x
Voice Recognition
Search

News

9 states mull universal school meal programs

Oct. 26, 2022

Nine states, including Colorado, are considering measures that would provide free school meals to all students regardless of family income. Maine and California already have enacted permanent statewide universal school meal programs, while Massachusetts, Nevada and Vermont have extended temporary free school lunches through this school year.
Full Story: National Public Radio (10/26) 

More +

SNA debuts new Advocacy Toolkit

Oct. 21, 2022

A just-released Advocacy Toolkit is now available on the SNA website! Check out your one-stop guide containing all the information you need to be an effective advocate for school nutrition programs. In this PDF resource, you will find background information on the inner workings of Congress, links to engaging quick tutorial videos and step-by-step guidance on planning and implementing effective advocacy strategies. Get the Toolkit.




More +

Support Florida SNA Members After Hurricane Ian's

Oct. 19, 2022

The Florida School Nutrition Association is collecting funds for these school nutrition professionals in Charlotte, Lee, DeSoto and Hardee Counties, all of which were hit hard by Hurricane Ian. Consider making a providing a monetary donation, which will be sent directly to the school nutrition directors, who will distribute 100% of the funds directly to their staff for their personal needs. Donate Now


More +

Pilot in 8 states to expand free school meal access

Oct. 19, 2022

Eight states are part of a federal pilot program that automatically enrolls children who receive Medical Assistance in the free school meal program. Minnesota, one of the states participating in the pilot, expects about 90,000 students will receive free meals this year through the program.


More +

Join SNA and No Kid Hungry tomorrow to discuss supply chain challenges and solutions

Oct. 18, 2022

Back by popular demand from ANC! Join No Kid Hungry and school nutrition experts tomorrow -- Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022, at 1:30 p.m. ET -- for a webinar that will build upon the big-picture discussion of the supply chain challenges. We will be sharing findings and solutions from the 20 listening sessions conducted with operators, industry, distributors and state agency representatives across the country. As we continue to navigate the challenges ahead, stay tuned for even more tid-"bites" from school nutrition stakeholders. Join the conversation by sharing your biggest challenges and best practices! Learn more and register.


More +

Colo. voters to decide on universal school meals

Oct. 18, 2022

Colorado residents will vote next month on whether they want the state to provide all students with free school meals regardless of families' income level. Proposition FF would fund the approximately $100 million cost of a universal school meal program by limiting the amount that people earning more than $300,000 a year can deduct from their state taxes.
More +

USDA Publishes Revised Whole Grain Resource

Oct. 12, 2022

USDA has published the revised Whole Grain Resource for the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. This resource includes the final rule establishing transitional standards for the Child Nutrition Program requirements related to milk, whole grains and sodium. Download Now
More +

White House Announces Equipment Grant Funding

Oct. 12, 2022

The Biden-Harris Administration announced yesterday its plans to provide an additional $50 million in school nutrition equipment grant funding, on top of the $30 million in equipment grants offered earlier this year. According to a?USDA press release, school meal programs can utilize the funds to purchase upgraded equipment to support efforts to serve healthier meals, implement scratch cooking, establish or expand school breakfast, store fresh food and improve food safety.


More +

SNA Debuts New Advocacy Toolkit

Oct. 12, 2022

A just-released Advocacy Toolkit is now available on the SNA website! Check out your one-stop guide containing all the information you need to be an effective advocate for school nutrition programs. In this PDF resource, you will find background information on the inner workings of Congress, links to engaging quick tutorial videos and step-by-step guidance on planning and implementing effective advocacy strategies. Get the Toolkit

More +

Tomorrow: USDA, SNA to Co-Host NSLW Celebration

Oct. 12, 2022

Don't miss a National School Lunch Week (NSLW) celebration featuring USDA Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Deputy Undersecretary Stacy Dean and Food and Nutrition Service Administrator Cindy Long. USDA leadership will join SNA in celebration of school foodservice professionals and share updates on the latest USDA efforts to support schools. The celebration will also feature guest speakers sharing stories on utilizing USDA Supply Chain Assistance Funds and other USDA programs, moderated by SNA President Lori Adkins, MS, CHE, SNS. Register Now


More +

At last week’s White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health, the Biden-Harris Administration released its National Strategy committing to advance “free healthy school meals for all” and pledging to take a major first step by working to expa

Oct. 11, 2022

SNA members are invited to a live, virtual celebration of school nutrition professionals and National School Lunch Week (NSLW) with Deputy Under Secretary Stacy Dean, Administrator Cindy Long and SNA President Lori Adkins, MS, CHE, SNS, from 2 to 3 p.m. ET Thursday, Oct. 13. Despite the many challenges across the past two years, school nutrition professionals have gone above and beyond to ensure that students have access to delicious and nutritious meals. Please join USDA and SNA as we show our gratitude. Learn more.


More +

A Look at Last Week’s White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health

Oct. 5, 2022

At last week’s White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health, the Biden-Harris Administration released its National Strategy committing to advance “free healthy school meals for all” and pledging to take a major first step by working to expand the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) and make free school meals available to 9 million more children. SNA President Lori Adkins and SNA CEO Patricia Montague participated in the conference and discussed the positive impact of free school meals for all. Read More


More +

SNA, No Kid Hungry Seek Listening Session Volunteers

Oct. 5, 2022

Looking for a way to share ideas, challenges and best practices with your peers? If so, SNA and No Kid Hungry are seeking school nutrition professionals to take part in Listening Sessions to assess the continued impacts of the supply chain disruptions on your nutrition programs and industry relations. Your invaluable guidance will provide additional insight on new and presenting supply chain challenges and guide resource creation. Get the Details


More +

A Look at Last Week’s White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health

Oct. 5, 2022

At last week’s White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health, the Biden-Harris Administration released its National Strategy committing to advance “free healthy school meals for all” and pledging to take a major first step by working to expand the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) and make free school meals available to 9 million more children. SNA President Lori Adkins and SNA CEO Patricia Montague participated in the conference and discussed the positive impact of free school meals for all. Read More


