, by removing their access to free school meals.
Education Dive (8/29)
States Seek To Prevent Changes To Meal Standards
A coalition of states is suing the federal government over its decision to roll back a federal law that requires certain nutrition standards for school meals. This week, however, the government argued in court that the states, including New York, had no standing to sue over concerns that the move could harm students' health and lead to more costly treatment.
Trade Mitigation Means Free Food For Schools
Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland this fall is expecting $70,000 in free foods, including kidney beans, oranges and apples, as part of a trade mitigation program linked to the Trump administration's trade disputes with other countries. How to use the extra food can be a challenge for some schools that plan meals in advance, however, so schools have not taken full advantage of the $100 million in trade mitigation foods available this fall, the USDA said.
Equip Yourself for the New School Year with all New Webinar Wednesdays
As summer break is winding down, Webinar Wednesdays are revving up. We've been excited about these upcoming webinars all summer long! On August 28, hear how three districts listened to the outcry from parents and students requesting a greener cafeteria, and responded with new products that were more sustainable and less wasteful. Missed last week's event? Check out our on-demand page to access over 50 recorded webinars in all key areas.
Update: USDA Lawsuits
Since April, SNA has been closely watching the lawsuits filed against the USDA and its top officials pending in federal courts in New York and Maryland. Both lawsuits claim that the 2018 Final Rule on Sodium and Whole Grains requirements was issued by USDA in violation of the Administrative Procedures Act. Learn More
SNA Has The 4-1-1 on Allergies
With schools now open for a new school year, an influx of new students can mean a need for an influx of food allergy education resources, too! Visit SNA's Food Allergy Resource Center to find answers to common questions. Learn More
Dollars & Cents
There’s real power in numbers. School nutrition directors know that certain numbers are the key to understanding and comparing different schools’ breakfast and lunch programs performances and guide future strategic and operational goals. Wouldn’t it be great if there was an easy way to know what Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) could really make a difference? Wouldn’t it be even greater if there was an easy way to train managers how to calculate them?
Well, now there is! SNA’s new Dollars & Cents of Financial Management video tutorial training series has been developed by the SNA Financial Management task force as a train-the-trainer series on five KPIs teachable to school nutrition managers from their directors.
SNA’s Financial Management task force, comprised of experienced directors, hand-picked these five KPIs to maximize daily cost efficiencies:
You can take the modules yourself first, and later use the provided materials to make teaching staff a breeze. Each one-hour KPI module includes a:
Take the first step in aligning your school nutrition programs to maximize efficiencies and experience the difference using numbers to make informed decisions can make. Head to SNA’s new Training Zone to purchase Dollars & Cents of Financial Management.
90% of Districts to Exceed School Meal Whole Grain Mandates
Whole grains will remain a staple on school lunch trays across the country this fall, according to SNA’s recent survey of school meal programs nationwide. The 2019 School Nutrition Trends Report, released earlier this week, also revealed that popular restaurant trends — from made-to-order entrees and ethnic cuisine to clean label options — are the norm in cafeterias as school nutrition professionals work to boost lunch participation. SNA’s press release summarizes key results, which include findings on unpaid student meal debt.
Start Promoting Your NSLW Playlist
With National School Lunch Week 2019 (NSLW) being eight weeks away—starting October 14—there is still time to reach parents and other stakeholders in the community. As we gear up for #NSLW19, create social buzz by developing your social media plan and promoting your #SchoolLunchPlaylist.
We’ve got you covered on marketing materials and resources to use in several ways in the community and on various social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter! Gain momentum beyond the cafeteria in the weeks leading up to #NSLW19 by doing the following:
Download and print copies or share the electronic version of the #NSLW19 Infographic which includes information about the school lunch program and healthy options available. You can also share an image of this on social media.
#NSLW19, #SchoolLunchPlaylist, #SchoolLunch, #SchoolLunchRocks, #SchoolLunchHits
Fill in your school or district’s information on the Official Proclamation document and request that the mayor or city council proclaim it is National School Lunch Week in your city or town. And, invite them to have lunch with the students!
Watch for these pre-designed PowerPoint presentations that you can customize to help you promote NSLW19. You can find them on our NSLW Marketing & PR Resources page when they become available!
