FNS Adds Time for Comments on Child Nutrition Program Proposal

June 15, 2016 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

say-what-1108003-mSometime you just need a little more time to do all that you need to do. Well, the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has done just that for stakeholders interested in submitting comments on a FNS proposed rule concerning child nutrition programs. If you have something to say, now’s the time to do it.

FNS has proposed to codify several provisions of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which affects the integrity of several award programs including the National School Lunch Program, the Special Milk Program for Children, the School Breakfast Program, the Summer Food Service Program, the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and State Administrative Expense Funds. The NSF issued the proposal earlier this year and has now extended the comment period until July 7 to provide additional time for interested parties to submit comments.

The proposal would establish criteria for assessments against state agencies and program operators who jeopardize the integrity of any Child Nutrition Program. In essence, FNS or a state agency can issue an assessment against any school food authority or school administering these programs if it is determined that the school or school food authority failed to correct severe mismanagement of any program, failed to correct repeated violations of program requirements, or disregarded a requirement of which they have been informed.

The proposed rule would also establish state liability for reimbursements incurred as a result of its failure to conduct timely hearings in the CACFP; establish criteria for increased state audit funding for CACFP; establish procedures to prohibit the participation of entities or individuals terminated from any of the Child Nutrition Programs; establish serious deficiency and termination procedures for unaffiliated sponsored centers in the CACFP; eliminate cost-reimbursement food service management company contracts in the school lunch program; and establish procurement training requirements for state agency and school food authority staff in the school lunch program.

Along with your concerns, FNS wants to know if the provisions in the proposal have been clearly stated and if technical language makes it difficult to understand. If you are participating in these programs, it is important to review this proposal and make your concerns heard, especially now that you have a few more weeks to do so. Make FNS aware of your thoughts now.

Let us know what you think about this proposal. We’d love to hear from you.

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