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SNAC Bites - September 2019 Edition

Tuesday, September 3, 2019  
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Here are this month’s headlines:

1.      Nomination Materials for 2020 Elections are Open

2.      National School Lunch Week 2019

3.      New School Meal Bills Introduced to Congress

4.      USDA Announces NSLP, SBP, CACFP and SMP Payments and Maximum Reimbursement Rates                             

5.      USDA Releases Evaluation of the School Meal Data Collection Process         

6.      Final Public Charge Rule Published                                                                                                                  

7.      SNA Publishes 2019 School Nutrition Trends Report

8.      Updated Unpaid Meal Charge Talking Points

9.      Membership Processing Fee and Certificate Fee Changes

10.  Because You’re Worth It

11.  SNF’s Ambassadors Are Gearing Up Towards Fall SNA State Conferences

12.  Game-Changing Webinar Wednesdays This September

13.  The Training Zone: Made with You in Mind


1. Nomination Materials for 2020 Elections are Open
The 2020 election nominations process is open! SNA needs members with strong leadership skills, outstanding professional achievements, and a record of active participation in their state association and SNA to lead the association in the future. The Leadership Development Committee is recruiting for the following positions:

Board of Directors

·         Vice President

·         Secretary/Treasurer

·         Mideast Regional Director

·         Midwest Regional Director

·         Southwest Regional Director

·         At-Large Director


Leadership Development Committee

·         Mideast Regional Representative

·         Midwest Regional Representative

·         Southeast Regional Representative

·         West Regional Representative

Submit a nomination for one or more of the open positions or submit your own name! You’ll find everything you need to know on the SNA website at including the recommendation form and the Call for Nominations.

Nominations are due Monday, September 30, 2019. The Leadership Development Committee will meet at Committee Days in October to select the candidate slate for the 2020 election. The selected candidates will be announced following Committee Days and the election will be February 15-29, 2020.

2. National School Lunch Week 2019: The Crowd Needs to Hear Your Playlist

Have you started sharing what’s on your #SchoolLunchPlaylist with your students, staff, parents, school administration and other community stakeholders? #NSLW19 starts October 14 and will be here before you know it! While you fine tune your playlist of all things school lunch, SNA is here to help with marketing materials and PR resources to get the crowds jumping as you gear up for #NSLW19.

And a new marketing tool has been added! SNA’s pre-designed Microsoft® PowerPoint presentations are ready for you to promote the NSLW 2019 theme to staff and key stakeholders!

Remember to check out the latest Emporium Catalog or shop online for hot new NSLW merchandise that you and your staff can sport (bulk discounts available), along with fun cafeteria decorations. Order your merch early because concert swag is always hot!

3. New School Meal Bills Introduced to Congress

Nine new bills impacting school nutrition programs were introduced in August 2019:

·         Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Rep. DeSaulnier (D-CA) introduced S. 1949 and H.R. 3444, the School Food Modernization Act. This act would require the Secretary of Agriculture to make loan guarantees and grants to finance specific improvements to school lunch facilities and to train school foodservice personnel.

·         Sen Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH) introduced S.2026 and H.R. 3562, the Farm to School Act of 2019. The bill expands participation in the Farm to School Grant Program to preschools, afterschool programs and summer food service sites, and increases annual mandatory funding from $5 to $15 million.

·         Rep. Joseph Morelle (D-NY) introduced H.R. 3667 , the Summer Meals and Learning Act of 2019. The bill would create a new federal grant program to allow schools operating a summer lunch program to keep their libraries open during the summer months. The bill appropriates $5 million per year to fund the program through 2024.

·         Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) introduced H.R 4065, the Food for Thought Act of 2019. This bill would authorize Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to make grants available for community college campuses in order to establish a free meal program for eligible students, prepare and purchase meals from manufacturers and provide information to eligible students on federal food assistance programs through campus outreach.

·         Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) introduced S.2359, a bill that amends the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008, requiring the consideration of “non-income assets” in a household that qualifies for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) through broad-based categorical eligibility.

·         Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced S.2331, the Improve Training for School Food Service Workers Act of 2019 to address issues in training food service workers. This bill amends the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 to clarify the availability and appropriateness of training for local food service personnel.

