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Video Has Guidance for Processor Exit

Preferred Meals, a vended meals processor, has exited the Food Distribution Program for the National School Lunch Program. School food authorities that were using Preferred Meals can review the recorded meeting for directions and contact their respective Education Service Center representative(s) for further guidance and assistance.

Unique Entity Identifier replaces DUNS number

January 1, 2022 - As of April 4, 2022, the federal government will stop using the DUNS number to uniquely identify entities doing business with the federal government. A Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) will replace DUNS numbers. All entities must register in SAM.gov for a UEI. (click to view more)

Minimum CACFP Protocol Threshold Salary Increase Guidance for Staff and General Office Positions

June 20, 2022 - Click the link for more information.(click to view more)

Annual Audit Requirement for Renewal Applications

June 20, 2022 - If the organization is a Non-Federal Contracting Entity (including States, federally recognized Indian Tribes, local governments, nonprofit organizations and for-profit organizations) you must complete the annual audit screen located at Applications >> Annual Audit. Renewal applications will be returned for correction if the Annual Audit screen has not been completed.

CACFP Compensation Protocol

June 20, 2022 - The Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) has updated compensation amounts including those occupations that operate within the food programs. As a result, the CACFP Compensation Protocol, formerly known as the CACFP Taxable Income Program Protocol, has been updated and posted on Squaremeals. (click to view more)

Application Processing

June 28, 2022 - TDA can only process complete applications for the Child and Adult Care Food Program. Incomplete applications will be returned to the CE without any review for accuracy having been conducted.

Documentation Submission

June 20, 2022 - You may upload your supporting documentation directly to TXUNPS via the CACFP application packet in the Checklist Section. Documents must be uploaded in PDF format. Any documentation/information not provided as part of the application packet in TX-UNPS should be submitted via CACFP.BOps@TexasAgriculture.gov (click to view more).

Non-Expedited Processing:

June 20, 2022 - CEs will be required to complete a more stringent application review process, including a possible evaluation of the CE’s Financial Viability, Administrative Capability, and Programmatic Accountability (VCA) if ANY OF THE FOLLOWING APPLY:

Expedited Processing

June 20, 2022 - TDA will continue to expedite the application review process for renewing CEs who have demonstrated their understanding and continuous compliance in the CACFP, as demonstrated by the following:

Important Reminder

June 20, 2022 - CEs must be in good standing (and maintain their good standing) with the State of Texas Secretary of State (SOS) and the Office of the Comptroller of the State of Texas (Comptroller) while they're applying to participate/participating in any of the programs administered by the TDA Food and Nutrition Division

General Application Processing Information

June 20, 2022 - CEs must review the CACFP Handbooks published by TDA (copies are available on SquareMeals) on a frequent basis to ensure that the CE is aware of current rules and guidelines issued by TDA and/or USDA.

Requests for Increases in Compensation

June 20, 2022 - Requests for increases in compensation must be reasonable, allocable, and necessary. TDA utilizes the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Cost Index data for March 2020 to determine its standard of reasonable.

CACFP Program Year 2022-2023 (PY23)

June 28, 2022 - The program year for CACFP is set to default to PY23. Please take note of the program year in which you are updating the application packet to ensure that the correct program year is being updated.

DCH Meal Rates Effective 7/1/21

July 1, 2021 - TDA received the new meal rates effective 7/1/21 and TX-UNPS is updated.

CACFP Meal Rates Effective 7/1/21 (Update 7/29/21)

July 29, 2021 - TDA received the new meal rates effective 7/1/21 and TX-UNPS is updated.

Funding Opportunity for The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)

June 16, 2022 - The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) is excited to announce its receiving of funding for $3,759,351 from the Build Back Better (BBB) Reach and Resiliency grant to apply towards the State Distributing Agency (SDA) and Eligible Recipient Agency (ERA) projects in Texas. The initiative’s key objective is to expand TEFAP's reach into remote, rural, Tribal, and/or low-income areas that are underserved by the program.

“And Justice for All” Poster

Updated June 8, 2022 - USDA has recently released guidance regarding the AJFA posters. Currently, USDA is working with TDA and will provide newly printed AJFA posters later this year. TDA is working on a statewide distribution plan and will communicate to all CEs when posters are available and being sent to your CE locations to be distributed to your sites.

New Summer 2022 FAQs Now Available

June 9, 2022 - New Summer 2022 FAQs have been published on the SquareMeals.org COVID-19 response page. Please familiarize yourself with the guidance, as operations are expected to transition back to pre-pandemic standards.

Update on Non-Congregate Feeding during Extreme Heat/Weather

June 1, 2022 - TDA is requesting from USDA the discretion to allow summer sites experiencing extreme heat or other extreme weather events to serve non-congregate meals on those days. If approved, TDA will provide further guidance on the request process.

Seamless Summer Option (SSO) Age/Grade Exemption

June 1, 2022 - The SSO age/grade meal pattern portion sizes exemption is now available in TX-UNPS. CEs participating in SSO that are operating open and restricted open sites and have difficulty implementing the age/grade group requirements may apply for an exemption.

Congrats to our Establishing 3E's grantees

June 1, 2022 - Establishing 3E’s grant recipients attended MegaCon to showcase their projects.

RELEASE: School Meal Household Applications and Media Release Prototypes - English Version

June 1, 2022 - The NSLP/SMP household applications for School Year 2022 -2023 were released in English. Spanish versions are coming soon.

SSO Claim for the month during transition to regular SSO.

June 1, 2022 - For ISDs where the school year SSO transitions to the normal summer SSO within the same month, one combined claim may be filed for that month.

Edible School Gardens

June 1, 2022 - Webinars are available if you're looking to start a garden. Also subscribe to The Dirt, a newsletter from USDA FNS's Farm to School Program.

Updated School Data Report and New Area Eligibility Flexibilities

June 1, 2022 - TDA has updated the 2021-2022 School Data Report for Area Eligibility to account for new flexibilities available to Contracting Entities that operated the Seamless Summer Option during SY 2021-2022.

30-Day Carryover Eligibility in School Year 2022-2023

June 1, 2022 - Schools that operated the Seamless Summer Option in School Year 2021-2022 will be permitted to use a prior year's data for 30-day carryover, depending on how or if they processed household applications in SY 2021-2022 or SY 2020-2021.

RELEASE: Excess Net Cash Resources Plan – NEW UPDATES

June 1, 2022 - Updates to the new Excess Net Cash Resources Plan form (formerly known as the Plan for Reducing an Excessive Operating Fund Balance) were released.

Local Wellness Policy (LWP) Triennial Assessment Extension

June 1, 2022 - TDA was given the discretion to allow NSLP/SBP CEs to complete their first triennial Local Wellness Policy assessment by June 30, 2023. CEs electing to use the new deadline must inform TDA by July 15, 2022.

Availability of COVID-19 Response Waivers

June 1, 2022 - TDA has been authorized to approve non-congregate, meal service time, parent pick-up, and offsite monitoring waivers on a case-by-case basis in instances when a COVID-19 outbreak in or around the area of a site is affecting food service operations.

Additional Day School Year Calendar Policy Update

June 1, 2022 - TDA is modifying its policy on serving NSLP/SBP meals on additional school days included as part of an Additional Day School Year (ADSY) calendar. Schools can serve NSLP/SBP meals if curriculum, attendance, and communication meet specific conditions on those days.

Assistance available in English and Spanish. Please call 877-TEX-MEAL (877-839-6325) for help.

In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.

Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at: https://www.usda.gov/sites/default/files/documents/USDA-OASCR%20P-Complaint-Form-0508-0002-508-11-28-17Fax2Mail.pdf, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to USDA by:

1. Mail:
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; or
2. Fax: (833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or
 
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
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