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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