Tuesday, January 22, 2019
Announcements from the WI DPI School Nutrition Team (SNT)
USDA Final Rule titled Child Nutrition Programs: Flexibilities for Milk, Whole Grains, and Sodium Requirements
On Wednesday, December 12, 2018, USDA published the Final Rule titled Child Nutrition Programs: Flexibilities for Milk, Whole Grains, and Sodium Requirements. There were over 86,000 comments received by USDA. The flexibilities mentioned in this final rule must be in place at the start of school year (SY) 2019-2020.
National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program operators now have the option to offer flavored, low-fat milk (instead of just flavored, nonfat milk) but must also serve unflavored milk. In addition, for consistency purposes, the flavored, low-fat milk option will be extended to beverages for sale during the school day. This flexibility will also apply in the Special Milk Program and Child and Adult Care Food Program for participants ages six and older. There will no longer be the requirement of having to demonstrate a hardship.
Whole Grain-Rich Flexibility
This final rule requires that at least half of the weekly grains offered in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program meet the whole grain-rich criteria specified in USDA Food and Nutrition Service guidance, and that the remaining grain items offered must be enriched.
This decision is consistent with USDA’s commitment to alleviate difficult regulatory requirements, simplify operational procedures, and provide School Food Authorities (SFAs) adequate flexibility for local preferences. In addition, it will remove the need for whole grain-rich exemption request based on hardships.
The requirement of half of the weekly grains being whole grain-rich is intended to set a floor and not a ceiling; a minimum, not a maximum. We strongly encourage you to continue status quo if your students accept what you are currently serving. Why turn back?
This final rule will provide more time for gradual sodium reduction by retaining Sodium Target 1 through the end of the SY 2023-2024. The Sodium Target 2 compliance is required in SY 2024-2025 and the Final Target has been eliminated.
USDA recognizes the need for further sodium reduction. The delayed implementation of Target 2 will ensure that USDA has enough time to make any regulatory adjustments based on the most current scientific recommendations as well as providing stakeholders with advance notice.
Do not let this stop you, though. If you have been proactively moving toward Target 2 and wish to continue to do so….Go for it!
The DPI School Nutrition Team is here to help with any questions/concerns you may have.
Status of the USDA Child Nutrition Programs during the Government Shutdown
In the latest USDA Policy Memorandum SP 10-2019, USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has provided State agencies with appropriated funds, which can support program operations at normal levels “well into the month of March”. This includes the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Special Milk Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program, Summer Food Service Program Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, and State Administrative Expenses. Below is what we know...
On a conference call with USDA FNS on Thursday, January 17, USDA reinforced that there are funds available to pay for meal reimbursement through the end of March 2019. SFAs and Sponsors may submit their March claims in April for payment.
State agencies, sponsors, and SFAs are expected to continue to administer the programs in accordance with Federal statute and regulations.
We do not have any information regarding meals served April 1 and beyond. USDA FNS did not have anything to share.
USDA Foods Program: SY 2019-2020 catalog is not available yet, so the USDA Foods survey is on hold for now. SFAs should continue to get food.
DoD Fresh: Continues to operate.
Questions related to these programs should be directed to the School Nutrition Team at 608-267-9228 or email@example.com.
New Resource: Crediting In a Nutshell
The DPI School Nutrition Team has many In a Nutshell documents that are intended as brief, one-pagers on important school nutrition topics. To add to the collection, we now have a Crediting In a Nutshell, which can be found on the SNT Menu Planning webpage. This Nutshell includes information on how to credit each component, the crediting documentation required, and the difference between weight and volume. There are also real-life crediting examples to help you credit your standardized recipes.
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WI DPI School Nutrition Team · PO Box 7841 · WI Department of Public Instruction · Madison, WI 53707-7841 · USA