Don’t forget! The new SNA Emporium Catalog with hot new School Lunch Playlist merchandise is now available and ready to download. You can also shop online 24-7 to place your orders early before popular items sell out! Order online, fax in your order or call it in at 1-800-728-0728 between 8:00 am – 6:00 pm EST Monday – Friday.
Don’t miss out on the chance to make some noise about what’s on your #SchoolLunchPlaylist and start creating the buzz today!
What To Make of FDA's Romaine Testing Results
Lettuce buyers — and eaters — were probably relieved to see the agency announced this week that it didn't find any contamination issues in the Yuma-region romaine lettuce it tested last winter. But what do those results really tell us?
Repeated outbreaks: MA readers will recall there's been a steady drumbeat of large and even deadly foodborne illness outbreaks tied to fresh produce from the region. For those counting: There have been five suspected or confirmed multistate outbreaks tied to fresh produce from the Yuma area since 2012, the FDA said this week.
Limited scope: The agency collected and tested 118 lettuce samples for each targeted pathogen: Shiga toxin-producing E.coli (STEC) and salmonella. The FDA found one positive for STEC, but later determined the bacteria wasn't pathogenic. The testing project pulled product from 26 cooler and cold storage facilities, the agency said.
Produce not letting up on the gas: The Produce Marketing Association said this week it's not taking the results as a sign that everything is A-OK.
"While these findings may provide positive evidence of the multiple food safety system enhancements the industry has implemented, the limited scope of the sampling should not be taken as any rationale for complacency in moving forward with on-going efforts to dig deeper," said Bob Whitaker, Chief Science and Technology Officer at PMA, in an email update after the FDA news.
Factors to consider: Whitaker said the industry needs to continue digging into the role of the changing environment, weather and other factors that might affect the risk of contamination.
Consumer advocacy caution: Consumer Reports also weighed in to note that the sample size was limited — and only for pathogenic E.coli and salmonella. "As a result, consumers shouldn't be lulled into a false sense of complacency," the group said.
What was left out of the testing project? Food Safety News reported this week that the FDA didn't include any processing plants in its sampling survey, which suggests product that was further processed (and potentially contaminated by processing equipment) was left out of the surveillance project.
Anne Arundel Schools Employee One of Five Awarded Nationally for Increasing Food Accessibility During National Farms Market Week
An Anne Arundel County public schools employee was one of five in the nation recognized for her work Monday, specifically creating a Farmers Market in Brooklyn Park and leading a program through the school system that uses that market and 57 other sites to offer free meals to children throughout the county.
No Kid Hungry Maryland presented Jodi Risse, the supervisor of Food and Nutrition Services, with a national Summer Meals Hero Award for her work with the Anne Arundel County Public Schools at the beginning of National Farmers Market Week.
National School Lunch Week
October 14-18, 2019
National School Lunch Week will be here before you know it! How will your school showcase the many healthy and delicious options that make up your #SchoolLunchPlaylist? Luckily, SNA is your one-stop-shop for resources and materials to plan a hit #NSLW19 celebration!
Getting started is as easy as 1, 2, 3:
1.Begin by downloading the 14-page NSLW 2019 Toolkit. It’s chock-full of resources and ideas to pump up the volume for your celebration including student and parent engagement ideas, creating social media buzz, reaching out to legislators, the media and more!
2.Download “Playlist” artwork and logos to add to your menus and other promotional tools. From hamburger headphones and pizza and salad turntables to colorful dancers and musicians, we’ve included lots of music-themed artwork for you to customize your Playlist promotions.
Download the new SNA Emporium Catalog or shop online 24-7 to check out the hot new Playlist merchandise—place your orders early before popular items sell out! Order online, fax in your order or call it in at 1-800-728-0728 between 8:00 am--6:00 pm EST Monday—Friday.
06.10.2019 Requirements for Student Transfers from Provision to Non-Provision Schools Now In Effect
In a policy memo published on June 10, 2019, FNS reminded state and local program operators that new requirements for student transfers from Provision to Non-Provision schools are effective July 1, 2019. Federal regulations require Local Education Agencies (LEAs) to provide free, reimbursable meals to students who receive free meals at a provision school and, during the school year, transfer to a school using standard counting and claiming procedures. Schools must provide these students with free, reimbursable meals for up to 10 operating school days or until a new eligibility determination for the current school year is made, whichever comes first. This is an existing requirement for transfers within the same LEA and is required for transfers between LEAs effective July 1, 2019.
