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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.

Food Service Management Company (FSMC) Contract Process Ends December 31

December 1, 2021 - The FSMC contract process is open October 31 - December 31. Click for more information.

Onsite Monitoring Due February 1

December 1, 2021 - CEs that operate more than one site are required to conduct onsite reviews. Click for more information.

Food Service Management Company (FSMC) Monitoring Form: Updates and New Guidance

December 1, 2021 - TDA released a new Food Service Management Company (FSMC) Monitoring Form that includes updated guidance and monitoring questions.

School Food Authority (SFA) Verification Collection Report Due February 1

December 1, 2021 - CEs must report verification results in the School Food Authority (SFA) Verification Collection Report, FNS-742 by February 1, 2022.

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.

Updated Resources on Procurement and Supply Chain Issues for SY 2021-2022

December 1, 2021 - USDA continues to offer flexibilities in response to public health needs and to ease administrative burden, while still promoting nutritious meals. FNS has updated their resources to include additional information related to procurement and supply chain issues.

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.

Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) Updates

October 27, 2021 - Benefit issuances for school year 2020-21 P-EBT wrapped up in October with over $3.9 billion dollars provided to 3.8 million Texas children. Summer P-EBT benefits will be issued to eligible children starting in late November. A Texas state plan for school year 2021-22 P-EBT is currently in development. For the most up to date information, click here.

Farm Fresh Challenge Participants – Attestations forms due November 15th!

October 27, 2021 - Congratulations on completing another year of the Texas Department of Agriculture's Farm Fresh Challenge. All schools that wish to earn recognition must complete their attestation form no later than 11/15/2021. Submit your attestation form here!

School Breakfast Week 2022 - Pre-Order Promotional Items Today

October 27, 2021 - It is time to plan for School Breakfast Week (SBW) 2022, March 7-11th. TDA materials feature the theme Feed Your Creativity with a Healthy School Breakfast and artwork inspired by the winning entries from the You Art What You Eat student art contest. Click here for more information about SBW 2022, to order promotional materials, and more digital resources.

Student Art Contest - Order Promotional Items Today

October 27, 2021 - The Texas Department of Agriculture's (TDA) You Art What You Eat art contest offers Texas students a chance to earn statewide recognition for their artwork. Click here for more information about the contest, to order promotional materials, and to submit an entry.

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.

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.

New Unanticipated School Closure Notification Form

October 27, 2021 - TDA has released a new notification form for schools operating SSO during an unanticipated school closure. While no approval is required to operate SSO during an unanticipated school closure, completion of the notification form is required.

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 Back-to-School Support Kit

October 27, 2021 - As schools work toward resuming regular operations, USDA continues to offer flexibilities in response to public health needs and to ease administrative burden, while still promoting nutritious meals.

Now Available in Print for Team Nutrition Schools: Stronger with School Meals Materials

October 27, 2021 - Team Nutrition Schools can now order free printed copies of new Stronger with School Meals educational materials. These materials celebrate how school meals, and the school nutrition professionals that provide them, help students stay strong physically (through good nutrition) and mentally (through the sharing of mealtimes in person or virtually).

Now available in print: Professional Standards Training Reward Badges

October 27, 2021 - Professional Standards training reward badges are a fun way to promote training and recognize staff who have completed training. School nutrition professionals can earn badges by completing training in any of the key areas: Nutrition, Operations, Administration, or Communication/Marketing.

New Instructions/Process for Form H4529.1 - Authorization to Transfer USDA Foods

October 27, 2021 - TDA has created a new electronic form H4529.1 – Authorization to Transfer USDA Foods for Further Processing. This form is used to request TDA approval to transfer USDA Foods for further processing in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). New instructions and resources are available by clicking here.

Preliminary Verification Report Due November 15!

October 27, 2021 - All CEs are required to complete the report. Click the headline for more information!

2022 Texas Summer Mandate Notification and Waiver

October 27, 2021 - Texas Legislation requires school districts to participate in a summer meal program if 50% or more of the enrolled children are eligible to receive free/reduced price NSLP meal based on the March 2021 claim.

Low-Fat (1%) Flavored Milk – Congressional Flexibility Extended through December 3, 2021

October 27, 2021 - Due to recent Congressional action, flexibility allowing low-fat, flavored milk in the NSLP and SBP is now effective through December 3, 2021. This provides additional flexibility in planning school breakfast and lunch menus but does not require schools to make any menu changes.

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.

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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