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Office of P-20 Education Policy
Child Nutrition Program Administration
89 Washington Avenue, Room 375 EBA, Albany, NY 12234
Phone: (518) 473-8781 Fax: (518) 473-0018

School Food Authorities
Paula Tyner-Doyle, Coordinator
Thursday, May 4, 2017
National School Lunch Program (NSLP) Flexibilities in Nutrition Requirements

On May 1, 2017, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide greater flexibility to the federal meal pattern requirements for the purpose of making food choices both healthful and appealing to school age children.  The Secretary signed a formal proclamation that allows increased local decision and control regarding whole grains, sodium and milk.


Whole Grains

For the 2017-2018 school year, USDA has authorized the New York State Education Department (SED) to continue to grant exemptions to schools experiencing hardship in serving 100 percent whole grain-rich products.  USDA has also been directed to implement a regulatory process to provide school food authorities (SFAs) with additional options in regard to serving only 100 percent whole grain-rich products.


For school years 2017-2018 through June 2020, SFAs will not be required to meet the Sodium Target 2 requirements.  SFAs demonstrating that their menus are meeting the established Sodium Target 1 requirements will be considered compliant.


USDA has been directed to begin the regulatory process to allow SFAs to offer one percent flavored milk.  USDA will publish an interim rule in the near future to effect the change in the current milk policy.  SFAs should continue to follow the existing guidelines pertaining to the milk varieties allowed in the school meals programs.

SED will continue to provide routine updates, training and on-going guidance to assist SFAs to have a full understanding of all available flexibilities in the nutrition requirements for school meals for the 2017-2018 school year.

USDA Nondiscrimination Statement

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
  3. email:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Click here for Nondiscrimination Statement translations.