06.27.2019 Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request
In a Federal Register notice published on June 27, 2019, USDA announced it is seeking comment on an information collection for the School Nutrition and Meal Cost Study-II (SNMCS-II). The study will update previous data collected during SY 2014-2015 for the first School Nutrition and Meal Cost Study (SNMCS-I), and collect data from state agencies, school food authorities, local education authorities, schools, food service management companies, students, and parents/guardians. Comments must be received by July 29, 2019.
07.01.2019 Delayed Implementation of Grains Ounce Equivalents in the Child and Adult Care Food Program
In a Federal Register notice published on July 1, 2019, FNS announced that the “ounce equivalents” requirement for crediting grains served in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) that was scheduled to go into effect this year is being delayed until October 1, 2021. The delay will allow the agency more time to develop additional technical assistance and training materials to ease compliance for meal planners. Comments must be received by July 31, 2019.
07.23.2019 Farm Bill Implementation Memo: Donated Traditional Foods and Civil Liability
In a policy memo published on July 23, 2019, the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) notified all child nutrition program operators of a provision that was part of the 2018 Farm Bill’s expansion that states certain groups are not liable in civil cases regarding the donation and service of traditional foods. This provision applies to foodservice programs in public and nonprofit facilities. State agencies are reminded to distribute this memo to all program operators. Program operators should direct any questions concerning this guidance to their state agency. Contact the appropriate FNS regional office for any further information.
07.24.2019 Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request-Information Collection for the National School Lunch Program
In a Federal Register notice published on July 24, 2019, FNS announced an agency information collection regarding participation in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). This notice invites the general public, professionals and other agencies to comment on this proposed collection, which aims to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information being collected. This notice is an amendment of a presently approved collection which FNS uses to determine participation in the National School Lunch Program. FNS must receive all written comments on or before September 23, 2019.
07.26.2019 Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request
In a Federal Register notice published on July 26, 2019, FNS announced the extension of a previously approved record collection for fast track clearance of the collection of routine, qualitative, customer and stakeholder feedback. The feedback is intended to provide insights into customer or stakeholder perceptions, experiences and expectations and provide early warning of issues with service. Comments regarding this information collection are due by August 26, 2019.
07.30.2019 Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request-Food Programs Reporting System
In a Federal Register notice published on July 30, 2019, FNS invites the general public and related agencies to comment on a proposed information collection for the Food Program Reporting System (FPRS). The FPRS is an electronic reporting system that gives States and agencies a portal for the various reporting required for child nutrition programs. This collection requests information for the electronic submission of programmatic and financial data through the FPRS. Written and electronic comments must be submitted by September 30, 2019.
Final Public Charge Rule Published
On August 14, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a final rule titled “Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds.” This change to U.S. immigration policies will make it much more difficult to apply for a green card or earn a visa for applicants who are deemed likely to depend on government aid such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), housing assistance and Medicaid. The new policy is set to go into effect in mid-October.
Under the new rule, benefits provided under the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs, Seamless Summer Option, Afterschool Meal Supplement, Special Milk Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program, Summer Food Service Program, and the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program “would not be considered public benefits under the public charge inadmissibility determination.”
However, in SNA’s comments in response to the proposed rule, the Association expressed concern that the change “will result in children going hungry during the school day, even though they are legally authorized and eligible to receive free or reduced priced school meals…If SNAP benefits are considered in public charge determinations, many immigrant families, afraid to risk their immigration status, will drop out of SNAP, effectively compromising their students’ meal status. Fear and confusion surrounding this complex rule change will deter these families from submitting free or reduced price school meal applications.”
Call For 2020 SNA Election Nominations
The 2020 SNA election nominations process is open! SNA needs members with strong leadership skills, outstanding professional achievements, and a record of active participation in their state association and SNA to lead the association in the future. The following positions are now open, so hurry and get your name in or nominate a SNA colleague!
