Public Announcements

 

Your End of the Year Advocacy Update!

As 2017 winds down now is the perfect time to recap all the school nutrition advocacy that has been happening since the Mid-Year Advocacy Update. This was a busy year for SNA as we fought for funding and worked to influence school nutrition policies that are implemented across the country. SNA members have been instrumental in pushing for change and your hard work is certainly paying off as we’ve seen exciting legislation introduced and a little regulatory breathing room in the school meal programs. So, what exactly has been going on in SNA advocacy?

  • The 2018 Position Paper Survey was sent to all SNA members in early November and results will help to inform the December 4th Position Paper drafting meeting.
  • The Healthy Breakfasts Help Kids Learn Act of 2017, H.R. 3738, was introduced by Congressmen McGovern and Davis, and provides an additional 6 cents in commodity support for every school breakfast served. SNA issued an action alert for the bill and more than 6040 messages have been sent to Congress asking them to support the bill. The total number of cosponsors on the bill is up to 18, and hopefully that number continues to grow as more SNA members push their representatives for their support!
  • The American Commodity Distribution Association (ACDA) joined SNA as an ally and sent a joint letter of support for H.R. 3738 to Congressmen McGovern and Davis.
  • The House FY 2018 Appropriations Bill, H.R. 3354, includes $25 million in grants for equipment and training needs for school nutrition programs. The Senate FY 2018 Appropriations Bill, S.1603, provides for $30 million in grants for equipment for school nutrition programs and an additional $2 million for training. Both bills will need to be reconciled and passed before the final training and equipment funding amounts are determined, but the bill language is promising.
  • SNA signed on to a joint letter to the Senate and House Appropriations Committee leaders in support of the language included in the House of Representatives FY 2018 Agriculture Appropriations bill, which lowers the threshold for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) School Kitchen Equipment Grant purchases, as mentioned above, from $5,000 to $1,000.
  • Many may remember that Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue encouraged “direct and specific” feedback from school nutrition professionals at SNA’s 2017 Annual National Conference. As part of this feedback, SNA has submitted 15 comments to USDA to help shape regulations relating to school nutrition programs. USDA’s Federal Register notice titled, Identifying Regulatory Reform Initiatives is still ongoing, submit your suggestions for regulatory reform on SNA’s website.
  • SNA’s 2018 Legislative Action Conference (LAC) will be here before you know it, so be sure to keep an eye out for early bird registration, which opens December 1, 2017. Also, be on the lookout for the promo piece with more information arriving in the mail soon.
  • SNA is working hard in preparation to defend school meal programs from any block grant proposal that would threaten adequate funding of school nutrition programs. Stay tuned for the unveiling of a new campaign in early 2018.

Thank you for such a successful year in advocacy! Let’s carry on this progress into 2018. Looking for more ways to get involved in school nutrition advocacy? Check out the School Nutrition Association Action Network.