Does the thought of celebrating National S’mores Day bring a
smile to your face? Do you have recipes at the ready for National Soup Month?
Do you have plans for the birthdays of Mickey Mouse, Carter G. Woodson, Jim
Henson or Fanny Jackson Coppin? Now is your chance to commemorate these unique
celebrations (and many, many more!) with the first six months of SNA’s recently
published 2020-21 Promotional Calendar!
This helpful and free member benefit is packed with fun holidays
and events to provide inspiration for your operation. Knowing that the upcoming
school year will look different, these ideas and events will provide a little
normalcy and inject excitement into what may be a difficult situation for
students, school nutrition staff, teachers and school administrators.
Brought to you by the editorial staff of School Nutrition magazine, the calendar
includes monthlong, weeklong/multi-day and single-day events—and additional
details and ideas for many of the entries. While you’ll see some old favorites
like National Talk Like a Pirate Day and Free Speech Week, this year’s calendar
is packed with even more multicultural and inclusive celebrations, events and
commemorations including Jesse Owen’s Birthday (September 12), Indigenous
People’s Day (October 12), Carter G. Woodson’s Birthday (December 19) and
National Popcorn Day (January 19).
Now more than ever it’s important to smile and cultivate a
little fun—so here is some inspiration to get your creative juices flowing! You
can access the first six months—August 2020 through January 2021—today!
Parallel epidemics: The Dietary Guidelines Advisory
Committee, the influential outside panel of experts advising HHS and USDA on
the 2020 iteration of the government’s nutrition advice, highlighted this issue
as the group released its report released last week. In a little-noticed letter last month to Agriculture
Secretary Sonny Perdue and HHS Secretary Alex Azar, the committee chair and
vice chair pointed out that the two “parallel epidemics,” one non-communicable
(obesity and other diet-related diseases) and one infectious (Covid-19),
“appear to be synergistic.”
They also noted that isolation and economic disruption “ has led
to significant increases in food insecurity and hunger, further increasing
susceptibility to both infectious and diet-related chronic diseases.”
Getting nutrition policy right: “These
parallel epidemics demonstrate the central role of nutrition and healthy
dietary patterns in susceptibility to both infections and diet-related chronic
diseases and these relationships should be further examined in future dietary
guidelines,” the committee wrote.
We need you to make
your voice heard!
On July 10th, SNA sent a letter
to the USDA requesting swift action to guarantee consistent, safe
and equitable student access to healthy school meals. SNA is urging
USDA to allow SFAs to continue serving students through SFSP and SSO and to
immediately extend all SFSP/SSO COVID-19 waivers, including Area Eligibility
waivers through the end of SY 2020-2021. Allowing all schools
to offer breakfast and lunch to all students at no charge is the most effective
way to ensure meals are served safely and sustainably during the pandemic.
On July 10th, SNA sent a letter to
U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to request that
USDA take swift action to guarantee safe and reliable access to healthy school
meals and ensure school meal programs can remain fiscally sustainable.
Corcoran, at podium, speaking at a 2019
press conference. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Florida Education Commissioner
Richard Corcoran issued an executive order Monday calling for schools in the
state to reopen in August to in-person instruction. Under the order, schools
will be required to provide at least five days of in-person instruction for
families who want that option.
Dear School Nutrition Managers Across the Country,
As your representative on SNA's Board of Directors, I am
encouraging you to take the time to participate in SNA's upcoming Back to
School Webinar series. Now is the time to recharge, reset and take
advantage of this complimentary member benefit in anticipation of what will
surely be a challenging school year ahead. In response to member feedback,
we have moved the webinar start time back an hour to 3:00 pm Eastern time which
will allow more managers and employees to participate.
Building Resilience &
Promoting Mental Health During Challenging Times
The School Nutrition
Association helped secure the extension of 14 federal waivers for the operation
of school meal services through June 30, 2021, and are following up on another
request for universal, free meals in the upcoming school year, according to Diane
Pratt-Heavner, director of media relations for SNA. "Our concern for the
school year was we knew that school meals were going to have to look very
different than the traditional cafeteria setting," Pratt-Heavner said.