Board of Directors:
Leadership Development Committee:
Please consider the leadership talent you see and work with in your state, your region, or at the national level, and submit a nomination for one or more of the open positions or submit your own name for nomination! The Call for Nominations and Recommendation forms are on the SNA website at www.schoolnutrition.org/LeadershipOpp. Which is also where you’ll find everything you need to know if you are considering a national leadership opportunity.
Nominations are due Monday, September 30, 2019.
The Leadership Development Committee, chaired by SNA Past President Lynn Harvey, will meet at Committee Days in October to select the candidate slate for the 2020 election. The selected candidate will be announced following Committee Days.
The election is February 15-29, 2020.
If you have any questions, please contact Lynn Harvey via email at email@example.com or by phone at (919) 807-3506 or Rhea Steele, SNA Staff Liaison, Leadership Development Committee via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (800) 877-8822, ext. 117.
SNA Action Network Wants You to Share Your Story
SNA is very concerned about any rule changes that could potentially impact children’s access to healthy school meals, which are proven to support academic success, obesity prevention, and overall student health. On July 24, 2019, USDA published a Proposed Rule that would limit the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits that convey eligibility for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and in turn impact direct certification eligibility for free school meals. This proposed revision would end SNAP enrollment for an estimated 1.7 million households, and as a result, would end direct certification for free school meals for any students living in these households.
Direct certification is an essential tool for ensuring that low-income children receive free breakfast and lunch while reducing the administrative burden on schools. Because of the nature of TANF implementation, the impact of this revision could vary widely between states.
SNA wants to know, how might this Proposed Rule impact your program’s direct certification, participation, and/or revenue? Click here.
Information Collection on Participation in the NSLP
USDA's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) announced an agency information collection regarding participation in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). Learn More
Team Nutrition Creates OVS Tip Sheets and Posters for Lunch and Breakfast
Team Nutrition announces new Offer versus Serve (OVS) resources that are designed to help reduce food waste in schools and summer meal programs. Learn More
USDA Provides Specifics on Second Trade Aid Package
On July 25th, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue announced additional details of the $16 billion trade aid package. $1.4 billion will be used to implement the USDA's Food Purchase and Distribution Program. Read More
On July 25th, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue announced additional details of the $16 billion trade aid package. $1.4 billion will be used to implement the USDA’s Food Purchase and Distribution Program (FPDP). Through the Agricultural Marketing Service, the FPDP will purchase surplus commodities such as fruits, vegetables, meats and milk for distribution to food banks, schools and other outlets serving low-income individuals.
Read more in USDA’s press release.
Two teachers from a Maryland high school recently were honored for the agriculture program that they oversee. Participating students learn the basics about horticulture and animal science in the classroom and also practice their skills through work-based experiences.
WDVM-TV (Hagerstown, Md.) (7/22)
Food insecurity among low-income families grows in the summertime when children lose access to school meals, and a new program in Maryland dubbed Summer SNAP for Children will aim to address the shortfall, write physicians Richard Bruno and Nithin Paul. Starting next summer, they write, the program will offer families who receive federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits an additional $30 in the summer months and $10 over the Christmas break.
The Baltimore Sun (7/8)
Congressman David Trone is conducting a summer meals tour in his Maryland district to see various meal initiatives in action. During one stop, he said he would like to establish a program inspired by Meals on Wheels to reach students in rural areas.
The Countdown to National School Lunch Week!
National School Lunch Week (NSLW) 2019 kicks off on October 14. Look to SNA for helpful resources to promote your program. Also, don't forget to shop the SNA Emporium for official "What's on Your Playlist?" merchandise, including apparel, posters, decorations, and more! Visit Emporium
SNA Comments on Opportunities for Regulatory Reform
On Friday, July 12, SNA submitted comments on the Federal Register Notice, Identifying Regulatory Reform Initiatives. Throughout the process of identifying recommended regulatory reform initiatives for the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), SNA has reached out to all 58,000 members through surveys and working groups. In addition to previous recommendations, SNA provided additional areas it believes should be considered with this initiative, including Administrative Reviews, area eligibility using Census data, and Summer Food Service Program management. SNA also suggested that USDA look to the Child Nutrition Reporting Burden Analysis Study published June 2, 2019, for areas in need of program simplification. Read the full comments.
