The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee approved the FY2019 Agriculture Appropriations bill on Thursday, May 24th with a unanimous roll call vote. As with the recently passed U.S. House Appropriations bill, SNA was also successful in getting a number of its legislative priorities included in this Senate version. While both the House and Senate bills still have a number of steps to go, SNA is excited to see potential additional funding and program simplification gain ground.
The Senate bill includes $20 million for School Breakfast Program commodities. It also requires that no funds may be used to implement Target 2 sodium levels, and appropriates $30,000,000 for competitive grants to State agencies for subgrants to local educational agencies and schools to purchase equipment.
The committee report that accompanied the bill contained two provisions supported by SNA. The first encourages the Secretary of Agriculture to return to a 5-year Administrative Review inspection cycle for schools found to be consistently complying with Federal regulations. The second encourages USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service to simplify the whole grain waiver process to make it faster and more user-friendly for SFAs.