ARLINGTON, VA – Following an urgent plea from the non-profit School Nutrition Association (SNA) earlier this month, the US Department of Agriculture today announced the extension of multiple
COVID-19 emergency feeding waivers through the end of School Year 2020/2021.
SNA sent a letter to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on behalf of school nutrition professionals nationwide to request vital regulatory extensions and support to ensure meal programs are equipped to meet children’s critical nutrition needs this fall.
School nutrition professionals must
overhaul operations as states and local districts plan a variety of vastly
different learning models next school year, from distance learning to modified
daily and weekly student schedules. The extension of the following COVID-19 regulatory
waivers through next school year will allow school meal programs to continue
grab-and-go meal pick up for distance learners, serve meals to students in the
classroom or adjust meal service in the event of sudden COVID-19 school
Nationwide Meal Times Waiver
Nationwide Non-congregate Feeding Waiver
Nationwide Meal Pattern Waiver
Nationwide Parent/Guardian Meal Pick-Up Waiver
Additionally, USDA announced a new waiver to address offer versus
serve requirements at the high school level. Details are being reviewed
on the impacts of this waiver.
“After abrupt closings forced a quick transition to emergency feeding programs, school nutrition professionals effectively changed course and implemented waivers to ensure students continued to be nourished,” said SNA President Gay Anderson, SNS. "We greatly appreciate USDA action to extend these waivers so we can address the many variables in planning, preparing and serving our students this fall.”
Following USDA's extension of
the Area Eligibility Waiver through August 31, 2020, SNA continues to advocate for a nationwide waiver through next school year. Area Eligibility requirements for the Summer Foodservice Program and Seamless Summer Option limit “open site” meal service to areas where at least half of the children in the area are eligible for free or reduced-price meals.
To ensure all students have equal access
to healthy school meals, SNA has also requested the provision of school meals
for all students at no charge for the 2020-2021 school year. This would
eliminate the need for overburdened schools to process free and reduced-price
meal applications to newly eligible families as reliance on school meals is
anticipated to surge with more than 40 million Americans filing for
The full report provides in-depth compensation and benefits data
on specific school and district levels positions, segmented by district size,
region, unionization status, certification/credentialing, and other variables.
You can view and download the report by clicking here.
Virginia will direct $3 million
to school nutrition programs through the Governor's Emergency Education Relief
fund. Sarah Steely, associate director of nonprofit No Kid Hungry, said the
funding, which includes hazard pay for school nutrition professionals, is an
important investment in child nutrition.
This article, our fifth in the magazine's series of COVID-19
digital supplements, offers some sobering statistics and stories from large and
small districts alike as they contend with a troubling new economic reality.
But the news is not all grim. This article also reinforces the resiliency of
school nutrition professionals in the face of the toughest challenges.
A PDF of this supplement is linked in this e-blast. You can read
"The Financial Blows of COVID-19"
on your device or print out a hard copy. Share with team members and other
stakeholders, especially school administrators and school business officials
contemplating different school reopening strategies. We simply ask that if you
share outside of the school nutrition community, credit be provided to: School
Nutrition/School Nutrition Association.
This article will also be available as a resource on the COVID-19 tab of
SchoolNutrition.org, and it will be inserted into the digital edition of the June/July 2020 issue of School
School Nutrition thanks NutriStudents K-12 for
their generous support in making this article available.
On June 10, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the
extension of the nationwide area eligibility waiver through
August 31st, 2020. This waiver allows
program operators to locate Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and Seamless
Summer Option (SSO) open sites in areas that do not meet area eligibility
requirements. USDA also provided a third extension for the meal pattern waiver, now
effective through July 31st, 2020.
