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You are here: Home / News & Events / SN Updates / 2016 SN Updates / School Nutrition Weekly Update - January 25, 2016 - Issue No. 2016.1-2

School Nutrition Weekly Update - January 25, 2016 - Issue No. 2016.1-2

In the Previous Issue of SNWU...January 14, 2015

- *REMINDER* When a Claim for Reimbursement Deadline Falls on a Weekend or Holiday
- Save the Dates for Continuing Education Opportunities!
- Menu Templates Now Available
- Important School Nutrition Dates


In This Issue:    

  • Child Nutrition Reauthorization...Senate Agriculture Committee Votes to Approve Bill

  • New Non-Discrimination Statement

  • **IMPORTANT NOTICE** School Nutrition Technology System Claims Module Scheduled to be Temporarily Locked for Reporting

    • Independent Review of Applications Report

    • 23rd Annual Best Practice Awards

    • What's New on the Web?

    • Continuing Education Reminders

    • Important School Nutrition Dates 


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    Child Nutrition Reauthorization...Senate Agriculture Committee Votes to Approve Bill

    By now, you have probably seen the Senate Agriculture Committee’s “mark up” of the Child Nutrition Reauthorization bill.  The bill, entitled Child Nutrition Integrity and Access Act of 2016, includes many new provisions that will positively impact the School Nutrition Programs.  You may access the Senate bill at:

    The Senate Agriculture Committee voted to approve the bill last Wednesday.

    As you review the 210 page bill, you will see:

    • opportunities to address the Paid Lunch Equity requirement,
    • an expansion of Farm-to-School initiatives,
    • a new approach to strengthen the verification process,
    • strategies for overall simplification of the programs (especially for the Summer Food Service Program and the At-Risk Supper Program); and
    • a return to the five-year Administrative Review cycle.

    I am currently sorting through the bill to glean more details that may be shared in future communications. 

    What you will not read in the Senate bill is that agreement has been reached with the USDA to address the following areas: 

    • WHOLE GRAINS: Under current regulations, all grains offered with school meals must be whole grain rich – down to the croutons on the fresh salad bar. This agreement requires 80% of the grains offered with school meals be whole grain rich, allowing schools to offer occasional servings of enriched grains. The change provides flexibility for schools struggling with product availability and allows schools to make special exceptions to appeal to diverse student tastes and regional preferences for items like white tortillas or biscuits that don’t meet current standards.
    • SODIUM: Schools have made great strides in reducing sodium to meet Target 1 sodium levels, effective on July 1, 2014. However, school nutrition professionals have warned that later sodium targets will push many healthy options, like low-fat deli sandwiches, soups and salads off the menu, due in part to naturally occurring sodium in foods.

    Under the agreement, schools gain two additional years to meet Target 2 limits, which will now take effect on July 1, 2019. Starting in 2019, a study will be conducted to determine whether scientific research supports the final sodium limits (effective July 1, 2022) and whether food companies are capable of preparing foods that meet those limits. The study will also evaluate the impact of Target 2 limits on student lunch participation, food cost, safety, and food service operations.

    • A LA CARTE: Smart Snacks in School regulations (effective July 1, 2014) severely limited the items sold in cafeteria a la carte lines, prohibiting the sale of everything from low-fat, whole-grain pizza to salads or hummus with a side of whole grain pretzels. As a result, students have fewer healthy choices in the cafeteria and schools have collected less revenue to offset the higher cost of meeting new regulations. This agreement will establish a working group to examine the impact of a la carte restrictions and recommend to USDA a list of allowable nutrient-dense food exemptions for a la carte sale.
    • FRUIT AND VEGETABLE MANDATES: The updated regulations required schools to offer students larger servings and a wider variety of fruits or vegetables; however, rules requiring every student to take a fruit or vegetable with every school meal has increased the amount of produce being thrown away in the cafeteria. Although salad bars and sharing tables help reduce food waste by allowing students to select the foods they prefer and share foods they don’t care to eat, some local food safety inspectors have discouraged schools from utilizing them. Under the agreement, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and USDA will establish new guidance, designed for local governments, confirming the safety of and encouraging the use of salad bars and sharing tables.

    These agreements are the result of several meetings and discussions with SNA leadership, USDA, Stakeholders and various congressional entities. 

    On occasions like this, I am reminded of what a great privilege it is to serve along-side our hard-working and committed School Nutrition Services Staff at NCDPI as your advocate in the department and as Vice President of the School Nutrition Association.  I so appreciate the courage, commitment and passion each of you demonstrate every day as you lead our School Nutrition programs and provide nutritious, appealing, affordable meals to students.  We still have much to do to restore the participation and financial solvency that is critical to program success, but the Senate bill and underlying agreements are a HUGE first step forward. 

    We will keep you informed as the bill moves forward to the House Education and Workforce Committee.  The testimony that was provided in June, 2015, to this committee, describing the state of School Nutrition Programs in North Carolina is attached for your use should the media or others in your school district ask for information about the challenges of operating the School Nutrition Programs in North Carolina.  

    As we always say…”together we are stronger…and we are all in this together.  Thank you for your continued resiliency, commitment, and determination to make school meals the best they can be and for always keeping students first in all you do!


    Lynn Harvey

    *New Non-Discrimination Statement

    USDA has issued a revised Non-Discrimination Statement.  Please be sure to update your SFA documents and website with the new statement immediately.  We have provided several avenues for locating the new non-discrimination statement; the School Nutrition website via the home page or the Civil Rights section and, as always, the last page of the print version of the SN Weekly Update.