More +

SNA Debuts New Supply Chain Video

Oct. 5, 2022

Communicating supply chain obstacles and staffing shortages to students, parents and the community can be challenging for school nutrition professionals. SNA’s newest animated video, available in both English and Spanish, explains the realities of supply chain issues and labor shortages in easy-to-understand language. We encourage you to share the videos on district websites, on social media channels and in digital communications. Learn More


More +

USDA Announces Additional Supply Chain Assistance Funds

Sept. 28, 2022

USDA announced an additional allocation of $471.5 million in Supply Chain Assistance (SCA) Funds to address the underlying conditions that continue to cause supply chain disruptions and other economic uncertainties. These funds will strengthen local school districts’ ability to purchase food for school meals by offering resources needed to address supply chain challenges directly to schools and school districts. Learn More

More +

FNS Launches $100 million Healthy Meals Incentives Initiative

Sept. 28, 2022

USDA’s FNS launched the first phase of its $100 million Healthy Meals Incentives Initiative aimed at improving the nutritional quality of school meals through food systems transformation, school food authority recognition, technical assistance and grants. Starting school year 2023-24, FNS will provide recognition awards and share best practices of SFAs that have made significant improvements to the nutritional quality of their meals. Learn More


More +

SNA, No Kid Hungry Seek Listening Session Volunteers

Sept. 28, 2022

Looking for a way to share ideas, challenges and best practices with your peers? If so, SNA and No Kid Hungry are seeking school nutrition professionals to take part in Listening Sessions to assess the continued impacts of the supply chain disruptions on your nutrition programs and industry relations. Your invaluable guidance will provide additional insight on new and presenting supply chain challenges and guide resource creation. Get the Details


More +

SNA Commends White House School Meals Pledge

Sept. 28, 2022

SNA Commends White House School Meals Pledge
 SNA praised the Biden Administration’s bold commitment to advance “free healthy school meals for all.” Released yesterday, The National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition and Health pledges to take a major first step by working to expand the Community Eligibility Provision, making free school meals available to 9 million more children. Read More
More +

Recruiting video: School nutrition professionals bring more to the table

Sept. 27, 2022

We know you're still struggling with staffing challenges. Let potential new hires know how meaningful the work school nutrition professionals do can be with our recently developed video, "School Nutrition Professionals Bring More to the Table." Embed it on your website, link to it on social media, include it in your newsletters and show it at recruiting events! Get the video.

More +

White House to hold summit on hunger, nutrition

Sept. 23, 2022

Nutrition educators and experts will join anti-hunger advocates, health care professionals, lawmakers, government officials and members of the public Wednesday at a White House summit on hunger. Panel discussions will cover food as medicine, and childhood nutrition and equity, among other topics, and working groups will "collaborate and identify actions they will take individually and collectively to help achieve the goal of ending and reducing diet-related diseases," according to the White House.
Full Story: National Public Radio (9/23) 


More +

Colo. district maintains free lunch program

Sept. 22, 2022

Greeley-Evans School District 6 is the only school district in Colorado that still provides universal lunch for students, made possible by the school board funding the roughly $2 million program. Other educators in the state are looking for ways to cover lunches and Colorado voters will have a chance to vote on the Healthy Meals For All Public School Students program in November.
 Full Story: Rocky Mountain PBS (Denver) (9/19) 

More +

Ohio education leaders consider vote on meal expansion

Sept. 22, 2022

The Ohio State School Board of Education is weighing a vote on two resolutions impacting universal meal programs for students. One resolution calls for the expansion of free meal programs to all Ohio students while the other opposes proposed USDA anti-discrimination policies that ensure school districts receiving federal funds do not discriminate against students based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
Full Story: WOSU-FM (Columbus, Ohio) (9/20) 
More +

Improve your menu game with tomorrow's SNA webinar

Sept. 20, 2022

National School Lunch Week (NSLW) is nearly here -- join a panel of school nutrition chefs and professionals to hear their best practices for developing school menus and recipes at 3 p.m. ET tomorrow, Wednesday, Sept. 21. During "Best Practices for Developing Easy-to-Execute Nutritious and Delicious Menus," speakers Chef Jason Hull, Director of Culinary Farm, Culinary Trainer Rebecca Polson, CC, SNS, and Stefanie Dove of Kellogg's will share insights, tips and tricks they use to provide great meals to students while dealing with labor and supply shortages. Register now.


More +

Universal school lunch bill proposed in Pa.

Sept. 19, 2022

Pennsylvania state Rep. Emily Kinkead is introducing a bill that will extend free school lunches beyond those that meet family income requirements. "Given the ongoing economic challenges facing Pennsylvania families, now is the time to provide free school meals to all students who are not already covered through the federal free and reduced-price-meal and Community Eligibility Provision programs," said Kinkead.
Full Story: Times Observer (Warren, Pa.) (9/19)  


More +

Lawmakers advocate to extend universal school meals

Sept. 19, 2022

Over 50 House of Representative members have signed on to support the extension of federal pandemic-era school meal waivers for the 2022-23 school year. New York's Rep. Joseph Morelle has co-sponsored The Universal School Meals Program Act and Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids Act, which proposes to permanently provide free meals to all children regardless of their family's income level, expand summer food service, increase the reimbursement rate for lunch and offer grants to purchase kitchen equipment.
More +

Lawmakers advocate to extend universal school meals

Sept. 19, 2022

Over 50 House of Representative members have signed on to support the extension of federal pandemic-era school meal waivers for the 2022-23 school year. New York's Rep. Joseph Morelle has co-sponsored The Universal School Meals Program Act and Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids Act, which proposes to permanently provide free meals to all children regardless of their family's income level, expand summer food service, increase the reimbursement rate for lunch and offer grants to purchase kitchen equipment.

