Latest News for School Nutrition Programs

RELEASE: Complete Administrator’s Reference Manual (ARM)

Published: 84 days ago
" All sections of the Administrator’s Reference Manual (ARM) were revised and released on May 19, 2023. The release includes new Definitions & Acronyms and Contact Information sections. Please click on the headline for more information.
All sections of the Administrator’s Reference Manual (ARM) have been revised and released as follows.

The definitions and contact information were removed from each section and consolidated. New Definitions & Acronyms and Contact Information sections were created and are located at the beginning of the ARM.  

The Update Guides located at the beginning of each section were truncated to include only the three most recent updates. 

Further, guidance changes and clarifications were made to the following:
  • Section 3, Civil Rights
  • Section 4, Eligibility Determination
  • Section 5, Special Provisions
  • Section 6, Verification
  • Section 7, Breakfast Meals
  • Section 8, Lunch Meals
  • Section 11, Summer Meals
  • Section 14, USDA Foods
  • Section 16, Financial System
  • Section 17, Procurement
  • Section 17c, Cooperative Purchasing
  • Section 18, Food Service Contracts
  • Section 19, Meal Pricing
  • Section 20, Counting & Claiming
  • Section 24, Disaster Situations
  • Section 28, Residential Child Care Centers

In addition, typos that do not affect the guidance were corrected in the following:
  • Section 1, Overview

The Update Guide sections located at the beginning of each ARM section provide more information about the topics addressed in each release. 
You can find the ARM
Please replace any previous versions of the above sections that you may have saved.


Assistance available in English and Spanish. Please call 877-TEX-MEAL (877-839-6325) for help. Additional translations services available as well.

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:, 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
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