USDA Announces Record-Breaking Funding for 2019 Farm to School Grants
Last week, USDA announced over $9 million in Farm to School Grants, marking the largest year for the grants by funding and number of projects. Learn More
USDA To Release Rule To Crack Down On SNAP Eligibility
The Trump administration will announce today it's seeking to rein in broad-based categorical eligibility in SNAP — a significant change to the program that would affect millions of recipients.
Wonky change, big impact: Broad-based cat-el, as it's known, is little understood but widely used to provide benefits to a broader array of low-income households than are traditionally eligible for SNAP. The policy allows states to confer SNAP eligibility to households if they're receiving a Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefit of some kind. The option allows states to get around the typical asset limits, which helps make more low-income households eligible.
By the numbers: Curbing broad-based cat-el under the proposed rule would lead to about 3.1 million individuals dropping from the program, USDA officials told reporters in a briefing Monday. That crackdown on benefits would save $2.5 billion per year, or $25 billion over the next decade, officials said.
Details to come: The proposed rule is expected to be published in the Federal Register shortly. Officials said USDA will take comments for 60 days, a clock that will start Wednesday.
Making the case: The department's goal is to reduce dependency on federal aid and ultimately make SNAP policy "clearer and more consistent" across states, said Brandon Lipps, administrator of USDA's Food and Nutrition Service and acting deputy undersecretary of food, nutrition and consumer Services.
USDA officials pointed to the example of a Minnesota millionaire who was able to qualify for SNAP under broad-based cat-el. "It's not good for the intent of this program," Lipps said. "It's not good for the American support for this program."
USDA Deputy Secretary Censky Speaks at SNA’s ANC
SNA was proud to host the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Secretary, Stephen Censky at 2019 ANC’s Opening General Session on Sunday, July 14. Censky provided updates from USDA and reinforced the importance of partnership between SNA members and USDA officials to ensure that students can receive the nutritious and delicious meals they need to succeed in school.
"School nutrition professionals are the living embodiment of USDA’s mission to do right and feed everyone,” said Censky. The Deputy Secretary also announced 9 million dollars in Farm to School Grants with more details to be provided in the coming weeks. SNA is looking forward to a continued productive partnership with USDA.
Letter to Senate Agriculture and House Ed and Labor Committees
Yesterday, the School Nutrition Association (SNA), the Association of School Business Officials (ASBO), and AASA issued a letter to the Senate Agriculture and House ED and Labor Committees, listing a set of priorities for the federal School Lunch and Breakfast program as Congress attempts to reauthorize the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2015.
The letter calls on House and Senate Committee Leadership to ensure that beneficial, cost-effective school nutrition programs can continue to help nearly 30 million students each day, especially students from low-income households, gain access to quality nutritious food while improving their overall health, development and academic success.
Specifically, the allied organizations’ letter request Congress to sustain the progress we've achieved of improving the Federal School Meals programs by returning to a five-year administrative review cycle, modifying the Smart Snacks in Schools Rule, Increasing USDA Foods (Commodities) support for the School Breakfast Program, and opposing School Meal Block Grant Proposals.
AASA was proud to join SNA and ASBO in urging the Committees to take up these critically important measures while they work to reauthorize child nutrition programs.
Announcing the Training Zone: SNA's New One-Stop Shop for E-Learning
We’ve just made it easier for you to get the training you need to advance your career! SNA is excited to officially launch the new Training Zone, an eLearning hub within the Learning Center where you can regularly access new learning resources and opportunities and earn CEUs towards SNA’s Certificate Program, SNS credential renewal and USDA Professional Standards. Get in the “ZONE” with all your online training in one easy-to-access location!
The Training Zone offers 58 online courses which includes two self-paced eLearning modules, one train-the-trainer module and 55 on-demand webinars. New Webinar Wednesdays and eLearning modules are in development and will be released throughout the coming year. Welcome to your one-stop shop for eLearning on-demand 24-7!
The current modules in the Training Zone feature specialized online training developed by school nutrition professionals. All Webinar Wednesdays and Webinars On-Demand are free to members as part of your membership benefits, and discounts are offered on all other training courses. District packages are currently available for the ethics training program with more package options coming soon. Learn more about our eLearning modules below.