More +

USDA allocates close to $2B for school meals, food banks

Sept. 15, 2022

To help mitigate the impact of supply chain issues and high food costs, the USDA announced this week it is providing almost $2 billion to help school meal programs and food banks ensure children and families have access to foods grown domestically. About $500 million will be allocated to schools nationwide for their lunch and breakfast programs, about $1 billion is targeted toward food for emergency food providers, and approximately $500 million will go to expand the Local Food Purchase Assistance cooperative agreement program.
Full Story: The Packer (Lenexa, Kan.) (9/14),  The Hill (9/14)  
More +

USDA Releases National Food Insecurity Report

Sept. 14, 2022

USDA monitors the severity of food insecurity in U.S. households through an annual, nationally representative survey. The most recent report found that in 2021, 89.8% of U.S. households were food secure. The remaining 10.2% (13.5 million households) were food insecure. Read the Report


More +

Secretary Vilsack Sends Letter to State Governors

Sept. 19, 2022

USDA no longer has the ability under law to allow school meals to be served free of charge to all families. Secretary Tom Vilsack encouraged governors to prioritize support for the following efforts:
  • Leverage state and local resources to support school meals
  • Seek other federal funds to support Child Nutrition Programs
  • Engage with school districts to better support the school foodservice workforce
  • Maximize the use of the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) and direct certification.
 
Secretary Vilsack is committed to providing operational flexibilities and some additional funding to ease the transition back to standard operations. More Information
More +

Webinar: Develop Nutritious and Delicious Menus Join SNA at 3 p.m. Wednesday, September 21

Sept. 14, 2022

Join SNA at 3 p.m. Wednesday, September 21, for the webinar, "Best Practices for Developing Easy-to-Execute Nutritious and Delicious Menus." Supported by Kellogg's, the webinar will feature school nutrition chefs and professionals as they review how they develop school menus and recipes, as well as tips and tricks the chefs have used to still provide great meals to students while dealing with labor and supply shortages. Register Now
More +

Pa. to launch universal school breakfast program

Sept. 12, 2022

Beginning Oct. 1, all students across Pennsylvania will have access to free school breakfasts for the remainder of the school year, Gov. Tom Wolf announced. The meals will be available at public, private and charter schools that are part of the National School Lunch Program.
More +

Sign the Petition: School Meals at No Charge

Sept. 7, 2022

Over 13,500 people have signed SNA’s petition urging President Biden and the U.S. Congress to provide meals to all students at no charge. Help us become one of the “top signed” petitions by getting to 15,000 (and don't forget to share the link with your friends!) Sign Now

More +

Time Is Running Out: Urge Congress to Pass CNR!

Sept. 7, 2022

Congress will reconvene this month to take up legislation in a last push as we reach the final months of the 2022 Congressional year. Here's how you can help:
  • Write in today! 
  • Use SNA’s sample script to make a call
  • Share these links with your friends and colleagues to make sure our voices are heard! 
More +

Minn. to auto-enroll 200K students for free lunch

August 26, 2022

Minnesota was approved by the USDA to automatically enroll more than 200,000 students, 90,000 of whom are not currently enrolled, who are covered by Medicaid for free school meals under a pilot program for the 2022-23 school year. Cheryl Pick, the president of the Minnesota School Nutrition Association and Foley Public Schools' child nutrition services director, called the program a "game changer" for school districts.
 Full Story: K-12 Dive (8/24) 


More +

Minn. schools to access USDA's local food funds

August 25, 2022

Minnesota has officially signed on to the USDA's new Local Food for Schools Cooperative Agreement Program and will receive nearly $3.5 million to foster purchases of local food for school nutrition programs. The money will be distributed to schools through a farm-to-school grant program that encourages sourcing food through small local farms and businesses.
 Full Story: WJON-AM (St. Cloud, Minn.) (8/23) 
More +

Report urges US to adopt universal school meals

Sept. 2, 2022

The US should return to offering universally free school meals, according to guidance released in a report by the Task Force on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health. "Congress should provide free nutritious meals (lunch, breakfast, summer, afterschool meals) for all children in the United States, removing the income test and ensuring all children receive free meals without stigma or burdensome paperwork," the report states.
 Full Story: K-12 Dive (9/2) 


More +

Start celebrating with the SN 2022-23 promotion calendar

Sept. 2, 2022

Generate an atmosphere of excitement in the cafeteria and cultivate a little fun with the 2022-23 Promotion Calendar, brought to you by School Nutrition (SN) magazine and supported by Conagra Foodservice. The Calendar is an exclusive SNA member benefit and is free to download. Learn more.
More +

The Role of Vertical Farming in Efficient and Sustainable Food Systesm

Sept. 1, 2022

Indoor farming systems allow for fruit and vegetable growers to ensure robust crop production in controlled environments. Join SmartBrief and a panel of industry experts to explore how vertical farming tools can help the industry build efficient and sustainable food systems.
More +

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow Says Thank You

August 24, 2022

Debbie Stabenow, Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, sent a letter to SNA Immediate Past President Beth Wallace and all SNA advocates recognizing the untiring dedication to speaking up for school meals. “Your advocacy for the Support Kids Not Red Tape Act and the Keep Kids Fed Act was critical in gaining the overwhelming bipartisan support we needed to get a bill signed into law by the President on June 25, 2022,” Stabenow wrote. “It certainly was not easy! But working together on behalf of kids across the country, we were able to get something meaningful done.” Read More
More +

Raise Your Voice: Ask Congress to Pass 2022 CNR

August 24, 2022

This year presents a unique opportunity to maximize our advocacy as Congress picks up discussions on Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR) and legislators campaign for November’s mid-term election. We encourage you to bolster our ongoing advocacy efforts by writing and calling your legislators through SNA’s Action Network
More +