6.4.2020 SNA Calls for Quick Action to Keep School Meal Programs
SNA has sent a letter to USDA
Secretary Sonny Perdue urging the immediate extension of COVID-19 emergency
feeding waivers through the end of the SY 2020-2021. This letter has been sent
to all of Congress and contains a request that school meals be provided for all
students at no charge. This letter also includes essential information
regarding ongoing financial and operational barriers as schools work to
continue providing critical meals throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Full press
4.27.2020 USDA Announces Farmers to Families Food Box Program
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing
Service (AMS), in conjunction with the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) and the
Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement (OPPE), published Frequently
Asked Questions for non-profit organizations seeking to receive food
through the Farmers to Families Food Box Program. The Frequently Asked
Questions are available on the AMS website here. Additional questions
may be submitted to USDAFoodBoxDistributionProgram@usda.gov.
4.27.2020 SNA Advocates for Funding to Offset Losses
SNA joined 37 allied organizations in a letter to the U.S. House
and Senate Appropriations Committees advocating for funding to help offset
financial losses for school meal programs due to COVID-19 closures. The letter
urges Congress to provide $2.6 billion to mitigate a portion of the estimated,
significant loss that school nutrition programs have and will continue to
experience. Funding must be provided to make programs financially solvent and
to maintain the integrity of these essential programs as the recovery process
begins, with many more children relying on school meal programs. Read the complete letter.
4.29.2020 USDA Releases New COVID-19 School Nutrition Guidance
USDA FNS has released a new series of waivers and guidance for
school meal service during COVID-19 school closures.
Nationwide Waiver to Waive First
Week Site Visits in the SFSP:
Waives requirements that sponsors visit each of their
sites at least once during the first week of operation under the program
for sites that have operated successfully in the previous year and
sponsors that successfully participate in the CACFP or the NSLP.
Nationwide Waiver of Food Service
Management Contract Duration in the NSLP and SFSP:
Waives food service management company (FSMC) contracts duration
requirements for all state agencies, SFAs and Summer Food Service Program
Nationwide Waiver of Local School
Waives requirement for schools unable to complete a
triennial assessment of the local school wellness policies by June 30, 2020.
Nationwide Waiver of Annual Review
Requirements for State Agencies in the CACFP
Waives requirement to complete CACFP monitoring onsite through
September 30, 2020. State agencies electing this
option are encouraged to prioritize reviews of
these institutions next year.
Nationwide Waiver to Extend
Unanticipated School Closure Operations:
Waives the October through April time limitation for
implementation of SSO and SFSP during unanticipated school
closures and allows State agencies that elect this option to permit
SFAs to operate under unanticipated school closure requirements through
June 30, 2020.
Reporting COVID-19 Public Health
Each COVID-19 school nutrition program waiver requires that State
agencies and local program operators provide certain summaries and descriptions
of their use.
4.30.2020 SNA Comments on DGA Committee
SNA submitted comments on the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory
Committee (DGAC) Request for Comment. In the comment letter, SNA referenced
previously provided testimony sharing that school nutrition professionals
provide the foundation for meals at schools, with the potential to reach 50
million students nationwide. SNA strongly supports sound, evidence-based
guidelines and the guidelines must be practical and framed such that students
will choose to eat nutritious meals at school that in turn will influence their
choices throughout their lives. SNA also asks that the DGAC remain aware of the
operational and budgetary constraints. Read the complete letter.
5.9.2020 USDA Approves $1.2 Billion in Contracts for Farmers to
Families Food Box Program
USDA approved $1.2 billion in contracts to support American
producers and communities in need through the USDA Farmers to Families Food Box
Program. “This is a new, innovative approach to provide critical support to American farmers and families, and USDA moved as expeditiously as federal procurement rules allow to stand up the program and solicit offers,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. Additional information on the Farmers to Families Food Box Program, including webinars and an FAQs, is available on the AMS website.
5.13.2020 SNA Advocates for Kitchen Infrastructure and Equipment
SNA joined 21 allied organizations in a letter to the U.S. House
and Senate Appropriations Committees to advocate for funding for school kitchen
infrastructure and equipment. School nutrition departments are dedicated to
serving meals to their communities during the pandemic, which will continue to
result in many additional, unformidable costs to be incurred, which may not be
reimbursed by USDA. These additional costs include personal protective
equipment, storage, delivery, and distribution of meals. This letter urges
Congress to include $200 million in funding for school kitchen equipment grants
in the next COVID-19 response bill. Read the complete letter.
5.13.2020 USDA Announces Equipment Assistance Grants for SFAs
FNS announced that it’s awarding $30 million in competitive equipment assistance grants to eligible School Food Authority’s (SFAs) that participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). This distribution of funds was provided through the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020. State agencies will award subgrants to local educational agencies and schools to purchase the equipment needed to serve healthier meals, improve food safety and help support the establishment or expansion of the School Breakfast Program (SBP).
5.13.2020 Federal Register: School Food Purchase Study IV
The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has published the notice?“Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request-School Food Purchase Study IV.” This proposed collection invites the public and related agencies to provide comments regarding the data surrounding national estimates of food acquisitions for both food purchases and USDA Foods made by School Food Authorities (SFAs) that participate in school nutrition programs. All written comments must be received by July 13, 2020.
5.13.2020 School Meals Operations Study: Evaluation of the
School-Based Child Nutrition Programs
FNS published the notice “Agency Information Collection Activities: School Meals Operations Study: Evaluation of the School-Based Child Nutrition Programs.” This collection is a revision of a currently approved collection for the School Meals Operations (SMO) to include supplemental administrative data regarding the CN COVID-19 waivers. All written comments must be received by July 13, 2020.
5.15.2020 USDA Extends Four Nationwide Waivers for School
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the extension
of four nationwide waivers: Non-Congregate Feeding, Parent Pickup, Meal Pattern Waiver Extended
and Meal Times. These waivers provide operators of child nutrition programs the flexibility and support needed to continue to feed children during the COVID-19 pandemic. All three waivers have been extended until August 31, 2020. Check out SNA’s Summary of USDA FNS Waivers and
Guidance?for full details on waivers and extensions.
5.21.2020 Proposed Rule: Coronavirus Food Assistance Program
The USDA posted the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program
(CFAP) Final Rule in the
Federal Register. CFAP provides assistance to agricultural producers impacted
by the COVID-19 outbreak. This rule establishes provisions for direct payments
to producers of eligible commodities to help offset sales losses and increased
5.21.2020 Federal Register: Final Rule on Coronavirus Food
USDA posted the final rule for the “Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. ” This final rule implements the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), which will assist producers that have been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. The CFAP will provide financial assistance to offset the losses and increased costs for agricultural producers and farmers. This rule establishes direct payments for producers of eligible commodities such as USDA Foods and specifies all eligibility requirements, payment calculations, and procedures to apply. This rule is currently in affect.
5.23.2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Reschedules
Meeting and Extends Comment Period
The 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory
Committee' s (DGAC) webcast only meeting, initially scheduled for Monday, June 8, will now take place on Wednesday, June 17, at 11:00 AM EDT. The meeting will include updates on the Committee’s draft conclusion statements, deliberations and decisions regarding their draft advisory report. In addition, the public comment period has
also been extended until June 10, 2020.
5.26.2020 Information Collection: Micro-Grants for Food Security
Story: Education Dive(6/4)
It's June and many of you are asking, "What's next?"
What will school look like in SY2020-21—and what will the impact
be on school meal operations? Some of you are expecting it will be the most
challenging year of your career, as school administrators contemplate dramatic
changes to reduce the risk of infection outbreaks until a COVID-19 vaccine or
effective treatment is available.
While there is a long, frustrating history of school
administrators failing to consider the complexities of school meal programs in
any calculus about system changes, SNA is encouraged to learn that some school
nutrition directors have been invited to participate on district and state
taskforces about reopening. In addition, we are aware of many school nutrition
teams that have initiated scenario-planning discussions of their own, so they
can be ready for whatever decisions are handed down. Still, we know that there
are many, many other school nutrition operators who don’t know where to begin.
That's why we have produced Thought Starters on
Reopening Schools for SY2020-21, a 25-page resource designed to help
SNA members "ask the right questions to prepare for the next normal."
Considering the complexity of school meal programs and the incredible disparity
in how school districts of different sizes and demographics manage these
programs, one publication can’t begin to cover all the bases.
But it will point you in the right direction to start thinking about the many
ways your operation will have to change.
A link to a free, downloadable PDF is included with this
e-blast. You can read Thought Starters on Reopening
Schools for SY2020-21 on your device or print out
a hard copy. Share it with team members and other stakeholders as desired. We
simply ask that if you share outside of the school nutrition community, credit
always be provided to the School Nutrition Association.
For future reference, this resource can be found on the COVID-19 tab of
SNA thanks Kellogg's Away From Home for
their generous support in making this resource available.
for the Reopening of Schools: The Importance of School Nutrition & District
Leadership Relationships Webinar
June 11 at 2 PM EST
You’ll also gain access to great resources to apply what you’ve
learned and create your back to school action plan. These include:
Plus, we’ve brought in expert facilitator Lowell Aplebaum, CEO
and Strategy Catalyst of the company Vista Cova and a favorite keynote speaker
at SNA’s National Leadership Conference, to lead this high-level virtual event
together with a host of other speakers we’re continuing to announce through
You can read "Sad, Mad, Bad and Occasionally Rad" on
your device or print out a hard copy. Share with team members and other
stakeholders as desired. We simply ask that if you share outside of the school
nutrition community, credit be provided to: School Nutrition/
School Nutrition Association.
This article will also be available as a resource on the COVID-19
tab of SchoolNutrition.org, and it will be inserted into the digital
edition of the May 2020 issue of School
School Nutrition thanks JTM Food Group for their generous support in making this article available.
SNA has your training needs covered. We are excited to announce our new “Stronger Together: Back to School
Series!” This virtual event brings in the experts for four afternoons of high-level learning to equip you with an actionable back-to-school plan in the unprecedented COVID-19 K-12 landscape.
Now, more than ever before, you need a back-to-school action
plan with a solid, all-encompassing strategy to address the uncertainty
surrounding COVID-19 repercussions for the 2020-21 school year. This series also offers you
the exclusive benefit of coming together virtually with your peers to learn,
share ideas and plan for potential scenarios and environments.
From strategic planning to sanitation, procurement to packaging, equipment to engagement, menus, technology and more—you will find a full range of topics to outfit you for planning in a pandemic. Plus, there will be networking opportunities! Utilizing Zoom breakout rooms, we will designate set times for peer to peer conversation and connection.
Included with your registration:
Registration Fee: $149 SNA members, $299 non-members
Using broad authority USDA has had since the Depression era, known as Section
32 purchases, officials will buy up those surplus products and redistribute
them to food banks, school feeding programs and other efforts to help hungry Americans. It’s separate from the $3 billion ad-hoc commodity purchase program that Secretary Sonny Perdue announced in mid-April as part of a broader farm rescue package.
What’s on the menu? Much of the new funds will be used to buy dairy ($120 million), potatoes and turkey products ($50 million each) and strawberries ($35 million). Chicken, catfish, pollock, asparagus, sweet potatoes, tart cherries and orange juice are also on the list. The food purchases are expected to ship in July, USDA said.
Farm groups have been calling for Perdue to exercise the
department’s purchase power to help farmers whose markets have disappeared as
schools, restaurants and other businesses started shutting down in March. But USDA was slow to step in, even with demand surging
at food banks as unemployment rose.
Full Story: WVLT-TV (Knoxville, Tenn.) (4/23)
"We urge Congress to provide $2.6 billion to mitigate a
portion of the estimated, significant financial loss that school nutrition
programs have and will continue to experience," reads a letter to key
appropriators that's circulating. Signatories include the School Nutrition
Association, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Urban School Food
Alliance, which represents large school districts.