The Training Zone also features “one-click” webinar registration and the ability to track your online learning and print your CEU Certificates or come back later and print them at any time. It’s easily accessible anywhere, anytime, on any device! Download the “How To User Guide” for more information.
Attending SNA’s Annual National Conference in St. Louis? Visit Member Services to learn more about the Training Zone and pick up a freebie! Also be sure to check out the education session “Discover SNA’s New Training Zone” on Monday at 4:30 pm or head to the Pop-Up session on Tuesday at 11 am to take a “Test Drive” and for chance to win a complimenarty Culinary Skills eLearning module! This new module features video demonstration of three different critical skills:
Watch for more information in the coming months about how to “Get in the Zone!”
Welcome to the 2020 Diet Wars
The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee on Thursday got to hear firsthand just how intense the diet wars have become. For about three hours, a steady stream of commenters stood up and told the committee it should encourage more consumption of whatever they happened to be selling, but they were nearly drowned out by fight between plant-based and low-carb advocates.
The committee heard from more than 75 voices and about a third of them were entangled in the intense debate about which diet is healthier — and whether or not the Dietary Guidelines are ultimately helping or harming the American public.
The committee, known as DGAC in Washington parlance, has the big job of sifting through the wild world of nutrition science and then making recommendations to USDA and HHS on how the government should update the next round of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, for 2020-2025.
Carbohydrates as the new villain: About a dozen voices implored the committee to include a low-carb diet in the updated guidelines or offered a blistering criticism of the existing ones, arguing that following them has made their patients fatter and sicker.
Doctors in the house: Several doctors testified at the meeting, many of whom were there to tout the benefits of a low-carb approach that they've seen in their own practice. Several others, however, urged a completely different outlook. One doctor who touted the benefits of a whole-foods plant-based diet lamented that many of his patients are scared of carbohydrates.
Quote of the day: "You could hold up a bank with bread; people are so afraid of carbs," the doctor said.
Dairy under fire: A handful of plant-based diet advocates, including a new group founded by dairy-free athletes, came out swinging against the dairy recommendations in the guidelines, including a few who alleged that promoting dairy is racist because some racial groups have trouble digesting it.
What's next: The next DGAC meeting is scheduled for Oct. 24-25, and the next one with a public comment segment will be in January 2020. Follow the process here
School Lunch: What's On Your Playlist?
Child Nutrition Reporting Burden Analysis Study Published
Register to View the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Meetings
Dietary Guidelines gears up for more public comment: The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee will convene Wednesday and Thursday for its second series of meetings out of five total. The public is allowed to provide comments, and slots to provide testimony have reached capacity, according to DietaryGuidelines.gov. Register to attend via webcast here.
CNP Programs Reauthorization Legislation
Senate Republicans are getting close to finalizing legislation that would reauthorize child nutrition programs for the first time in a decade. Senate Ag Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) said the draft bill is "pretty well complete" and he's hoping to launch staff-level negotiations with Democrats during the Fourth of July recess, Bloomberg reports.
July 10–11, 2019 | Register Now
It’s not too late to register for the webcast of the next Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee meeting on July 10 and 11! The first day of the meeting will include presentations by each subcommittee and deliberation by the full Committee, and the second day will feature oral comments from the general public to the Committee.
SNA and Allied Organizations Provide Input on Child Nutrition Reauthorization
As Congress considers a Child Nutrition Reauthorization bill, SNA along with our partners in the Association of School Business Officials and the School Superintendents Association sent a letter to the leadership of key committees outlining our priorities for any CNR effort:
You can read the full letter here.
U.S. Senator Collins and Rep. DeSaulnier Introduce School Food Modernization Act
On June 24, 2019, Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) and Representative Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA) introduced S. 1949 and H.R. 3444, the School Food Modernization Act; this act would require the Secretary of Agriculture to make loan guarantees and grants to finance specific improvements to school lunch facilities and to train school foodservice personnel. Learn More
USDA Seeks Comment on Information Collection for School Meal Cost Study
In a Federal Register notice published last week, USDA announced it is seeking comment on an information collection for the School Nutrition and Meal Cost Study-II (SNMCS-II). Learn More
SNA Statement on Federal Government Shutdown
Yesterday, SNA issued a press release calling for an end to the federal government shutdown before any lapse in school meal funding occurs.