Back to School Helpful Information for Training from SNA

August 27, 2022

What’s new: Read a letter full of back-to-school tips for SNA members from Lena Wilson, MS, RDN, SNS, chair of the SNA State Agency Advisory Council (SAAC), and Assistant Commissioner of Food and Nutrition for the Texas Department of Agriculture. 
Why it matters: Over the last few years, school nutrition programs have seen fluctuating program requirements and challenging economic circumstances—we can all use some pointers to make the most of the new school year. 
In her letter, Wilson, on behalf of the 2022-23 SNA SAAC, thanks you all for your dedication and rounds up some resources to help you: 
  • Maximize your USDA Foods entitlement;
  • Download talking points for parents and stakeholders; and
Summarize changes to program regulations.
More +

CDC director looks to revamp agency's operations

August 18, 2022

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said the agency made mistakes throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and will overhaul its operations to address shortcomings such as slow responses and confusing communication. "My goal is a new, public health, action-oriented culture at CDC that emphasizes accountability, collaboration, communication and timeliness," Walensky said.
 Full Story: The Hill (8/17),  The New York Times (8/17)  


More +

Sign The Petition: School Meals At No Charge

August 17, 2022

Over 9,700 people have signed SNA’s petition urging President Biden and the U.S. Congress to provide meals to all students at no charge. Help us get to 10,000! In SY2022-23, eligible families must apply to receive reduced-price or free meals, leaving millions of students at risk and forcing schools to take on skyrocketing unpaid meal debt that must be paid out of education funds. The only solution to ensure, safe, healthy and affordable school meals for every school student is for Congress to pass legislation that will provide them for all students free of charge–permanently. 
 
Sign the SNA petition for school meals free of charge. Then share the link with your friends!
More +

"Color Your Lunch Tray!"

August 17, 2022

Help students make healthy meal decisions this year and download the USDA Team Nutrition poster, "Color Your Lunch Tray!" Designed to educate students who are selecting a reimbursable lunch, it was created under the Offer vs. Serve (OVS), a provision at the National School Lunch Program. You can find OVS resources and other helpful materials on the USDA OVS website.
More +

LEAD to Succeed™ Communication for Impact Series

August 16, 2022

Just in time for your back-to-school training, you can now access the complete LEAD to Succeed™ Communication for Impact series in the SNA Training Zone. More than 12 hours of practical, real-world communications training developed specifically for school nutrition professionals like you. With four self-paced modules totaling 12 hours and 45 minutes of communications training, this is a great way to earn CEUs/CDRs at no cost. Get started.
More +

California, Maine first to fund free school meals statewide

August 15, 2022

California's Universal Meals Program is the first in the country to provide free breakfast and lunch each school day to any public-school student statewide regardless of whether they meet the federal qualifications for free or reduced-price meals. A similar program was approved for schools in Maine and will begin this school year.
 Full Story: USA Today/The Associated Press (8/12),  Good Morning America (8/12) 
More +

Schools continue to report higher food prices

August 15, 2022

Federal waivers that allow free school meals for all students nationwide expire at the beginning of the school year, as school nutrition professionals say inflation has driven up the price of food by as much as triple-digit percentages, according to a report from the School Nutrition Association. "School districts have to balance the amount of money we bring in as revenue for paid meals and federal reimbursements against those higher costs that we're incurring," said Lori Adkins, president of SNA and child nutrition consultant for Oakland Schools in Michigan.
 Full Story: The Wall Street Journal (8/14) 
More +

FAME award nominations now open

August 12, 2022

We love to celebrate school nutrition superstars all year long. There's an opportunity to nominate your favorite SN star for a Foodservice Achievement Management Excellence (FAME) Award, supported by Basic American Foods. Learn more.
More +

Plan your #NSLW celebration

August 11, 2022

Feeling groovy? From Oct. 10 to 14, 2022, America's school cafeterias will bloom with flower power and fill with outta' sight menu items with this year's NSLW theme, "Peace, Love & School Lunch!" SNA is continuing to add #NSLW22 marketing resources to its website, including official artwork, social media graphics and more. Start planning your celebration. Get the #NSLW22 resources.
More +

CHRISTIAN SCHOOL BEATS BIDEN ADMIN

August 10, 2022

Grant Park Christian Academy in Tampa, Florida, will continue to receive federal lunch funding despite rejecting the Biden administration’s expansion of Title IX to include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.” The news comes after the school filed suit against the federal government and Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried. Much was at stake in the case, which could have ended “free meals for 56 low-income students attending the school,” the Daily Wire reported.  READ
More +

Wis. children advocates promote universal school meals

August 5, 2022

In Wisconsin, about 1 in 5 children experience food insecurity, and as federal school meal waivers are set to expire, some advocates are encouraging a continuation of free meal programs because food, like textbooks, should be available to all K-12 students for free. "[Wisconsin children] are more likely to live in food insecure households than kids nationwide," said Judi Bartfeld, coordinator of the Wisconsin Food Security Project at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, adding, "School meals are obviously just one piece of the puzzle -- but they are clearly an area in which more can be done."
More +

USDA responds to SNA comment letter

August 5, 2022

The USDA provided a response to SNA's comment letter providing recommendations for the Food Program Reporting System (FPRS). SNA's comments included suggestions for reducing burden hours, consolidation and efficiency. Interested in receiving a weekly update on the latest federal and state policy news on school nutrition? Subscribe to SNA's Tuesday Morning e-newsletter.
More +

Start the School Year with New Team Nutrition Resources

July 10, 2022

The USDA’s Team Nutrition has announced new resources and trainings, including:
  • Seventh- and eighth-grade additions to Fueling My Healthy Life middle school nutrition education lessons. 
  • Crediting Tip Sheet for Meats/Meat Alternates in the Child Nutrition Programs highlights the basics of crediting for the meats/meat alternates meal component.? 
  • Meal Talk: Local School Wellness Policies Webinar on Wednesday, August 17, at 3 p.m. EST. Team Nutrition staff and guest speakers from South Carolina’s Local Wellness Policy State Technical Assistance Team and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will share how to energize, strengthen and assess local school wellness policies. Register
More +

