Latest News for the Child and Adult Care Food Program
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Early Childhood Nutrition Improvement Act

December 1, 2021 - The bill aims to increase participation by reducing paperwork, streamlining eligibility requirements and promoting clearer guidelines for providers.

Specific Prior Written Approval (SPWA) Overview

December 1, 2021 - SPWA is required for all costs that fall outside of the normal operational requirements of the CACFP. However, CEs frequently forget to request SPWA or to amend their budgets, resulting in findings and monies having to be returned to the Program.

CACFP Training Tools from Team Nutrition

December 1, 2021 - USDA’s Team Nutrition has recently released several new and updated resources for State agencies to use in training and supporting operators of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). State agencies are encouraged to share this announcement with their Child Nutrition Program operators who may be interested.

TX-UNPS Document Upload Feature Unavailable December 16 – 21

December 1, 2021 - The feature to upload documentation via TX-UNPS to Texas Department of Agriculture’s (TDA’s) digital documentation storage (DSS) system will be unavailable from December 16 through December 21.

NEW RESOURCE - Record of Meal Pattern Deviations Due to COVID-19 Supply Chain Disruptions

December 1, 2021 - TDA has developed the Monthly Record of Meal Pattern Deviations Due to COVID-19 Supply Chain Disruptions Form, in which CEs can document instances during the COVID-19 pandemic when required food components were unavailable due to supply chain disruptions.

Notice to Current User Access Managers

December 1, 2021 - Review entity users to ensure proper security groups align with their role and responsibilities.

Transitioning to the User Access Manager

December 1, 2021 - TDA will begin a full transition to the User Access Manager for all entities and will retire the FND-101 form in Spring of 2022.

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

October 29, 2021 - Explanation: This guidance addresses individuals in lower pay job categories that may receive a higher rate of pay increase.

SY 22-23 Menu Calendar Templates Now Available

October 27, 2021 - The menu calendar templates for school year 2022-2023 are now available! This year's theme is "Get Yourself in Gear with a Healthy School Meal" and each English and Spanish template features a fun character who incorporates food into an everyday activity! Click here to visit the Resources page and access the templates.

Methods to Thaw Food

October 27, 2021 - Never thaw food at room temperature – harmful bacteria can multiply rapidly at room temperature. Three safe methods to thaw food: 1.) Thaw food in a refrigerator. This is the safest method. 2.) Thaw in cold running water. 3.) Thaw in the microwave if food will be cooked immediately. Follow the instructions in your owner’s manual for thawing. Click here for more information about these defrosting methods.

Questions and Answers for CNP Emergency Procurement Due to Supply Chain Disruptions

October 27, 2021 - USDA Memo SP 01-2022, CACFP 01-2022, Questions and Answers for Child Nutrition Programs Emergency Procurement Due to Supply Chain Disruptions, provides clarification on questions related to Child Nutrition Programs' use of emergency procurements due to supply chain disruptions caused by COVID-19.

Team Nutrition Toddler Nutrition Web Quizzes

October 27, 2021 - USDA’s Team Nutrition initiative is proud to announce the release of the English and Spanish-language Toddler Nutrition web quizzes. Quizzes on Infant Nutrition (English and Spanish) and School Lunch are also available, with additional quizzes coming this fall and winter.

Ending participation in CACFP?

October 27, 2021 - Ending your participation in CACFP requires more than just saying good-bye...

TDA is Streamlining Communications

October 27, 2021 - TDA strives to deliver timely and consistent information to our CEs. To ensure this, we are streamlining our communication methods. All information will be posted on SquareMeals.org and supplemented by alternative methods depending on the type of information. Click here to see a breakdown of the communication plan.

Upcoming CACFP LIVE! Sessions

Register for the November and December CACFP LIVE! Sessions!

Now Available in Print: New CACFP Training Worksheets

October 27, 2021 - Five new Team Nutrition training worksheets for the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) are now available in print. Each worksheet is available in English and Spanish, with 25 worksheets per pack.

Administrative Review Reminder and a New Process

September 30, 2021 - Administrative reviews, with few exceptions, include a review of a CE's procurement policy and practice. Also, Community Operations has adopted a new policy and practice of sending Notices to CEs. Click here to learn more.

“And Justice for All” Poster

Updated September 30, 2021 - Due to the impacts of COVID-19, the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) will not be taking “And Justice For All..." (AJFA) poster orders through TX-UNPS and will not be distributing posters to contracting entities (CE). Locally printed paper copies AJFA posters may substituted as necessary.

USDA Team Nutrition Resources

September 30, 2021 - Order USDA Team Nutrition print materials for your school and CACFP site.

Rescission of Pre-portioned Fruit Cup Crediting supplement released on May 14, 2013

September 30, 2021 - On May 14, 2013, TDA issued a Pre-portioned Fruit Cup Crediting supplement memo regarding crediting of 4-ounce fruit cups. That supplement is being rescinded with updated guidance and an accompanying TDA-issued memo.

Notice to User Access Managers

September 30, 2021 - A few updates to entity User Access Managers (UAM) regarding security changes, processes, and forms.

Submittal of Declare or Decline COVID-19 Meal Service Waiver Options Form

September 30, 2021 - All Contracting Entities (CEs) are reminded that in Program Year 2021-2022, they must submit TDA’s Declare or Decline COVID-19 Meal Service Waiver Options form to provide information on usage of non-congregate, meal service time, parent pick-up, offsite monitoring, and offer versus serve in high school waivers.

Establishing 3E's Grant and Healthier CACFP Gold Award

September 30, 2021 - TDA conducted orientation for the seven grantees receiving Establishing the 3E’s Grant funds.

Grain Ounce Equivalents Requirement

September 30, 2021 - Starting October 1, 2021, sponsors operating the CACFP will need to credit grains using ounce equivalents (oz eq) instead of "servings" in meals and snacks.

Look for improvements to the F&N Newsletters!

September 6, 2021 - Beginning in September, the CACFP Insight, NSLP Newsletter, and Summer In the Loop will transition to a monthly distribution schedule.

New Letter and Delivery Format for All Non-Adverse Action Notices Sent to CEs

August 31, 2021 - On October 1, 2021, Community Operations will begin using a new format and delivery method for non-adverse action notices sent to CEs.

Annual Audit Requirement for Renewal Applications

August 31, 2021 - Please ensure that the CACFP renewal application is submitted by the deadline of 9/30/2021. All CEs that are responsible for completing the Annual Audit will have their renewal application returned for incomplete if the Annual Audit has not been completed.

CACFP Meal Rates Effective 7/1/21

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

DCH Meal Rates Effective 7/1/21

July 19, 2021 - TDA received the new meal rates effective 7/1/21 and TX-UNPS is updated.

CACFP Program Year 2021-2022 (PY22)

July 12, 2021 - The program year for CACFP is now set to default to PY22. 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.

CACFP Special Processing Guidance

July 2, 2021 - NEW At-Risk sites that do not qualify for area eligibility (50% Free and reduced)

CACFP At-Risk Site Proximity

July 2, 2021 - All new original At-Risk sites submitted to TDA will be reviewed to identify if any pre-existing sites operate within a two-mile radius. Sites determined to be operating within a two-mile radius of a pre-existing operating site will be further assessed to determine if there are any extenuating circumstances that would establish the eligibility of the site to operate in close proximity of the other site.

CACFP Application Processing

July 1, 2021 - If you are renewing for participation and do not need to make any changes to your authorized representatives’ TX-UNPS user access/user rights, please do not re-submit a FND 101 form/Certificate of Authority form.

CACFP Compensation Protocol

May 20, 2021 -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.

Requests for Increases in Compensation

April 14, 2021 - 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.

Coronavirus Updates for Contracting Entities

The Texas Department of Agriculture has received some waivers from USDA to support the continued operation of meal service in response to coronavirus. Other waivers are not yet approved. Any information regarding USDA waivers related to meal service will be available at SquareMeals.org/coronavirus along with further instructions.

USDA Nondiscrimination Statement – Revision Notice

November 16, 2020 - ACTION REQUIRED: The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service recently updated its Civil Rights webpage resulting in changes to the internal hyperlinks within the Nondiscrimination Statement (NDS) as well as the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form. If you have not done so already, please update the electronic versions of the NDS with the English and/or Spanish versions. These changes were required to be completed no later than January 31, 2021.

Multiple Meal Times

August 30, 2020 - Please read the following information carefully in order to determine how to accurately reflect meal times in the TX-UNPS site application.

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, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

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: How to File a Complaint, 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:
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410
Fax: (202) 690-7442; or
 
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
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Texas Department of Agriculture

Commissioner Sid Miller

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