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Legislation April 2016

On March 31, 2016, in All News, Legislation, by Paula Wagner

WOW what an exciting time to be in legislation. We had the opportunity to visit with the Senators at the unicameral on January 26, 2016.  We took baskets of fruit and smart snack items to the Senators talking to them about our School Nutrition programs and asking them to consider in the future giving us $.05 for EVERY meal we serve.  I had a follow up from a Senator wanting the nutritional statements on the smart snacks and wondering if that was what we really offered.  So we created an interest.

I think it is important that you tell your story and keep communication open with your elected officials on your programs, from School board, city officials, State and Federal. Invite them in to your kitchens and serving lines, email and call them.  Take a moment to talk to the State and Federal representation if they are in your area.  Tell them the good things that are working with your program and what needs to be improved.

Reauthorization is still being discussed in DC. As you know it was to be acted on this past fall.  Feb 27-March 1 Mary Finnegan and I attended LAC in Washington DC and asking them to keep moving forward, implementing the changes that we are asking for. The Child Reauthorization bill has left the Senate Agriculture Committee.  Please read the SNA email, articles in “School Nutrition” and NSNA and SNA websites about this very timely topic.

I followed up with all the offices after we got back home.

Senator Deb Fischer. Would be interested in attending our conference and visiting school lunch rooms. Helped with some of the wording in the Senate bill, does not believe that any item should be mandatory on the lunch tray.  Requested some information and hopefully she received it.

Senator Ben Sasse Would be interested in helping serve a meal in one of our cafeterias. Around the Fremont area would be best.

Congressman Adrian Smith. Always interested in cutting back Federal control in Nebraska.  Would welcome visits in the school lunch rooms.

Congressman Jeff Fortenberry. Communication is with Patty Sheetz his legislative aid.

Congressman Brad Ashford Communication is with Janelle Hinze legislative aid. She contacted the Dept. of Agriculture to find out some more information on paper work reduction.  Would like more input from other schools. Remember he was the one who introduced a bill last year to relax some of the restrictions.

If you hear that they will be in your community please try to reach out to them. I know many times when they are in Wayne it is over the lunch hour and it makes it hard to get away.  In this election year however there have been candidate forums where you may have the opportunity to visit with them.

Thank you for the connections you have made with your elected officials. Thank you for the great job you do every day putting the students in your schools first.

Judy Poehlman



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