·         Sen. Robert Casey (D-PA) introduced S. 2358, the Wise Investment in Children Act of 2019, to amend the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 to increase the age of eligibility for children to receive benefits under the special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants and children (WIC).

4. USDA Announces NSLP, SBP, CACFP and SMP Payments and Maximum Reimbursement Rates                                 In a Federal Register notice published on August 7th, FNS announced its SY2019-20 adjustments to the national average payments and reimbursement rates  for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), School Breakfast Program (SBP), Special Milk Program (SMP) and Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). This notice outlines the amount of money that the Federal Government will provide to the States for breakfasts, lunches and afterschool snacks served to those participating. Read full story here.

5. USDA Releases Evaluation of the School Meal Data Collection Process                                                                     USDA has released a final report for its Evaluation of the School Meal Data Collection Process. This study evaluates the methodologies and processes of school food authorities (SFAs) and State agencies to collect and report data using three FNS forms for various Federal school meal programs. This study also identifies potential sources of error when completing forms and goes on to provide helpful recommendations for improving the collection and reporting process. Read full story here.

Overall recommendations Include:

  • Involve a diverse range of operators in the designing and testing of forms before implementation;
  • Ensure that software companies create data systems that schools and SFAs are aware of and fully understand all program requirements and changes;
  • Increase the promotion of toolkits and program materials associated with the certification and verification process, in particular, the Verification Toolkit;
  • Support and specify training for teachers and other non-foodservice staff that are involved in serving program meals outside of the cafeteria; and
  • Provide case-by-case flexibility to state agencies in applying the SNAP Direct Certification threshold standard.

6. Final Public Charge Rule Published                                                                                                                                           On August 14, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will be publish a final rule titled “Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds.” This change to U.S. immigration policies will make it much more difficult to apply for a green card or earn a visa for applicants who are deemed likely to depend on government aid such as SNAP, housing assistance and Medicaid. The new policy is set to go into effect in mid-October. Learn More.

7. SNA Publishes 2019 School Nutrition Trends Report

On August 20th, SNA published its 2019 School Nutrition Trends Report, based on survey responses of school nutrition directors nationwide. The report reveals that whole grains will remain a staple on school lunch trays this fall, as 90% of school districts will exceed whole grain mandates. More than 70% reported that about three-quarters or more of grains offered will be whole grain rich. The survey also explored emerging menu trends and unpaid student meal debt. SNA’s press release summarizes key findings. SNA members can access the full report here.

Overall Findings: 

·         More than 70% of districts reported that about three-quarters or more of grains offered will be whole grain rich.

·         More than 80% of districts surveyed identified at least one barrier to increasing whole grain options.

·         Almost 90% of districts are working to improve student acceptance of whole-grain items.

·         Nearly 85% of districts offer customizable menu options.

·         About 43% of districts with unpaid meal debt reported that the number of students without adequate funds has increased since the previous school year.

·         The median amount of unpaid meal debt per-district rose by 70% since SY2012-13.

8. Updated Unpaid Meal Charge Talking Points
Last month, SNA released the 2019 School Nutrition Trends Report, which included new data on the growing problem of unpaid meal debt in school cafeterias. This topic continues to be the focus of national media stories, and given heightened interest in this issue, school nutrition professionals should be prepared to discuss district charge policies, how they compassionately respond to students unable to pay for their meals and work to enroll needy families in the Free and Reduced-Price Meal Program. To assist with these conversations, SNA has updated member talking points on unpaid meal charges. SNA members can access these points on the “Talking Points and Customizable PR Tools” webpage. A variety of other helpful PR resources, including backpack brochures and media outreach guides can be found at   

9. Membership Processing Fee and Certificate Fee Changes

For the 2019-2020-year, SNA’s Board of Directors has approved small increases to the membership processing fee and the Certificate program fees. As of October 1, the membership processing fee will be increased to $2.50, reflecting the ongoing costs of doing business.