    **IMPORTANT NOTICE** School Nutrition Technology System Claims Module Scheduled to be Temporarily Locked for Reporting

    We have received notice that the School Nutrition Technology System will be unavailable periodically throughout the next week; Monday, January 25, 2016 thru Friday, January 29, 2016.  The NCDPI Claims department will make the system inaccessible to users for the closeout of the USDA funding year and for month end reports.  We do not have specific days and times, but just be aware that if you are unable to access the system anytime next week it is likely for this reason.  Of course, if anyone is unable to access the system after next Friday, please contact us for assistance.

    We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

    Independent Review of Applications Report

    In the 2015-2016 School Year, all School Food Authorities (SFAs) processing Free and Reduced Price School Meal Household Applications were required to conduct a Second Review of Applications. 

    USDA required this year’s reporting period spans from the start date of processing the Free and Reduced Price School Meals Household Applications in the 2015-2016 School Year through October 31, 2015.  However, the SFA must continue to document any discrepancies on the NC tool, Documentation of Change as a result of Second Review of Applications (see attached) that was provided earlier for the entire school year.  Should you have questions on completing the forms, please contact your Zone Consultant.

    FormDue DateSubmit to:
    USDA-FNS Local Education Agency Second Review of Applications Template (SY 2015-2016) Monday, February 15, 2016 Please email the completed form Jacquelyn McGowan at
    NC Independent Review Form N/A

    Provide Upon Request by State Agency

    Maintain on file in the SFA.

    23rd Annual Best Practice Awards

    The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced the 23rd Annual Best Practice Awards in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), School Breakfast Program (SBP) and Food Distribution Program (FDP).  The purpose of this program is to encourage and reward outstanding practices in State Agencies (SAs), School Food Service Authorities (SFAs), and Public Schools of North Carolina.  There are so many outstanding school nutrition programs in North Carolina and we encourage you and your staff to nominate schools and/or SFAs for outstanding and/or innovative practices. 

    • CLICK HERE to review the Best Practice Awards information, entry details, and criteria along with the nomination forms. 

     Important Points to remember: 

    • Please note that some of the categories and descriptions have changed from prior years. 
    • All nominations are due on or before 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 10, 2016.  **VERY IMPORTANT** Entries in the mail or postmarked and mailed on March 10 cannot be considered; they must be in the Raleigh office.
    • Electronic documents or fax transmissions cannot be accepted. 

    Please do not hesitate to contact the School Nutrition Services Section at (919) 807-3506 if we can be of assistance with this process.  We look forward to receiving your nominations and celebrating the USDA Best Practice Awards with you at the 2016 Annual Conference for School Nutrition Administrators.

    Best of luck!

    What's New on the Web?

    Continuing Education Reminders

    WEBINAR Controlling Allergens: Preventing Cross-Contact during Preparation and Service 

    DATE: Thursday, January 28, 2015             TIME:  2:00 – 3:00 pm EST

    To register, please send an email to that includes your first and last name and email address along with Controlling Allergens in the subject line. The email address is where the continuing education certificate will be sent after successful completion of the webinar. Registered participants will receive the details on joining the session about 3 days prior to the event.
    WORKSHOP Registration for the Greenville session of the Accommodating Students with Special Dietary Needs workshop is closing soon.  The deadline to register is Friday, January 29, 2016.   Seats are still available so please sign up soon to save your space at:
    ZONE POLICY UPDATE SCHEDULE Zone 1                                  Feb 11                  North Carolina Arboretum (100 Frederick Law Olmsted Way, Asheville, NC 28806)

    Zone 2 (non-LEA SFAs)       Feb 10                 Deep River Event Center (606 Millwood School Rd., Greensboro, NC 27409)

    Zone 2 (LEA SFAs)               Feb 16                 Village Inn Event Center (6205 Ramada Drive, Clemmons, NC 27012)

    Zone 3                                   Feb 11                 Hilton Garden Inn (7831 Gateway Ln NW, Concord, NC 28027)

    Zone 4 (non-LEA SFAs)       Feb 4                   NCSU McKimmon Center (1101 Gorman St., Raleigh, NC 27606)

    Zone 4 (LEA SFAs)               Feb 19                 NCSU McKimmon Center (1101 Gorman St., Raleigh, NC 27606)

    Zone 5                                   Feb 9                   Little River Golf and Resort (500 Little River Farm Blvd., Carthage, NC 28327)

    Zone 6                                   Feb 9                   NC TeleCenter (415 East Blvd., Williamston, NC 27892)

    Zone 7                                   Feb 18                 Hampton Inn (1382 US‐258, Kinston, NC 28504)


    Important School Nutrition Dates

    January 2016
    Jan 25-27 2016 SNA-NC Industry Seminar (Pinehurst)
    February 2016
    Feb 1 Deadline for Traditional Public School SFAs to complete the On-site Review of each school.
    Feb 10 (Wed) NSLP/SBP/ASSP/SFSP/SSO - Deadline to submit claim for reimbursement (for Jan 2016)
    Feb 15 (Mon) FFVP - Deadline to submit claim for reimbursement (for Jan 2016)
    Feb 15 Deadline to submit Independent Review of Applications form to State Agency
    March 2016
    Month of March National Nutrition Month
    Mar 7-11 National School Breakfast Week
    Mar 1 Due date Financial Form (FC-1A) for July 1 thru December 30 (Semi-Annual Report)
    Mar 10 (Thurs) NSLP/SBP/ASSP/SFSP/SSO - Deadline to submit claim for reimbursement (for Feb 2016)
    Mar 10 Best Practice Awards Nominations Due in State Agency office
    Mar 15 (Tues) FFVP - Deadline to submit claim for reimbursement (for Feb 2016)


    Have Questions? Need Assistance? Please remember to always contact your regional consultants or specialists first for any questions or assistance unless directed otherwise.

    USDA Non-Discrimination Statement


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