CDC expected to ease school quarantine guidance

July 10, 2022

New guidance from the CDC could help students stay in the classroom this year after missing an average of 15 days between September and January because of coronavirus-related quarantines. The CDC currently recommends that students not up-to-date on vaccinations stay home from school for five days after close contact with a person who tested positive, but forthcoming guidance is expected to allow unvaccinated students to attend school if they wear a mask and continue to test negative.
Full Story: The 74 (8/8) 
More +

28 groups ask USDA to offer soy milk in schools

July 10, 2022

Twenty-eight civil rights and health care organizations are asking the USDA to offer soy milk as an official substitute for dairy milk in the National School Lunch Program, saying a significant number of Black, Latino, Asian and Indigenous people are lactose intolerant. Right now, a written request from a parent, guardian or doctor must be provided to make the substitution, which the groups say is unreasonable because the problem is ubiquitous and could be easily remedied.
 Full Story: The Hill (8/9) 
More +

Achieve your potential with School Nutrition magazine

July 9, 2022

The latest issue, now available online, celebrates the potential of each and every SNA member, as well as introduces the Association's new 2022-23 president, Lori Adkins, MS, CHE, SNS. Read the August/September 2022 issue.
More +

Calif. schools prepare for universal meal program

July 9, 2022

The California Universal Meals program will be implemented this school year and provide universal access to free meals for all students in the state, regardless of family income. Officials also say students' previous meal debt has been forgiven.
Full Story: KXTV-TV (Sacramento, Calif.) (8/8) 
More +

Start celebrating with the SN 2022-23 promotion calendar

July 8, 2022

Generate an atmosphere of excitement in the cafeteria and cultivate a little fun with the 2022-23 Promotion Calendar, brought to you by School Nutrition (SN) magazine and supported by Conagra Foodservice. The Calendar is an exclusive SNA member benefit and is free to download. Learn more.
More +

Check out SNA's Food Allergy Resource Center

July 8, 2022

Did you know that you can submit your food allergy questions to SNA for the answers you need? Visit "Ask the Allergy Expert," a feature supported by experts in food allergy reactions, treatment and research. Learn more at SNA's Food Allergy Resource Center, which is generously supported by the National Peanut Board.
More +

School meal programs prepare to return to previous rules

July 8, 2022

The federal free school meals program, which automatically qualified every student to get access to free food for the last two years, has ended following the expiration of federal waivers enacted at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. School nutrition programs are preparing for the return of pre-pandemic free and reduced-price meal rules during the 2022-23 school year as inflation, supply chain disruptions and staffing challenges continue to affect districts nationwide.
 Full Story: WBUR-FM (Boston) (7/7)  
More +

Planning Ahead Is Critical to Feeding Kids in SY2022-23

July 7, 2022

School meal operators are likely to face more extraordinary product delays, shortages and substitutions for food, paper goods, other supplies, kitchen equipment, vehicles and technology components well into 2023. Districts simply cannot afford to manage their school meal procurement process the same ways they did in the “before” times and expect to get what they need in a timely manner.
 
At the request of SNA leadership, the Association’s Industry Advisory Council members were asked to compile top tips for school nutrition operators and other school purchasing officials that will help them address and mitigate challenges along different links in the supply chain and provide for more reliable meal service to students in SY2022-23. But success will hinge on careful planning, patience and a pragmatic mindset about flexibility.
 
You can find these tips compiled on a single-page downloadable flyer, SY2022-23 Purchasing & Menu Tips for School Nutrition Programswhich you can share with your school nutrition team members, as well as other district officials charged with procurement responsibilities. Above all, remember that everyone is facing similar supply chain issues, including the vendor partners who share your mission to feed kids at school. 
 
SNA will be refreshing its online Supply Chain/Back to School Resource Center with updated tools and materials. Be sure to visit www.schoolnutrition.org/back-to-school regularly.

More +

Education needed on introducing peanuts to at-risk kids

July 5, 2022

More education is needed for parents and clinicians on when to introduce peanuts to children at high risk of peanut allergy, according to a study published in the journal Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Guidelines issued in 2015 and amended in 2017 advise introducing peanuts to infants with severe eczema or egg allergy at ages 4 to 6 months and to those with mild to moderate eczema at age 6 months, but 62% of pediatric residents and pediatricians didn't begin speaking to parents about peanut allergy until after children were six months of age, and only 15% of parents felt comfortable introducing peanuts at the recommended age, according to the findings.
Full Story: Healio (free registration) (6/29) 
More +

Read SN's magazine June/July issue and discover why you are not alone

July 1, 2022

If you're feeling stressed about SY2022-23, SN's feature, "You are Not Alone," is the article you've been waiting for. Learn what SNA is doing to support its members as you prepare for the coming school year. Read the June/July issue of SN today for this feature and much more content to inform, instruct and inspire!
More +

USDA allocates $943M to help schools buy local foods

July 1, 2022

To help address high food costs and supply chain issues facing school nutrition programs, the USDA is giving schools $943 million -- in addition to assistance recently approved through the Keep Kids Fed Act -- to purchase domestically grown foods. Each state will distribute the money, which will come through the USDA's Commodity Credit Corp.
 Full Story: The Packer (Lenexa, Kan.) (6/30) 
More +

SNA disappointed by loss of free meals in Keep Kids Fed Act

June 29, 2022

The School Nutrition Association is disappointed that a key provision that eliminates "the reduced-price meal co-pay for eligible families, struggling with rising food and gas costs" was removed from the Keep Kids Fed Act, SNA President Beth Wallace said in a statement, adding that the loss of free meals for all students puts these children at risk for hunger. Sherri Parks, nutrition director for Surry County Schools in North Carolina, said she also was disappointed by the version of the bill that passed, calling it a "Band-Aid" solution.
Full Story: WXII-TV (Winston-Salem, N.C.) (6/28) 