New pricing for the Certificate program will also take effect on October 1, 2019. The changes impact new Certificate applications, renewals and reinstatements. Click here for full details and more information. If you have questions, please contact SNA at


10.  Because You’re Worth It

You want to continue your professional development and have heard about the scholarship opportunities available through the School Nutrition Foundation (SNF). But nagging doubts have creeped into your mind. “I’ll never get an SNF scholarship. Why should I even apply?”

Well, check out these videos from previous SNF scholarship winners and take their advice: “Apply. Apply. Apply!”  Last year, SNF awarded 87 scholarships totaling more than $100,000 to SNA members for conference attendance and professional development.  And you could be a recipient of a future scholarship! On September 1, the Josephine Martin National Policy Fellowship application will open. Opening day for applications for Professional Development scholarships, and scholarships for the 2020 School Nutrition Industry and the Legislative Action Conferences kicks off on October 1. With the help of a professional development or conference scholarship, you can further your career and your passion. You are worth it!

11.  SNF’s Ambassadors Are Gearing Up Towards Fall SNA State Conferences

To enable SNA state affiliates to support the School Nutrition Foundation (SNF), the SNF Ambassador Program was created. These State Ambassadors are integral at raising funds and awareness for the Foundation…and they have a friendly competition going on! The top state in each of SNA’s three membership categories who raise the most money from their State Association will win numerous prizes and recognition—including one free registration to SNA’s 2020 Annual National Conference in Nashville.

Every donation counts, and with fall conferences on the horizon, keep your eyes peeled for your State Ambassador to make a donation. Every donation will count toward the state’s end-of-year-total and will get your Ambassador one step closer in winning the competition. We have all the tools you need, check out the Tools, Tips and Talking Points here. If you would like to become a SNF Ambassador, or co-ambassador for your state, please reach out to us by emailing

12.  Game-Changing Webinar Wednesdays this September

The rules of society often dictate we are to communicate in a way as to not offend others and to get along. Although this is for good reason, sometimes this stifles our ability to confront tough topics and give constructive criticism. Often our intended purpose can be misinterpreted by the recipient, leading to unwanted results. Former Association Director and member of the National Speakers Association, Mary Byers has spent her career teaching workforce communication techniques—so supervisor feedback to employees can be effective without ruining working relationships. Join us on September 4 at 2 pm EST for the Best of #NLC19: Tough Talking: Initiating and Managing Difficult Discussions to receive tangible takeaways that you can start applying to your interactions.

In the webinar Best of #LAC19: Group Purchasing Cooperatives: Should You Buy In, happening on September 11 at 2 pm EST, you’ll hear from two group purchasing districts that have struck a balance between meeting their schools’ individual needs and the budgetary needs of the district. Also, this month, on September 18 at 2 pm EST, we are calling all small districts to start thinking BIG. We will show how one tiny district in Georgia utilizes grant funding to bring local farm produce to their schools in the Best of #ANC19 Farm to Table: A Small District Approach to Partnership in Nutrition.

September will close with the final webinar where two district directors discuss how they leveraged their states legislators to impact policy changes for the betterment of their students. Learn how you too can have legislators visit your schools and influence their perspective on school nutrition programs. Register here for Host a Legislator Site Visit.

13.  The Training Zone: Made with You in Mind

SNA’s new Training Zone provides members a unique opportunity to focus on career growth as SNA continues to bring you key topics that will be of benefit to you and your program. Checkout our online training modules and live and on-demand webinars. 


SNA’s online training located in the Training Zone provides the advantage of not being bound by geography or time, so all learners can control when and where they train. It also allows learners to train at their own pace while they are exploring new concepts.


A one-stop shop for eLearning, on-demand, 24-7 content, the current modules in the Training Zone feature specialized online trainings developed by school nutrition professionals. All Webinar Wednesdays and Webinars On-Demand are free to members as part of your membership benefits and discounts are offered on all other training courses. District packages are currently available for the ethics training program with more package options coming soon. Learn more about our eLearning modules:

·         Dollars & Cents of Financial Management

·         Culinary Skills Training

·         Ethics in School Nutrition



School Nutrition Association of Wisconsin
563 Carter Court, Suite B, Kimberly, WI 54136
Phone: 920-560-5630 Email: