SNA has appointed an ad hoc working group to develop a “Practical How-To Guide” for SNA members to assist in the challenges of implementing the new meal pattern requirements scheduled to go in to effect this fall. The ad hoc group will be composed of representatives from USDA, state agencies, food service operators, and industry. The working group will meet via a series of conference calls to develop the “New Meal Pattern Guidelines: A Companion Guide.” The Guide will address both breakfast and lunch meal pattern requirements. This training resource will be unveiled at ANC in Denver, CO in July of 2012 as part of two “hot topic” education sessions.
The Ad Hoc group will consist of the following state agency directors: Colleen Fillmore (ID), Catherine Digilio Grimes (VA), Lynn Harvey (NC), Katie Millett (MA) and Robin Safley (FL). Individuals representing the food service operator segment include: Wanda Grant (CA), Penny McConnell (VA), Jean Ronnei (MN), and Ken Yant (GA). Pat McCoy of Schwan’s Food Service, Inc., will participate on behalf of the SNA industry segment. George Sneller, former Child Nutrition Director, Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction in Washington will serve as the project consultant. A representative from USDA will also participate in project development.
SNA members are encouraged to share their comments, concerns and challenges they are facing with the ad hoc group. Please feel to contact SNA staff liaisons to this project: Cathy Schuchart, SNA VP, Child Nutrition and Policy and Danny Seymour, SNA Dean of Education at the following email addresses: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
USDA has published an interim rule that amends National School Lunch Program regulations to conform to requirements contained in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 regarding performance-based cash assistance for school food authorities certified compliant with meal pattern and nutrition standards. This rule requires State agencies to certify participating school food authorities (SFAs) that are in compliance with meal pattern and nutrition standard requirements as eligible to receive performance-based cash assistance for each reimbursable lunch served (an additional six cents per lunch available beginning October 1, 2012 and adjusted annually thereafter).
This rule also requires State agencies to disburse performance-based cash assistance to certified SFAs, and withhold the performance-based cash assistance if the SFA is determined to be out of compliance with meal pattern or nutrition standards during a subsequent administrative review.
The intended effect of this rule is to provide additional funding for SFAs to implement new meal pattern requirements, thus increasing the healthfulness of meals served to school children.
This interim rule is effective July 1, 2012.
Comments regarding rule provisions will be accepted until July 26, 2012.
Here is the full text of the interim rule. The School Nutrition Foundation will be hosting a webinar with USDA officials on May 16, 2012 from 2:00-3:15pm ET explaining this interim rule. Register here for the webinar.
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