More +

Report: Climate, health concerns linked to food choices

June 29, 2022

Climate change and health concerns are top of mind for consumers when they're making food choices, according to the 2022 Plant-Forward Opportunity report Datassential released at the Culinary Institute of America's 10th annual Menus of Change conference. Twenty-one percent of survey respondents reported plans to trim more meat from their diets, 57% aim to add more fruits and vegetables, and 39% said they're choosing plant-based options for digestive health.
 Full Story: SmartBrief/Food(6/27) 
More +

School meal changes could be a hardship for families

June 29, 2022

The USDA reports higher participation in school meals under federal meal waivers -- including an eight-times larger participation in summer meal programs during 2020, compared with the previous year. While Congress passed a measure to extend some provisions, families and advocates say the loss of free meals for all students regardless of income will create a hardship for many parents as inflation has driven up costs of food and fuel, among other things.
 Full Story: The Associated Press (6/27)  
More +

Biden signs bill to extend school meal waivers

June 27, 2022

President Joe Biden has signed the $3 billion Keep Kids Fed Act that extends the free school meal program through summer, plus allows school nutrition programs to be reimbursed at a higher rate and have flexible guidelines to help address ongoing supply chain and staffing issues. However, in the fall, eligible families must apply to receive free or reduced-price meals. While the School Nutrition Association will continue to advocate for universal school meals, the passage of this bill is still appreciated, because "[t]hese funds are really a lifeline for school meal programs all over the country," said Diane Pratt-Heavner, director of media relations for SNA.
 Full Story: The Washington Post (tiered subscription model)(6/24),  CNN (6/24) 
More +

School nutrition programs may face lower reimbursements

June 25, 2022

As schools grapple with higher food prices, the USDA is scheduled to reduce school lunch reimbursements on July 1 from the higher pandemic rate of $4.56 to $3.75 if legislation is not passed to maintain federal meal waivers. "Our programs are in peril, we need help," said Adam Russo, director of food and nutrition services for Prince William County Public Schools in Virginia. "With the waivers ending for next school year, we'll potentially be at a $5 to $10 million deficit."
 Full Story: Spectrum News/NY1 (6/21)  
More +

Keep Kids Fed Act would extend school meal flexibility

June 25, 2022

A bipartisan group of four US senators has introduced legislation, the Keep Kids Fed Act, that would extend some federal school meal waivers set to expire June 30, allowing for flexibilities such as grab-and-go and delivery distribution models through the summer, supply chain flexibility and some additional reimbursements through the upcoming school year. "With crucial federal waivers on the verge of expiring, this agreement offers school meal programs a lifeline to help build back toward normal operations," said Beth Wallace, president of the School Nutrition Association.
 Full Story: U.S. News & World Report(6/21),  Roll Call (6/22) 
More +

SNA Urges Passage of School Meals Agreement

June 23, 2022

The School Nutrition Association (SNA) praised a new agreement to provide critical support to school meal programs prior to the  expiration of federal pandemic waivers. Set to expire June 30, the waivers have ensured students can access healthy school meals despite persistent supply chain, food cost and labor burdens. SNA urges Congress to swiftly pass The Keep Kids Fed Act of 2022.
 
Hot Topic: School Meal Waivers
The end of school meal waivers continues to be a hot topic in the news. SNA has put together a round-up of a few articles regarding this topic. These are a great resource to share on your own social media channels to inform your community about the challenges school meal operations will face during SY2022-23.Read More
 
FY2023 House Agriculture Appropriations Bill 
The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies passed, on a voice vote, a draft of its spending bill for fiscal year 2023. 
More +

Supply chain issues and school meals

June 23, 2022

SNA understands that as you continue to experience supply chain issues, you will have to answer questions from parents, administrators, and other stakeholders. Share this video to help communicate these challenges going into summer and the next school year, so they better understand the current landscape of school meals. Need a Spanish version? Go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRlG3cFzNEQ&t=2s.

More +

Biden Administration Explores $1 Billion Funding Option

June 17, 2022

As the possible end of pandemic-related waivers looms, the Biden administration is considering options of using about $1 billion from USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) for school meal program commodity purchases.  
More +

Secretary of Agriculture Announces New framework to Transform the Food System

June 17, 2022

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced USDA’s new framework intended to transform the food system to benefit consumers and producers, including initiatives to bolster school meal programsLearn More
More +

Push to renew federal school meal waivers persists

June 17, 2022

School nutrition advocates maintain efforts to promote the continuation of federal school meal waivers as an extension would be a "huge, enormous relief for families and school meal programs next fall," said Diane Pratt-Heavner, the School Nutrition Association's director of media relations. Jennifer Bove, director of food and nutrition services for East Hampton Public Schools in Connecticut, said, "It's been really devastating, and not just to the people that you would normally count as low income. There are so many people struggling that you wouldn't think would be."
 Full Story: Food & Environment Reporting Network (6/17) 

More +

Education leaders in N.C. push for meal waiver extension

June 17, 2022

North Carolina education officials are pushing their US senators to pass Senate Bill 3979, the "Support Kids not Red Tape Act of 2022," which would extend the free school meal waivers, set to expire June 30, through the 2022-23 school year. "Many households may have to choose between fueling their vehicles to go to work or providing meal money to students," said Lynn Harvey, director of the state Department of Public Instruction's school nutrition division. "We don't want families to face that hardship."
More +

SCHOOL BOARD GROUP COLLAPSING

June 16, 2022

The Nebraska Association of School Boards on Saturday confirmed that it has ended its membership in the National School Boards Association (NSBA). Nebraska’s is the 25th state school board group to leave the NSBA since the national organization worked with Biden administration officials to draft a letter to the Justice Department that suggested concerned parents who attend school board meetings should be investigated as potential domestic terrorists.  READ  

More +

USDA Publishes Request for Comment on LFS Cooperative Agreement Program

June 14, 2022

USDA is proposing an emergency information collection needed for the Agricultural Marketing Service to administer a new noncompetitive cooperative agreement program for the purchase of local foods for distribution to schools. Learn More
More +

