Latest News for School Nutrition Programs

Upcoming Webinar on Federal Supports to Address School Labor Shortages

October 22, 2021 - The U.S. Departments of Education and Treasury are hosting a two-part webinar series that may be of interest to school nutrition professionals and other School Food Authority (SFA) staff. The second webinar may especially be of interest to schools and SFAs.

“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 That supplement is being rescinded with updated guidance and an accompanying TDA-issued memo.

FDP Security Group Name Changed

September 30, 2021 - Several Food Distribution Program security groups have been updated with a new name.

Notice to User Access Managers

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

New Back-to-School Resources from Team Nutrition

September 30, 2021 - USDA’s Team Nutrition initiative invites you to join us in sharing Stronger with School Meals materials with schools, families, and children. Click the title above for more information!

Planning for a Dynamic School Environment: Guidance for Meal Service Flexibilities

September 30, 2021 - On August 26, USDA delivered a live webinar to State agencies and local program operators providing an overview of nationwide waivers for School Year 2021-2022. Click on the title above for a link to the webinar recording.

New feature alert for the Professional Standards Training Tracker Tool

September 30, 2021 - A new feature is now available on the Professional Standards Training Tracker Tool (PSTTT).

New Team Nutrition Web Quizzes

September 30, 2021 - USDA’s Team Nutrition initiative is proud to announce the release of new Team Nutrition web quizzes.

RELEASE: Revised Administrator's Reference Manual (ARM)

September 30, 2021 - Revised ARM Section 5, Special Provision Options; Section 6, Verification of Eligibility; and Section 19, Meal Pricing

Verification Process Begins in October!

September 30, 2021 - Please click on the title for verification reminders and new information, including verification information for CEs operating SSO.

Flexibilities in the Event of Pandemic-Related Supply Chain Issues

September 30, 2021 - CEs experiencing supply chain issues as a result of the pandemic may utilize emergency procurement processes without submitting a request TDA via the online request form on SquareMeals. Please click the title for more information.

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.

New Letters, Templates and Resources for SSO Operators in SY 2021-2022

Updated September 14, 2021 - TDA has updated its list of resources for SSO operators in 2021-2022 to include new verification letter templates to go along with the new media release templates, household letters for SSO operators processing applications, eligibility notification letters, and Direct Certification eligibility letters. Click here for more information.

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.

Angela Olige’s Retirement and Welcoming of F&N’s New Assistant Commissioner

September 1, 2021 - TDA is sad to say farewell to our Assistant Commissioner Angela Olige, but is pleased to introduce Lena Wilson at the Division’s new Assistant Commissioner.

Verification Sample Method Worksheet

August 31, 2021 - Resource for determining verification sample size and recording application count and direct verification results.

Offering Meats and Meat Alternates at School Breakfast

August 31, 2021 - USDA’s Team Nutrition’s initiative is pleased to announce the release of “Offering Meats and Meat Alternates at School Breakfast Grades Kindergarten Through 12 (K-12)”.

New Feature and Process for Texas ELMS

August 31, 2021 - Texas ELMS has a new modified individual search feature and upload process to "un-claim" more than 1 student at a time. TEA matches will be available after September 5th.

Pledge Now for the NSLP Farm Fresh Challenge

August 31, 2021 - The time to pledge for the NSLP October Farm Fresh Challenge is now! Click here to learn more and pledge your participation.

USDA Farm to School Census Data Now Available

August 31, 2021 - The Census measures the scope, reach and overall impact of farm to school efforts across the nation.

Local Wellness Policy

August 31, 2021 - Are you looking for resources to strengthen your school district’s Local Wellness Policy (LWP)?

Summer Mandate Cost Reporting

August 31, 2021 - School districts mandated to participate in the 2021 summer nutrition programs are required to submit the Summer Cost Report form through TX-UNPS unless a waiver was granted.

USDA Foods Rate of Assistance for SY 2022

August 31, 2021 - TDA has posted the SY 2021-2022 USDA Foods Rate of Assistance.

Master Eligibility Roster

August 31, 2021 - Please ensure that the master eligibility roster of students, including carryover eligibility if applicable, is completed within 30 operating days after the start of NSLP/SBP food service operation this SY.

Direct Certification Matches

August 31, 2021 - Please remember that all CEs must complete direct certification matches monthly, including those operating SSO or CEP. CEs can find more information about direct certification in ARM Section 4, Eligibility.

Application Processing in TX-UNPS

August 31, 2021 - Please ensure that the application packet for your Contracting Entity (CE) is either in an approved or submitted status and that the CE contact information in TX-UNPS is current.

Reminder: Schools Must Distribute Media Release

August 31, 2021 - As a reminder, schools must distribute information about the availability of NSLP/SBP or SSO meals to the community at the beginning of the school year. Find more information here.

Revised Administrator’s Reference Manual (ARM)

August 31, 2021 - Several revisions to the ARM were released. See the full list here.

COVID-19 Guidance for Waiver Flexibilities and SSO Operations

August 31, 2021 - For information related to COVID-19 waiver flexibilities and Seamless Summer Option (SSO) operations during SY 2021-2022, please reference the latest COVID-19 guidance here.

PY 2021-2022 Applications Reminders

August 31, 2021 - The School Nutrition Program (SNP) site applications must be submitted and approved as a prerequisite for SSO application processing.

Back to School Resources!

August 31, 2021 - Click here to view resources from ICN and USDA's Team Nutrition!

Virtual Instructor Led Training offered by ICN

August 31, 2021 - Register now to attend free, live, interactive training sessions for child nutrition professionals. These sessions feature individual lessons led by ICN's expert trainers on great back-to-school and child and adult care topics.

SSO Meal Rates Effective 7/1/21

Updated August 20, 2021 - The new SSO rate (SFSP combined rate) is updated in TX-UNPS as of 8/20/21.

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.

Recent FSMC Webinars

July 28, 2021 - The webinar held on July 27 on this topic and the associated slides are now available. Click here to view them and other FSMC resources.

Attachment B: Upload Attachments

July 27, 2021 - Uploading Certification and Benefit Issuance and Documentation in TX-UNPS

Claim Processing Days: Tuesday & Thursday

May 12, 2021 - The internal cut-off time for claim submission on processing days is 12:00pm. Our team will process all claims submitted before the 12pm deadline on the processing day. This deadline will ensure staff have the adequate time to review your submission before sending your payment to the Comptroller. Claim submissions received after the deadline will be processed on the next processing day.

Thank You to All CEs!

May 5, 2021 - TDA celebrates all the frontline heroes who serve our communities during this unprecedented time. We recognize your valiant efforts and want to say a sincere thank you!

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 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.

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:

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. Logo

Texas Department of Agriculture Logo

Texas Department of Agriculture

Commissioner Sid Miller

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