April 20, 2021
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Top Story
Summer Meals Act would expand eligibility
(Leon Neal/Getty Images)
US lawmakers have introduced the Summer Meals Act, which would expand eligibility for the USDA's Summer Food Service Program and improve access to free school meals in rural and underserved areas. Under the bill, areas where 40% or more students receive meal assistance would be eligible -- instead of the current 50% threshold.
Full Story: WSYR-TV (Syracuse, N.Y.) (4/19) 
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School Update
School nutrition professionals in Michigan's Benton Harbor Area Schools and the nearby Elkhart Community Schools in Indiana have adjusted service during the coronavirus pandemic to ensure students can access food. Benton Harbor Superintendent Andrae Townsel said the district has partnered with 10 local groups to distribute daily meals to students, and Elkhart Community Schools worked to provide students with a week's worth of prepackaged food at a time, said Superintendent Steve Thalheimer.
Full Story: WSBT-TV (South Bend, Ind.) (4/19) 
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Nutrition & Wellness
Effective programs to prevent students from abusing alcohol or drugs should consider why youths are drawn to using those substances, says Jessica Lahey, an educator who battled alcoholism. Lahey suggests having open conversations and starting early to address drugs and alcohol and provide useful information.
Full Story: KQED-TV/FM (San Francisco) (4/19) 
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    Trends & Research
    More than 6 in 10 students are attending schools that offer daily, in-person learning, according to data from school calendar tracking website Burbio. Yet, separate data from the Institute of Education Sciences shows attendance challenges with Black and Indigenous students -- who are more likely in areas most affected by the coronavirus -- with absenteeism rates higher than 10%.
    Full Story: The 74 (4/19) 
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    CDC: Americans 16 and up can now get COVID-19 vaccine
    (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
    All US individuals ages 16 and older can now receive a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the CDC, which said those with underlying medical conditions that raise the risk for serious complications should be given priority. Nearly 211.6 million COVID-19 vaccine doses had been administered in the US as of Monday, with more than 85.3 million people now fully vaccinated.
    Full Story: Reuters (4/19),  Reuters (4/20) 
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    Policy Watch
    The coronavirus pandemic has caused setbacks for prekindergarten programs across the US, according to the State of Preschool Yearbook published by the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University in New Jersey. The report finds some states have waived pre-K requirements during the pandemic, and many students who did enroll attended remotely.
    Full Story: The 74 (4/19) 
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    SNA News
    Train your staff to "LEARN to Master Difficult Conversations" in the workplace with brand-new tools from the School Nutrition Foundation (SNF)! Register now for a live Webinar Wednesday presentation with SNF on Wednesday, April 28, at 3 p.m. ET to learn more about the new LEAD to Succeed™ facilitator guide designed specifically for school nutrition professionals. This program is open to all school nutrition professionals -- SNA members and non-members!
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