USDA Announces Food System Transformation Framework

June 14, 2022

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced USDA’s new framework intended to transform the food system to benefit consumers and producers, including initiatives to bolster school meal programs.
More +

School nutrition programs left in limbo

June 3, 2022

The USDA's universal, free meal waivers for schoolchildren from all family incomes will expire on June 30 without governmental action. "We don't know what the reimbursement rate is going to be for next year, whether there's going to be free meals or not free meals, we don't know, which has made it very difficult for us to do our budgets," said Michael Gasper, director of nutrition services for Wisconsin's School District of Holmen and a member of the School Nutrition Association's Public Policy and Legislation Committee.
Full Story: Spectrum News (6/2),  Education Week (6/2) 
More +

NO FREE LUNCH

June 3, 2022

The Biden administration could pull federal funding for lunches to schools unless they allow biological males to enter girls' bathrooms and compete in girls' sports. "Joe Biden has threatened to take away children’s school lunch money to pursue his radical agenda,” said Gov. Kristi Noem, R-SD. “He’s targeting states like ours that make it clear biological men do NOT belong in girls’ bathrooms and sports. If you act on this, Joe, we’ll see you in court and we will win.”  READ
More +

N.J. lawmakers consider expanded school meal bill

June 2, 2022

Legislation being considered in New Jersey would provide breakfast and lunch free of charge to more students from low-income and middle-class families. The Working Class Families' Anti-Hunger Act proposes mandating schools with at least 5% of income-eligible students to serve free lunches and schools with at least 10% would additionally provide free breakfasts.
 Full Story: PhillyVoice (Philadelphia) (6/1)  
More +

Vt. funds statewide universal school meal program

June 1, 2022

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott has signed a bill to allocate funding for universal school meals during the 2022-23 school year, giving legislators time to find the money to continue the program beyond 2023. A surplus in the state's education fund created the statewide program as well as a farm-to-school initiative that enables schools to purchase locally grown products for meals.
More +

Check out New USDA Resources

June 1, 2022

USDA’s Team Nutrition has published a new Guide to Smart Snacks in School, with easy-to-understand tips on how to meet Smart Snacks standards and why they are important. Share this resource with school principals who oversee vending contracts, snack bar managers, fundraising chairs, and local school wellness policy coordinators. Team Nutrition also released new tip sheets on Crediting Fruits and Crediting Vegetables in Child Nutrition Programs! These simple easy-to-use references highlight the basics of crediting for these two meal components. Learn More
More +

BIDEN TO MANDATE LGBTQ SCHOOLING from school lunch programs to FAFSA and Pell grants.

June 1, 2022

The Biden administration is set to implement a rule change that will tie federal education funding to pro-LGBTQ policies and mandates. Under the new rule, Title IX protections against sexual discrimination will also apply to “discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.” The rule will make funding for a broad array of programs hinge on compliance with the LGBTQ agenda, from school lunch programs to FAFSA and Pell grants.  READ
More +

N.C. lawmakers consider universal school meals

June 1, 2022

The North Carolina General Assembly is considering legislation to fund a statewide program providing free meals to all students. Federal waivers enacted during the coronavirus pandemic to provide free meals are set to expire in June, but supporters say legislative action to create universal school meals in North Carolina would help families struggling to feed their children due to rising prices.
 Full Story: WECT-TV (Wilmington, N.C.) (5/30) 
More +

USDA Releases Studies and Evaluations on School Nutrition for FY2022

June 1, 2022

USDA Food and Nutrition Services released a forecast of studies, evaluations and projects it expects to pursue in Fiscal Year 2022. Find out what School Nutrition Program are included. Learn More
More +

Some states move toward universal school meals

June 1, 2022

As schools across the US prepare for federal school meal waivers to expire, some states, including California and Maine, have adopted universal school meal programs of their own or are planning to do so. Without the waivers or state programs, school nutrition professionals will face additional burdens as they work to provide access to meals for students, said Diane Pratt-Heavner, director of media relations for the School Nutrition Association.
Full Story: Education Week (5/31) 
More +

California to become first state with Universal Meals Program

June 1, 2022

California’s Universal Meals Program is designed to build on the foundations of the federal National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program. To learn more about California’s Universal Meal Program, visit the State’s Department of Education Website
More +

White House Announces Updates Ahead of White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health

June 1, 2022

The White House held its second stakeholder briefing to share updates ahead of the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition & Health scheduled for September. Learn More
More +

N.C. bill would support universal school meals

May 28, 2022

All students of public and charter schools in North Carolina would be eligible to receive free school lunches under a bill introduced in the state legislature this week. The Child Care Act would require the state to provide funding for students who opt to receive free school meals.
 Full Story: WECT-TV (Wilmington, N.C.) (5/26) 
More +

SNA webinar: Transitional standards for milk and more!

May 17, 2022

Register now for the latest SNA Webinar Wednesday (Wednesday, May 18, at 3 p.m. ET) and hear from USDA on the Final Rule: Transitional Standards for Milk, Whole Grains, and Sodium. This webinar is free and open to all school nutrition professionals, both members and non-members. Register.
More +

8 states awarded $7.1M in nutrition services grants

May 17, 2022

Schools in Virginia will receive nearly $1 million to support school nutrition services and its workforce through a grant from the USDA's Food and Nutrition Service. Virginia is one of eight states nationwide to receive the training grants totaling $7.1 million.
Full Story: WDBJ-TV (Roanoke, Va.) (5/17)  
More +

Md Senator Van Hollen

5/16/22

U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen, a Maryland Democrat, is recovering from a “minor stroke,” he said in a statement late Sunday night.
More +

FinFinal Rule: Transitional Standards for Milk, Whole Grains and Sodium

5/11/22

Check out SNA's Back-to-School Webinar Series
SNA is hosting a webinar with USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), on the "Final Rule: Transitional Standards for Milk, Whole Grains and Sodium." This final rule is providing schools and their industry partners with the certainty they need for the upcoming school years, while FNS works collaboratively on permanent standards that will build on the progress that has been made over the past decade. Join us on Wednesday, May 18, at 3 p.m. ET. Register Now
 
More +

ANC's early-bird deadline is May 20!

