Tuesday Morning - July 21, 2009


July 21, 2009

Table of Contents

USDA Releases SY 2009-2010 Reimbursement Rates

GAO Releases Report on Elimination of Reduced Price Programs

USDA Announces Purchase of Up to $14.7 Million of Blueberry Products

Congress Fights Hunger, One Hour Each Day

Senate Agriculture Committee Announces Subcommittee Members

SNA Signs onto Hunger Free Schools Act Letter

Anchors Aweigh! SNA is Moving

SNA Legislative Action Center

Legislative Toolkit

PR Toolkit

From the Kitchen to the Congress Reauthorization Blog

State and Federal Legislation

USDA Releases SY 2009-2010 Reimbursement Rates

USDA's Food and Nutrition Service has published the reimbursement rates for the 2009-10 school year. The rates are effective as of July 1, 2009.

The basic rate (Section 4 and Section 11 funds) for lunch in the 48 contiguous states is 25¢ - an increase of one cent from last school year. Free lunches will be reimbursed at $2.68 per meal - up from $2.57 last year. Reduced price lunch reimbursement is now $2.28 up from $2.17 last year.

Paid breakfast reimbursement rates went up one cent to 26¢ and free breakfast is now $1.46 while reduced-price breakfast is now $1.16 in non-severe need districts. In severe need districts, free breakfast is now $1.74 and reduced-price breakfast is $1.44. Paid breakfast is reimbursed at $0.26 a meal.

To review the rate charts and notices including new reimbursement rates for Alaska and Hawaii, please see Related Links.

SY 2009-2010 Reimbursement Rates

GAO Releases Report on Elimination of Reduced Price Programs

The Government Accountability Office released a report on Friday, July 17th that detailed the findings of a study it conducted on states and school districts that eliminated the reduced price category (ERP) for school meals. The report found that in most cases, participation in the school nutrition programs increased among students who are eligible for reduced-priced meals when the $0.40 fee was eliminated. Implementing ERP also caused a decrease in the burden placed on staff to collect unpaid meal fees.

While the states and districts that implemented an ERP program were required to absorb the cost of the reduced price fees, the study found that increased participation brought in additional funds from federal reimbursements. Those funds offset the costs of providing the program.

To view a full copy of the report, please visit the link below.

GAO Report: School Meals Programs – Experiences of the States and Districts that Eliminated Reduced-price Fees (pdf)

USDA Announces Purchase of Up to $14.7 Million of Blueberry Products

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that it will purchase up to $14.7 million worth of cultivated blueberry products for the federal food assistance programs, including the school nutrition programs.

USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) purchases a variety of high-quality food products each year to support the National School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program, the Summer Food Service Program, the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations, the Commodity Supplemental Food Program and the Emergency Food Assistance Program. USDA also makes emergency food purchases for distribution to victims of natural disasters.

Congress Fights Hunger, One Hour Each Day

Your Member of Congress has been asked to help fight hunger, one hour each day during this year’s August recess. In a Dear Colleague letter, members of the House Hunger Caucus are requesting that their fellow Congressional representatives take an hour each day to focus their efforts on fighting hunger in their Congressional districts. The letter doesn’t specify activities, but points out that raising awareness is a key step in putting an end to the problem of hunger.

The August recess is a great time to encourage your member of Congress to come visit your school cafeteria. If school’s back in session, invite them in to enjoy lunch with the students and see how the school nutrition program operates in their community. This is also a great opportunity to discuss Child Nutrition Reauthorization issues. If school hasn’t started, make an appointment to meet at their district office.

For ideas on hosting a Member of Congress in your school, be sure to check out SNA’s Cafeteria Site Visit 101 (pdf) resource. Also keep up on the latest Reauthorization news by reading SNA’s exclusive blog, From the Kitchen to the Congress

Senate Agriculture Committee Announces Subcommittee Members

On Thursday, July 16, 2009, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry announced the members of several subcommittees for the 111th Congress. Focusing on school nutrition programs will be the Subcommittee on Hunger, Nutrition, and Family Farms. The Subcommittee members include:

  • Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) – Chairman 
  •  Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) – Ranking Member
  • Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)
  • Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.)
  • Senator Max Baucus (D-Mont.)
  • Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)
  • Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.)
  • Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.)
  • Senator Robert Casey (D-Penn.)
  • Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.)
  • Senator Michael Bennet (D-Colo.)
  • Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.)
  • Republican designee

SNA Signs on to Hunger Free Schools Act Letter

SNA, along with several other allied organizations, has signed onto a letter supporting S. 1343, The Hunger Free Schools Act. Sponsored by Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Bob Casey (D-Penn.), and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), the legislation would enable more low-income children to participate in school meals by improving and expanding direct certification for school meal eligibility, and by allowing more schools in high-poverty areas to provide universal (free to all) meal programs. To view the sign-on letter, please visit the link below.

Hunger Free Schools Act Letter

Anchors Aweigh! SNA is Moving

Pull up the anchor and prepare to set sail! SNA is moving across the Potomac River to a new home. As of Monday, August 31, 2009, the new SNA Headquarters address will be 120 Waterfront Street, 3rd Floor, National Harbor, MD 20745. SNA’s phone number, 800-877-8822 will remain the same, but the local phone number and fax number will change. Please keep checking as more information becomes available.

State and Federal Legislation

State legislation can now be accessed on the Internet through Netscan. Use Username: schoolnutrition and Password: sna

Click State Legislation Instructions (doc) for steps to access state legislation through the service. Legislatures currently in session include: California, District of Columbia, Federal, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Wisconsin

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