Half of the 2020 Dietary Guidelines
Advisory Committee members have some ties to the International Life Sciences
Institute, a controversial group backed by Coca-Cola and others, according
new report by Corporate Accountability.
districts feed hungry but may not be reimbursed
School districts have turned
their cafeterias into food banks and soup kitchens to meet the emergency
needs of children and families who have trouble affording food due to the
novel coronavirus pandemic, but these additional meals may not be covered by
federal child nutrition program reimbursement rules. Katie Wilson of the
Urban School Alliance estimates the 12 largest US school districts will spend
from $12 million to $19 million through the end of June to meet the demand,
and the organization is asking Congress and federal agencies for help.
Full Story: The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (4/19)
It’s National Volunteer Week, and I want to say a HUGE thank
you to all of our volunteers who are so dedicated and committed to helping
our Association be successful. Whether during normal times, or the current
times we are in, you are the heart and soul of our Association and we so
appreciate your volunteerism.
The District Court of Maryland
on Monday blocked an effort by President Donald Trump's administration to roll
back nutrition standards for school meals. At issue, the court found, is that
the USDA did not seek public comment as required under the federal
Administrative Procedure Act when it took steps to ease standards for whole
grains and sodium in school meals.
USDA Food and Nutrition Service has released a series of Q&A memos to provide clarification to meal service requirements during COVID-19 school closures.
SP 11: Q&A related to
Monitoring and Reporting Nationwide Waivers
SP 12: Q&A related to
operation of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP)
SP 13: Q&A related to Meal
Service Time, Non-Congregate Feeding, and Activity Requirement Nationwide
SP 14: Q&A related to Child
Nutrition Program Meal Service,
including clarification on:
Milk Requirements, SFSP Closed Enrollment Sites and Camps, Site Finder, CACFP Meal Delivery, Multi-Program Sponsors, Claims and Payments, Civil Rights, Weekend and Holiday Meals
To help address topics that are relevant today—and not wait until the next print edition is mailed—School Nutrition has produced the
first of a series of digital-exclusive COVID-19 supplements.
This article will also be available as a resource on the COVID-19
tab of SchoolNutrition.org, and it will be inserted into the digital edition of
the April 2020 issue of School
School Nutrition thanks E S Foods for their
generous support in making this article available.
— The Agriculture Department could be forced to start from scratch as the Trump administration tries to unwind Obama-era school
nutrition requirements, after a federal court this week vacated USDA's 2018
rule to ease whole grain and sodium standards.
A federal court decision on Monday potentially turned the
landscape upside down. The court ruled that USDA's 2018 rule to relax whole
grain and sodium standards — which had been championed by former first lady
Michelle Obama — violated the Administrative Procedure Act.
"This really puts the agency back at ground zero," said Karianne
Jones, a lawyer at Democracy Forward, the legal watchdog group that represented
the Center for Science in the Public Interest and Healthy School Food
Maryland in their lawsuit against USDA.
Cooking from scratch: If USDA wants to keep its
policy, the department will likely have to start the rulemaking over, including
soliciting comments, a process that usually takes years, Jones said.
What's next? The government has 60 days to appeal
the decision. A USDA spokesperson declined to comment on next steps, noting
that the department doesn't weigh in on pending litigation.
School Lunch Hero Day is
Friday, May 1—just one month away! If there was ever a time to spot light school nutrition professionals, it is now given all that they are doing to feed America’s children. During these uncertain times, you can still recognize #LunchHeroes. Need help trying to figure out how you can still celebrate as we face COVID-19 school closures? Don’t worry, SNA has tools on hand to assist you in recognizing the amazing job school nutrition professionals do every day–and even more so as they remain on the front lines to feed students nationwide!