5/10/22

Take advantage of early registration discounts for SNA's Annual National Conference (ANC) -- as well as special savings when more than one person in the same membership category registers from their school district. Conference registration is also required to reserve a room within SNA's discounted hotel room block. Register now!
More +

Md. district considers policy on student meal debts

5/9/22

A Maryland school district is preparing to adopt a school meal policy that removes previous language that would require students with a certain amount of meal debt to be served an alternative meal. Under the draft policy, the school district's superintendent can help fund unpaid meal debts via community partnerships and donations.
Full Story: Bethesda Magazine (Md.) (5/9) 
More +

Md. district considers policy on student meal debts

5/9/22

A Maryland school district is preparing to adopt a school meal policy that removes previous language that would require students with a certain amount of meal debt to be served an alternative meal. Under the draft policy, the school district's superintendent can help fund unpaid meal debts via community partnerships and donations.
Full Story: Bethesda Magazine (Md.) (5/9) 
More +

Senator seeks to add meal waiver extension to COVID-19 bill

5/6/22

Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, wants to add an extension of pandemic waivers allowing free universal meals to all schoolchildren, which are set to expire at the end of June, to a COVID-19 funding bill. The move is expected to see Republican opposition, but Stabenow says it would affect the ability of 30 million children to gain access to healthful food in summer and school programs.
 Full Story: Roll Call (5/6)  
More +

School Nutrition Waivers Expiring Soon

5/4/22

School Nutrition Waivers Expiring Soon 
Without Congressional action, critical school nutrition program waivers are set to expire in less than two months. Have you contacted your legislators to request that they take action today and extend waiver authority to USDA? 
 
USDA Request for Comment
USDA has issued a comment request regarding the School Breakfast Program. States, school food authorities and schools are required to keep accounts and records to enable FNS to determine whether the program is in compliance.  
More +

FDA draft guidance sets lead limits for juices

5/2/22

An FDA draft guidance on lead levels in juices set the action level for lead in apple juice at 10 parts per billion, which is lower than for other juices because young children drink that type of juice most often. The agency said the proposed action level for apple juice could reduce lead exposures among children by 46%, while the 20-ppb action level for other juices could reduce lead exposures by 19%. 
 Full Story: Food Safety Magazine (4/27) 
More +

Vt. lawmakers make progress on universal school meals

5/2/22

The House of Representatives in Vermont passed legislation that would ensure K-12 students in the state have access to universal, free school meals in the 2022-23 school year. The bill was amended by the House, so the legislation will now go back to the state Senate for consideration.
More +

SN magazine: Focus on fantastic food photography

4/28/22

Ever prepare a meal that looked so good you wish you could just show it off to the world? An experienced photographer shares his tips on capturing food in all its eye-catching glory so you can promote new foods to students, share your cafeteria's nutritional endeavors on social media, and get your school community excited about mealtime.

More +

SN magazine: Focus on fantastic food photography

4/28/22

Ever prepare a meal that looked so good you wish you could just show it off to the world? An experienced photographer shares his tips on capturing food in all its eye-catching glory so you can promote new foods to students, share your cafeteria's nutritional endeavors on social media, and get your school community excited about mealtime.

More +

Save the date: SNA Awards Ceremony on May 2dir

4/26/22

Mark your calendars! At 5 p.m. ET on Monday, May 2, 2022, SNA will host an online awards ceremony to unveil the 2022 regional and national award winners for Employee of the Year, Manager of the Year and Director of the Year. Learn more.
More +

Save the date: SNA Awards Ceremony on May 2dir

4/26/22

Mark your calendars! At 5 p.m. ET on Monday, May 2, 2022, SNA will host an online awards ceremony to unveil the 2022 regional and national award winners for Employee of the Year, Manager of the Year and Director of the Year. Learn more.
More +

Va. districts join effort to buy local food

4/21/22

Seventy school districts in Virginia hope to participate in a program to serve more locally grown produce in school meals. The effort is supported through a $21.9 million Virginia Department of Education grant from the USDA that includes funding for the Centralized Local Procurement Pilot Program.
 Full Story: Richmond Free Press (Va.) (4/21) 
More +

State legislatures propose universal school meals

4/19/22

As the deadline approaches for the expiration of federal school meal waivers, some state legislatures are considering measures to provide free, universal school meals. California and Maine adopted free statewide school meals in 2021, while Colorado, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York and Vermont are introducing similar measures.
 Full Story: K-12 Dive (4/20) 


More +

State legislatures propose universal school meals

4/19/22

As the deadline approaches for the expiration of federal school meal waivers, some state legislatures are considering measures to provide free, universal school meals. California and Maine adopted free statewide school meals in 2021, while Colorado, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York and Vermont are introducing similar measures.
 Full Story: K-12 Dive (4/20) 


More +

Advocates seek school meal waiver extension to 2023

4/19/2022

Crystal FitzSimons, director of school and out-of-school time programs at the Food Research and Action Center, is among those advocating to extend federal school meal waivers through September 2023. FitzSimons says there is potential for more children to experience hunger without the waivers and this would give school nutrition programs time to overcome supply chain disruptions and staffing issues.
 Full Story: WNCN-TV (Raleigh, N.C.) (4/18) 
More +

Advocates seek school meal waiver extension to 2023

4/19/2022

Crystal FitzSimons, director of school and out-of-school time programs at the Food Research and Action Center, is among those advocating to extend federal school meal waivers through September 2023. FitzSimons says there is potential for more children to experience hunger without the waivers and this would give school nutrition programs time to overcome supply chain disruptions and staffing issues.
 Full Story: