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2018 and 2019 NSLP Equipment Grant Awardees Posted

TDA has notified the school food authorities that were awarded equipment grants from the 2018 and the 2019 National School Lunch Program Equipment Assistance Grants for School Food Authorities. Click the headline to read more.

System Transition Temporarily Changes TDA Processing and Payment Schedules

The Texas Department of Agriculture is in the process of transitioning to a new budget and accounting system — CAPPS (Centralized Accounting and Payroll/Personnel system). To allow for the transition of the system, TDA will deviate from the normal claims and other processing and payment schedules to which our CEs have grown accustomed.

Distribution of AJFA posters has been halted, per USDA.

Per the USDA, the distribution of “And Justice for All” (AJFA) posters has been halted until further notice. CE’s that are unable to display AJFA posters will not be issued any findings associated with the poster display until further notice.

PUBLIC NOTICE AND INFORMATION REQUEST, PROPOSED WAIVER FOR ALTO ISD

Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA), on behalf of Alto ISD, is requesting a waiver from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) of several National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) requirements for the remainder of the 2018-2019 school year as a result of the ongoing conditions in the district resulting from a tornado that touched down on April 13,2019.

School Nutrition Program Update

Until the August timeframe, TDA had approved items utilized in A' la carte meals such as coffee machines, cappuccino machines, and some frozen drink machines. About August 2018 until now, these items might have been denied as not being part of a reimbursable meal. If you were denied one of these items, please resubmit to TDA for approval through the capital approval module of TXUNPS. These items, although based on a la cartel sales, are eligible for approval subject to the reasonableness and appropriateness of them.

Public Notice, Proposed Waiver Request: State-Funded Pre-Kindergarten

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) allows states agencies to submit a statewide waiver to allow Child Nutrition Programs (CNPs) to assign free eligibility to all students in state-funded pre-kindergarten programs. TDA has requested continuation of the previous waiver to assign free eligibility to state-funded pre-kindergarten students. Click the headline above to read the full Public Notice and Information for the Proposed Waiver Request.

USDA approves TDA’s statewide Summer Food Service Program Waiver requests

USDA approved TDA’s request for statewide Summer Food Service Program waivers related to First Week Site Visits, Time Restrictions for Meal Service, and Eligibility for Closed Enrolled Sites.

2018 NSLP Equipment Grant Awardees Posted

Awardees will also receive written notification of their award during the upcoming weeks. Click on headline for more details.

Summary of Child Nutrition Programs: Flexibilities for Milk, Whole Grains, and Sodium Final Rule

Starting July 1, 2019 schools will be allowed to make the following adjustments related to their menu choices: Low fat flavored milk is now allowed. Sodium levels in food currently being served may remain the same. Additional sodium restrictions previously planned are delayed until 2024. At least 50% of grain products served must be whole grain-rich. This is down from a 100% requirement.

Free USDA Foods Pounds Available in the Texas State Accounts

TDA has completed its annual “Sweeps” process to move excess and unused carry over pounds at the processors into the state account. TDA would like to make these pounds available to contracting entities (CEs) participating in further processing of USDA Foods. CEs can utilize them by May 31, 2019, at no charge to entitlement. CEs may now request these free pounds beginning Monday, December 17, 2018 and up to Friday, February 15, 2019. Click on the headline to read the full report.

School Garden Sweepstakes Will Award Cash for Gardens

Dec. 13, 2017 - The Get Out and Grow School Garden Sweepstakes will award one school $15,000 to use for a school garden project. This Gold award also includes a visit from a Team USA athlete. Silver and Bronze recognition levels also will offer cash for gardens to more schools. The sweepstakes is open to school administrators or food service directors of eligible K-12 schools.

Requesting Free Carry-over Pounds

Dec. 11, 2017

SECURITY NOTICE

Nov. 24, 2017 - Please read this notification of a malicious ransomware attack that may have impacted Texas schools.

Ongoing Harvey Relief Efforts

Aug. 28, 2017 - Texas Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition has created a Web page with important information for schools as they provide food and shelter to residents in areas affected by Hurricane Harvey.

IDEA Public Schools and Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District receive 2017 USDA Farm to School Grants

June 12, 2017 - Congratulations to IDEA Public Schools and Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District for receiving 2017 USDA Farm to School Grants. Both will use the funds to strengthen connections between students and Texas agriculture.

TDA Serves up New Software to School Nutrition Programs

May 8, 2017 - The Texas Department of Agriculture’s MENU software platform is now available for all Texas school districts to use free of charge.

Flexibility for School Lunch Regulations Announced

May 1, 2017 - Chairman Roberts and Secretary Perdue have announced National School Lunch Program regulatory flexibility. The flexibility relates to postponement of sodium targets, flexibility regarding serving non-whole grain rich products, and an allowance for 1 percent milkfat flavored milk to be served. Specific details regarding implementation will be provided by the Texas Department of Agriculture at a later date.

Sonny Perdue Sworn in as 31st U.S. Secretary of Agriculture

April 25, 2017 - Sonny Perdue was sworn in as the 31st U.S. Secretary of Agriculture by fellow Georgian and Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Clarence Thomas in a brief ceremony on April 25 at the Supreme Court building. The U.S. Senate confirmed Secretary Perdue by a vote of 87-to-11 on April 24.

Dairy Max Scholarships

March 1, 2017 - Dairy MAX, Inc., the local checkoff promotion organization funded by dairy farmers, offers five $1,000 academic scholarships for students entering the field of agriculture, culinary arts, education or science (a maximum of $2,500 may be awarded based on quality of application).

Area Flooding Assistance Options

April 22, 2016 - As the Houston area recovers from devastating floods, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Texas Department of Agriculture are offering guidance that independent school districts affected by the flooding may use to assist their communities.

Texas Schools recognized with the Perfect Peach Award

March 23, 2016 - TDA is recognizing 65 National School Lunch Program participants for responding to the Local Products Challenge and serving local ingredients from three or more meal components during October! Read the full story for a list of recognized schools.

AASA Awards Grant to Spring ISD

March 9, 2016 - Spring ISD was one of only 11 school districts nationwide and the only one in Texas to receive a grant to increase breakfast participation from AASA, The School Superintendents Association!

Commissioner Miller Announces Plan to Combat Child Obesity, Rule Changes to Lift Mandates and Return Local Control to Texas Schools

June 19, 2015 - Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller announced a five-point plan to combat childhood obesity in Texas and begin to change the culture in school lunchrooms.

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Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

Mail:
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Texas Department of Agriculture
Commissioner Sid Miller