For a complete list of nationwide waivers and FNS actions to
respond to COVID-19, visit https://www.fns.usda.gov/disaster/pandemic/covid-19
Last night, President Trump signed H.R. 6201, the
Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which contains several provisions to
support school nutrition programs working to serve students during
coronavirus-related school closures. Notably, the bill:
SNA has been advocating for
more options for school meal programs to serve students during
coronavirus-related school closures. Schools, especially non area
eligible sites, are facing various regulatory and
logistical challenges in
serving needy students in their communities. SNA continues to call
on USDA and Congress to grant all school sites temporary eligibility to
serve all children at no charge through the Summer Food Service
Program and Seamless Summer Option.
Additionally, SNA recognizes the health and safety of school
nutrition professionals is of utmost importance. We are in active
communication with the CDC and expect more guidance for school nutrition
professionals soon. SNA will share this information from CDC as soon as it is
Relief Grants Available to School Food Authorities
School Food Authorities (SFAs) and other community organizations can seek financial assistance through emergency grants from No Kid Hungry. The grants can be used to support local efforts like home-delivered meals, grab ‘n’ go meal programs, school and community pantries, backpack programs and other initiatives. No Kid Hungry is providing $1 million in grant funding immediately. For further information and to see if you’re eligible for a grant, complete the application process from No Kid
SNA continues in its discussions with Congress and USDA to
advocate on your behalf and for the students you serve. We will continue
to bring you the most up to date information as it becomes available.
Below are 3 nationwide waiver approval letters for states
under Section 2202 of H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act
related to Child Nutrition.
(1) Waiving of the non-congregate requirement across
all child nutrition programs
-This waiver applies to the National School Lunch Program, School
Breakfast Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program, and Summer Food Service
(2) Waiving of the meal service time requirements
across all child nutrition programs
(3) Waiving of the requirement for an educational or
enrichment activity when serving an afternoon meal or snack under
the National School Lunch Program or Child and Adult Care Food Program.
-This waiver applies to afterschool snacks in the National School
Lunch Program and at-risk afterschool meals and snacks in the Child and Adult
Care Food Program.
State agencies have been provided a copy of this guidance document
on this provision. State agencies should contact their respective FNS Regional Offices
For additional information regarding FNS’s response to COVID-19,
please visit this link.
Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
Resources include information and interim guidance targeted to communities, schools and businesses and FAQs on coronavirus and children as well as healthcare professionals.
Resources include the most current list of states that have received waiver approvals, FAQs on child nutrition program meal service during COVID-19 outbreaks and Secretary Perdue’s press release announcing flexibilities to feed children when schools close.
World Health Organization (WHO)
Resources include a website, daily reports that confirm the total new cases, and key planning recommendations for mass gatherings.
USDA's Food Safety Inspection Service, which is required by law to be present at more than 6,200 slaughterhouses across the country and employs about 7,800 inspectors, said plants are operating as normal.
Industry groups including the North American Meat Institute and USA Rice, whose products have been flying off store shelves, emphasized that there are no shortages and plentiful supplies. Fresh produce continues to flow across the Southern border from Mexico — which accounts for about 50 percent of the U.S. fruit and vegetable supply.
Retail chains like Walmart, Kroger and H-E-B have reduced store hours to give workers more time to restock high-demand products overnight, while Amazon is hiring an extra 100,000 warehouse workers to tackle increased demand for household staples, including groceries.
"This is a demand issue, not a supply issue," said Heather Garlich, vice president of media and public relations at FMI, the food industry association formerly known as the Food Marketing Institute. "The supply chain isn't broken. The warehouses are pushing out as much inventory as possible in a 24-hour period."
Due to an abundance of care for our member’s health and safety, SNA will continue to seek the most up-to-date information about the virus. State and local public health departments are now testing and publicly reporting their cases. In the event of a discrepancy between CDC cases and cases reported by state and local public health officials, data reported by states should be considered the most up to date.
Full Story: The Hill (2/13)
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.
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.
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 Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Wash.) (free content) (1/17)
"[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.