On Jan. 3, USDA Food and Nutrition Service announced they will make permanent the current flexibility allowing larger portions for whole grains and lean proteins in School Meal Programs. ABA worked diligently to push for this permanent flexibility for larger whole grain servings and in 2013 led a group of 20 grain organizations with our message calling for action by USDA – ABA is pleased to see its efforts paid off in this final rule.
These changes will confirm with the requirements for the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 including requiring state agencies to certify participating school food authorities (SFAs) that are in compliance with the meal pattern and nutrition standard requirements as eligible to receive performance-based cash assistance for each reimbursable lunch. Other finalizations include the requirement to disburse performance-based cash assistance to certified SFAs and withhold the performance-based cash assistance from SFAs determined to be out of compliance with meal pattern or nutrition standards during subsequent administrative review.
Below are links associated with the final rule. The official Federal Register notice is expected on January 3, 2014. Effective Date for the final rule: Within 60 days of January 3, 2014.
- The January 2, 2014 USDA News Release – click here.
- The January 2, 2014 USDA FNS pre-publication Federal Register Final Rule – click here.
- The USDA FNS Final Rule is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on January 3, 2014 – click here.
- The April 27, 2012 USDA FNS Federal Register Interim Final Rule – click here.
- Additional information about the National School Lunch Program – click here.
- The “Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010” (Public Law 111-296) – click here.