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Flexibilities in the Keep Kids Fed Act during School Year 2022-2023

July 1, 2022 - The Keep Kids Fed Act passed on June 27, 2022, will allow higher reimbursements for meals, meal pattern flexibilities in the event of COVID-19-related supply chain issues, and other flexibilities still to be determined in School Year 2022-2023.

New! Food Buying Guide Mobile App Training Videos!

July 1, 2022 - Team Nutrition is excited to announce that training videos on navigating the Food Buying Guide (FBG) Mobile App are now available. These short videos are broken into four chapters to provide users with step-by-step instructions on using the Mobile App and its different components.

Transitioning Back to Paid Meals in School Year 2022-2023

July 1, 2022 - This Fall, ‘Back to School’ will also mean ‘Back to Student Meal Rates’ for nutritious school meals. TDA has created resources to assist with notifying parents about this shift.

TX-UNPS FDP Upgrade Coming in 2023/2024

July 1, 2022 - The ordering functions in the TX-UNPS FDP module for NSLP and SFSP will transition to USDA's Web-Based Supply Chain Management (WBSCM) system.

Severe Need Reimbursements for School Year 2022-2023

July 1, 2022 - As schools return to normal operations, CEs that operated SSO during SY 2020-2021 may not have the complete data needed to determine eligibility for severe need breakfast and lunch reimbursements in SY 2022-2023. These CEs may use the most beneficial claims data going back to SY 2019-2020 to qualify for severe need, as outlined in this article.

Paid Lunch Equity Flexibilities for School Year 2022-2023 – Request Form is LIVE

July 1, 2022 - USDA announced new PLE flexibilities for SY 2022-2023. Any NSLP CE with a positive or zero balance in its nonprofit school food service account as of December 31, 2021, is exempt from PLE pricing requirements for SY 2022-2023. Additionally, USDA is exempting CEs with a negative nonprofit food service account balance as of December 31, 2021, from raising meal prices in accordance with PLE requirements. CEs with a negative balance planning to use this flexibility must notify TDA via request form available on the Intake Forms page of SquareMeals.org.

30-Day Carryover Flexibilities for School Year 2022-2023 – Request Form is LIVE

July 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. CEs planning to use this flexibility must notify TDA by October 15, 2022, via request form available on the Intake Forms page of SquareMeals.org.

Local Wellness Policy Flexibility for School Year 2022-2023 – Request Form is LIVE

July 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 planning to use the new deadline must inform TDA by July 15, 2022, via request form available on the Intake Forms page of SquareMeals.org.

“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.

Congrats to our Establishing 3E's grantees

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Updated Nondiscrimination Statement

June 1, 2022 - The Nondiscrimination Statement required on all public-facing Program materials has recently been updated to account for a recent court decision determining that the prohibition of discrimination based on sex in Title IX and the Food and Nutrition Act includes gender identity and sexual orientation.

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.

Paid Lunch Equity Update

June 1, 2022 - The 2022-2023 Paid Lunch Equity (PLE) tool was posted to SquareMeals on May 24. Additionally, USDA has announced new PLE flexibilities for SY 2022-2023.

Now Available: Updated “A Guide to Smart Snacks in School”

June 1, 2022 - USDA’s Team Nutrition initiative is pleased to announce the release of the updated “A Guide to Smart Snacks in School.” This publication is designed for anyone who sells foods or drinks to students outside of the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) or School Breakfast Program (SBP) on the school campus during the school day.

School-Meal Communications Resources Coming in July

The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) is developing resources schools can use to communicate with families about free, reduced-price, and paid school meals. Look for resources online in July 2022.

Safety Information for Infant Formula in CACFP

The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) is aware of the shortage of infant formula and reminds Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) providers that infant safety should be a key priority during this time. Click the headline to go to a page with links to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) resources for safely feeding infants during the formula shortage.

2020 NSLP Equipment Grant Update

USDA has approved a no-cost extension for 2020 awardees of National School Lunch Program Equipment Grants and extended the performance period through September 30, 2023. SFAs who were awarded a 2020 NSLP Equipment Grant will be required to fully expend their funds by August 31, 2023.

Seamless Summer Option (SSO) Age/Grade Exemption

May 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.

TDA to Request Waivers for Summer 2022 and SY 2022-2023

May 1, 2022 - Given that many nationwide waivers are set to expire in June or soon after the declared end of the Public Health Emergency, TDA is requesting from USDA the discretion to implement waivers this summer and next school year. If approved, these waivers are only expected to be used in cases where COVID-19 has affected operations; they are not meant to be used as part of standard operations throughout the Program Year.

Updated Guidance on Paid Lunch Equity Exemption (PLE) for School Year (SY) 2022-2023

May 1, 2022 - USDA extended the PLE exemption based on a CE’s financial position to SY 2022-2023 in policy memo SP 08-2022 Consolidated Appropriations Act 2022: Effect on Child Nutrition Programs (released April 4, 2022).

Universal Breakfast Program Waivers

May 1, 2022 - The Universal Breakfast Program Waiver application closes on July 1.

Security Form FND-101 has been removed from SquareMeals

May 1, 2022 - TDA has fully transitioned to the User Access Manager for all entities and has removed the FND-101 form on SquareMeals.

2022 State Matching Payments

April 1, 2022 - 2022 state matching payments were processed in TX-UNPS on March 28, 2022. Public/Charter schools that participated in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and Seamless Summer Option (SSO) last year should receive the funds within 10 days.

March Summer Meals Marketing Checklist - Begin Planning to Promote your Summer Meal Sites

March 1, 2022 - Whether you call it a marketing plan, an action plan, or a to-do list, planning to promote your summer meal sites and setting goals is key to maximizing success. TDA is ready to support you with your monthly to-dos to prepare for summer meals marketing. Click here for your March Marketing Checklist!

Maximum Approvable Average Daily Participation (ADP)

January 12, 2022 - Returning Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) Contracting Entities (CEs) for SFSP program year 2022 may enter in the site applications no more than the amount listed on the Maximum Approvable ADP list. The Maximum ADP list provides the maximum approvable ADP for the site by meal type for SFSP 2022. Click the link in the title to find the list at the bottom of the next page. The list is used to determine the maximum ADP for each site.

Seamless Summer (SSO) Site Applications SY 2022

July 28, 2021 - The School Nutrition Program (SNP) site applications must be submitted and approved as a prerequisite for SSO application processing. SSO sites submitted for approval will be returned for correction if there are no SNP site applications in submitted and/or approved status.

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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