USDA Announces More Flexibility for School Meals

The following post was written by Barry Sackin of Sackin & Associates

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A Brief History of School Lunch in America [Infographic]

The history of school lunch programs in America is anything but brief.  The Children's Aid Society began feeding hungry, needy school children in New York City as far back as 1853.  But it wasn't until the late 19th century that some major US cities, including Philadelphia and Boston, started their own school lunch programs.  Over the next century, authors, war, and politics continued to shape the school lunch program into what we know it as today.

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5 Ways To Prepare for Verification

With Verification just around the corner, there's a number of things you and your staff can do in your Free & Reduced software to make this process even smoother this school year.  In working with our in-house Free & Reduced experts, we've come up with 5 things every district should do now to prepare for the start of Verification:

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Block Grants for School Meals

The following post was written by Barry Sackin of Sackin & Associates

Child Nutrition Reauthorization continues its arduous trek through the legislative process with a new wrinkle.  The House Committee on Education and the Workforce marked up its version of CNR in late May.  There are a few things in the bill that you will probably find appealing: an increase of 2¢ in breakfast reimbursement; elimination of the Paid Meal Equity provision; no additional reductions in sodium beyond Target 1; periodic reviews of meal standards based on science; and a return to the five year review cycle.  But there are two killer provisions in the bill as well: raising the threshold for the Community Eligibility Program (CEP) from 40% to 60%; and a three state, three year pilot for block-granting school meals.

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Child Nutrition Reauthorization: Where The Debate In Washington Heads Next

The following post was written by Barry Sackin of Sackin & Associates

In my last blog post, we talked about reauthorization and gave a first look at what’s in the Senate bill.  Today we will provide an update on CNR in Congress and look at some of the other school nutrition issues in the Senate bill.

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A Look Back At SNA's 44th Annual Legislative Action Conference

Five Heartlanders attended the 44th Annual Legislative Action Conference (LAC) held on February 28-March 1, 2016 in Washington, D.C.  Child Nutrition Reauthorization was the primary focus of this year’s conference.  As discussed in this blog, the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act authorizes all of the federal school meal and child nutrition programs, which provide funding to ensure that low-income children have access to healthy and nutritious foods.

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Child Nutrition Reauthorization: What Is It and Why It Matters to You

The following post was written by Barry Sackin of Sackin & Associates

What is Child Nutrition Reauthorization?

This June will mark the 70th anniversary of the National School Lunch Act (NSLA), now named after Sen. Richard B. Russell from Georgia who is considered to be the father of the legislation.  When it was first enacted, the NSLA was what is called a “grant-in-aid” for states to develop and support school lunch programs.  Over the years, this approach has been replaced by the program we know today.  The way it has made the changes is through regular reauthorizations, or legislation that amends the law.  There have been almost two dozen reauthorizations over the past 70 years, as well as changes enacted in legislation between the regular schedule.

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School Nutrition Industry Conference (SNIC) 2016: Building Practical Solutions for School Nutrition

This year beautiful San Diego, CA will be host to the 2016 School Nutrition Industry Conference (SNIC), January 16-19, 2016.  Each year hundreds of school nutrition professionals and their industry partners gather together at SNIC (formerly CNIC) to network and collaborate.  With the business of school nutrition and the children they serve as the primary focus, attendees take this opportunity to look to the future.    

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Legislative Action Conference (LAC) 2015: Through the eyes of a first timer

I was very excited when asked to join some fellow Heartlanders and attend the School Nutrition Association’s Legislative Action Conference (SNA-LAC). LAC is an annual event held in Washington, DC and took place this year March 1-4, 2015. As this would be my inaugural LAC, I welcomed the opportunity to experience this event first-hand.

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School Nutrition Legislation Heats Up in 2015

Since its passing in 2010, the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act (HHFKA) has brought the hot-button issue of childhood obesity and school nutrition to center stage.  For better or worse, this act has changed the entire industry from the way manufacturers formulate their food items for schools to the specific recipes that are placed on cafeteria menus.  Even news outlets, celebrity chefs and parents have joined the discussion.    

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