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See Latest Guidance for Operational Impact of USDA Fall Waivers

TDA is providing guidance updates regarding the operational impact of these USDA Fall waivers. Contracting entities should review the Meal Service Options for Fall 2020 guidance. See the latest Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for most up-to-date guidance.

USDA Extends Free Meals for Kids Through December 31, 2020

USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is extending a suite of nationwide waivers for the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and Seamless Summer Option (SSO) through the end of 2020, or until available funding runs out.

Meal Pattern Requirements for SY 2020-2021

A federal court ruling earlier this year has reversed several NSLP/SBP meal pattern flexibilities. As a result the following meal pattern changes are effective immediately. Follow this link for more information.

School Districts' Reopening Plans: A Snapshot

The Education Week news site created a list showing the education model some districts from around the country will use when they start the 2020-2021 school year.

Thank You Contracting Entities!

We want to express our most sincere gratitude for your ongoing commitment to provide meals to those who need them most. Your heroic efforts make a difference in your community every day, and we applaud you for your dedication. We recognize your valiant efforts and want to say a sincere Thank You!

“And Justice for All” Poster

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.

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.

Looking for the Institute of Child Nutrition?

The National Food Service Management Institute was renamed the Institute of Child Nutrition (ICN) in 2015. If you’re searching for the education, research and training ICN provides, go to www.theicn.org. The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) is working to ensure all links on SquareMeals.org that reflect the organization's original name are updated to send users to ICN.

Public Notice, Proposed Waiver Request: Administrative Review Cycle

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides state agencies with the option to request a statewide waiver of the Administrative Review cycle for the School Nutrition Programs (SNPs). TDA is requesting a statewide waiver from USDA to perform SNP Administrative Reviews on a four-year cycle and to waive the Seamless Summer Option (SSO) reviews for CEs with no findings during an Administrative Review conducted in the same school year.

Final Rule Extends Deadline to Implement Ounce Equivalents as a Measure for Creditable Grains in CACFP

USDA has extended until October 1, 2021, the deadline for implementing ounce equivalents to determine the quantity of creditable grains in CACFP.

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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: 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:
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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