“School meal programs operate on extremely tight budgets, and many lack reserve funds to continue serving students should federal funding lapse,” said SNA President Gay Anderson, SNS. “School districts - especially those serving America’s neediest students - are simply not equipped to cover meal expenses without federal support. Congress and President Trump must ensure students continue to receive the nutrition they need to succeed in school. SNA urges swift action to resolve the ongoing government shutdown.”
In an FNS memo and via Twitter, USDA has confirmed that states were provided adequate funds to support school meal programs through the month of March. SNA continues to monitor developments and maintain constant communication with USDA and Members of Congress regarding the need to ensure school meal programs remain fully funded.
SNA will provide further updates as information becomes available.
#NSBW19: Tools, Social Media, Contest and More!
The race is on—National School Breakfast Week is just six weeks away! But don’t worry, SNA has you covered—we’re your one-stop pit shop for resources and materials to help plan your celebration and start getting students and parents revved up for #NSBW19! This year’s “Start Your Engines artwork and logos, made available with support by Kellogg's, features eight Breakfast Racers and characters, making for an exciting lineup! School districts that want to download the artwork, simply need to fill out the short online form.
You’ll also want to download the 16-page NSBW Toolkit which is chock full of resources and ideas for a successful campaign, including sample social media posts. Speaking of social media, make sure to check out our social media tips sheet, #NSBW19 Facebook cover image, Instagram meme and infographic from the Marketing and PR Resources web page to share on your district’s social media channels.
Eye-catching NSBW activity sheets and coloring pages are a quick and easy way to engage students—have them work on the activities with their classmates and display their racing artwork in the cafeteria. You’ll find many more ideas on how to spark creativity in the November issue of School Nutrition, with bonus web content featuring photography tips and racing terminology that will get your engines humming.
Don’t forget to purchase your Start Your Engines Emporium shop gear early before popular items sell out and to ensure a timely delivery. To place an order, call 1-800-728-0728 between the hours of 8:00 am and 6:00 pm EST Monday through Friday, or fax your order to 443-964-8206. Download the Emporium catalog to view all the merchandise available and an order form.
Make sure you enter the #NSBW19 Contest for your chance to win a $50 SNA Emporium Shop gift certificate—we want to hear about your celebration plans! The deadline is February 4, just two weeks away, so enter today! Contest winners and other members who participate may have their celebrations shared in School Nutrition magazine and on SNA’s social media channels.
SNA 2019-20 National Committee Openings
There is still time! If you're interested in serving on a SNA Committee or Council, it’s not too late to submit your interest form! But hurry, the January 25th deadline is fast approaching!
Serving on a SNA committee/council offers exciting opportunities to grow professionally, develop new skills, work on issues from a national perspective and make a contribution to the school nutrition profession!
There are 28 open committee positions for 2019-20. SNA has five committees to which members are appointed to serve by the Board of Directors:
There are also opportunities for industry representatives on the following committees for 2019-20:
SNA needs members who want to play an active role in assisting SNA accomplish its Strategic Plan goals. Each committee is charged by the Board of Directors to complete work based on the Association’s Strategic Plan.
Please return the Committee/Council Interest Form by January 25, 2019.
If you have any questions, please contact Deborah Van Balen, Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer, at email@example.com, or (800) 877-8822, ext. 114
Child Nutrition Programs During the Federal Government Shutdown
In a press release, USDA provided updates on the impact of the partial government shutdown, which began on December 22, 2018, on Child Nutrition programs. This includes the National School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program, the Child and Adult Care Feeding Program, Summer Food Service and the Special Milk Program.
According to USDA, these programs will continue operations into February, as meal providers are paid on a reimbursement basis 30 days after the end of the service month. The FNS Contingency Plan for Shutdown Due to a Lapse in Appropriations states, “FNS currently receives a series of appropriations for activities within the Child Nutrition programs and for the Senior Farmers Market program directly from authorizing statute without need of annual appropriation action. These programs and activities will continue during a lapse in annual appropriations.”
The USDA website will not be updated or maintained while the lapse in federal funding continues, and we encourage members to use their State agency and SNA as a resource during this time.
SNA will continue to provide information as it becomes available.