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MdSNA Announces Four New Awards

MdSNA is pleased to offer four new awards for recognizing outstanding food and nutrition personnel. Please don't miss this opportunity to be recognized for excellence in promoting healthy meals for children. Click here to read about our new awards and download entry forms.


Carroll County's Food and Nutrition Employees Honored in Local Newspaper

File Manager -> treasa_markle_ccps.JPGMdSNA is excited to congratulate Carroll County Food and Nutrition employees on the recent article published in the Carroll County Times, honoring their hard work promoting healthy meals for students. Click here to read this article and take ideas from it to promote healthy meals in your own counties. Way to go, Karen Sarno!

 

 

Revised Prototype Free and Reduced Price Application for SY 2017-18

The USDA released a policy memo on May 3, 2017, announcing their Revised Prototype Application for Free and Reduced Price Meals for SY 2017-2018. In SY 2016-2017 the USDA Office of Civil Rights received 1,700 of these applications in error, as they were actually intended for local officials who make eligibility determinations, and not complaints of discrimination. The applications were forwarded by USDA to the appropriate State and local agencies, and in an effort to make sure the applications go to the right place this year, minor design changes were made in the Prototype Application for Free and Reduced Price School Meals. FNS has added, to both the heading of Step 4 of the prototype application and Step 4 in the instructions, a field for program operators to include a mailing address where households may send completed applications. These headings are added to provide additional clarity on where to send the applications, and although inclusion of these elements on application forms developed by State agencies and LEAs is optional, it is encouraged. Attached to the memorandum are the application instructions, a Word version of the application, and a PDF version of the application.


President Trump Releases Fiscal 2018 Budget

Today, President Trump released his fiscal 2018 budget request, A New Foundation for American Greatness.  The request, presented to Congress, outlines in detail the President’s proposal to streamline spending making bold and specific policy priorities, and includes economic and accounting analyses.  This follows up on the President’s ‘skinny budget,’ which was released March 13, 2017.   

President Trump is calling for a $3.6 trillion slash in spending over the next 10 years.  For FY 2018, the request calls for $668 billion in defense spending, $22 billion above current spending; and a $479 billion budget for non-defense programs, which is $57 billion less than current spending.  Proposed SNAP funding would decrease more than $190 billion over 10 years – which is a decrease of over 25%.

In addition to the White House budget, it is worth noting that Congress is beginning their Fiscal Year 2018 appropriations process.  In fact, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue will appear tomorrow, at a USDA Budget Hearing before the House Committee on Appropriations, where he will undoubtedly field questions pertaining to the proposed cuts to Agriculture programs.  That hearing is 10:00 am ET and will be webcasted.

The School Nutrition Association is reviewing the budget in detail, paying special attention to White House recommendations related to USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service and any impacts to school meal programs.  Sign up for SNA’s legislative and regulatory newsletter, Tuesday Morning, to ensure you are up to date.

 

U.S. Representative Kristi Noem Introduces School Meal Bill

On May 4th, 2017, Representative Kristi Noem (SD-At Large) introduced H.R. 2382, or the Permanent Flexibility for Schools Act. The bill amends the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act and the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 to remove some Federal nutrition requirements. The bill essentially changes the words “nutritional requirements” to “nutrition guidelines” in the two previous bills, and thus does not necessitate school meals to definitively meet the standards that they laid out. The Permanent Flexibility for Schools Act has been referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

 

Summary of AG/FDA Appropriation for FY2017

As you may have heard, Congressional leaders have agreed upon an FY17 omnibus spending bill.  The vote in both the House and Senate will occur sometime this week.  Attached is the summary for the Ag Appropriations portion.  CN Programs info is attached and below:

Food and Nutrition Programs – The legislation contains discretionary funding, as well as mandatory funding required by law, for food and nutrition programs within the Department of Agriculture. This includes funding for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and child nutrition programs.

Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) – The bill provides $6.35 billion in discretionary funding for WIC, which is the same as the fiscal year 2016 enacted level. Because of robust prior-year funding and declining enrollments in the program, WIC has record levels of carryover balances left over from previous years. Therefore, to make the best use of taxpayer dollars, the bill rescinds $850 million of these unobligated balances, which will have no impact on participation in the program.

Child nutrition programs – The bill provides for $22.8 billion in required mandatory funding – which is outside the discretionary funding jurisdiction of the Appropriations Committee – for child nutrition programs. This is $644 million above the fiscal year 2016 enacted level. This funding will provide free or reduced-price school lunches and snacks for 31 million children who qualify for the program. The bill provides more than $627 million for the Summer Food Service Program to ensure low-income children continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session. In addition, the bill continues funding for a pilot program that provides additional funds through SNAP or WIC electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards to ensure children in underserved communities receive food during the summer months.

The bill also stops an Obama-era school meal regulation from being implemented – providing flexibility for whole grains and milk and preventing  changes to sodium standards that have not been fully scientifically vetted.

 

Commends USDA in Supporting Practical Flexibility to Benefit School Meals Programs and Students

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Elizabeth Cowles Johnston

860-426-9991 ext 20; ecowles@cjpr.com

5/1/17

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD – School Nutrition Association (SNA) joined U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue as he released an interim rule seeking regulatory flexibility for school meal programs.  Today's commitment by Secretary Perdue addresses concerns raised in SNA's 2017 Position Paper, which requested maintaining Target 1 sodium levels and restoring the initial requirement that at least half of grains offered through school meals be whole grain rich.

While SNA supports preserving robust federal rules, the Association has continued to advocate for practical flexibility under federal nutrition standards to help ease menu planning challenges and appeal to diverse student tastes.

"School Nutrition Association is appreciative of Secretary Perdue's support of school meal programs in providing flexibility to prepare and serve healthy meals that are appealing to students.  School nutrition professionals are committed to the students they serve and will continue working with USDA and the Secretary to strengthen and protect school meal programs," said SNA CEO Patricia Montague, CAE. 

Members of SNA have advocated for flexibility to address overly prescriptive regulations that have resulted in unintended consequences, including reduced student lunch participation, higher costs and food waste.  The Association recognizes that providing schools practical flexibility has been supported by Senator Pat Roberts, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, and Congressmen Robert Aderholt, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies for the House Appropriations Committee.

In addition to requests for practical flexibility under federal nutrition regulations, SNA has called for protecting school meal programs from block grant proposals and expanding USDA Foods to support the School Breakfast Program.

 

SNA Welcomes Confirmation of USDA Secretary Perdue

4/25/17

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD – The non-profit School Nutrition Association (SNA), representing 57,000 school nutrition professionals nationwide, welcomed the confirmation of former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue as Secretary of the US Department of Agriculture.

“School Nutrition Association looks forward to working with Secretary Perdue to find ways to strengthen school meal programs, which support the success of more than 30 million students each school day,” said SNA President Becky Domokos-Bays, PhD, RD, SNS. “We hope Secretary Perdue will be a champion for these programs, which have ensured students have access to healthy meals at school for more than 70 years.”

More than 900 school nutrition professionals participated in SNA’s Legislative Action Conference and Charge to the Hill earlier this month to advocate on behalf of school meals and students.  SNA has called for protecting school meal programs from block grant proposals, expanding USDA Foods to support the School Breakfast Program and granting practical flexibility under federal regulations for school menu planners. Click here to read SNA’s 2017 Position Paper.


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