Special Milk Program
The recently enacted Fiscal Year 2008 Agriculture Appropriations Act directed the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to work with School Meal Program administrators and local food advocates to identify opportunities for growth in local procurement, and provide Congress a report on these efforts. In response to this request and their ongoing Farm to School efforts, USDA recently held a “Farm to School” session at the National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference sponsored by the Food Research and Action Center and America’s Second Harvest. The session, which was held on March
Federal regulation 7 CFR Part 3016.36(b) prohibits the awarding of contracts to any entity that develops or drafts specifications, requirements, statements of work, invitations for bids, requests for proposals, contract terms and conditions or other procurement documents. This reminder is being re-issued since USDA continues to receive complaints that a number of school food authorities (SFAs) are not drafting their own specifications and procurement documents, but instead directly incorporating a list of features written by a prospective bidder.
The 2008 Farm Bill amended the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act to direct that the Secretary of Agriculture encourage institutions operating Child Nutrition Programs to purchase unprocessed locally grown and locally raised agricultural products.
Provisions of the law effective October 1, 2008 were initially implemented through policy memoranda and explanatory question and answer communications. A proposed rule was published April 19, 2010; USDA received 77 comments which were reviewed before they issued their final rule on this subject on April 22, 2011.
The purpose of this memorandum is to update the definition of what is considered “unprocessed” for the purposes of applying the optional geographic preference for procurement in the Child Nutrition Programs.
It has been brought to our attention that some schools may be applying for or participating in grant programs aimed at assisting schools with start-up and/or expansion, especially of the School Breakfast Program (SBP) and Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). The foundations sponsoring the grants are associated with companies that provide goods and services to the school meal programs. Review of these grant programs revealed that at least some contain a mandatory purchasing component, requiring recipients to purchase and use a vendor's specified product for a stipulated amount of time.
This memorandum provides information on a provision of the recently enacted Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-246) that applies to procurements in the Child Nutrition Programs. Section 4302 of P.L. 110-246 amended section 9(j) of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (NSLA) to require the Secretary of Agriculture to encourage institutions operating the Child Nutrition Programs to purchase unprocessed locally grown and locally raised agricultural products.
Section 3602-e of Education Law defines an "eligible child" for UPK programs as a child who resides within a UPK participating school district who is four years of age on or before December 1st or otherwise eligible to attend kindergarten the following school year.
UPK is a voluntary program open to all four year olds as defined above in the district. No preference can be given to children who are from families that are disadvantaged. Children must be selected on a random basis when there are more children that can be served in a given year.
We often receive questions from schools using electronic, scanned, and even paper applications asking if other additional information, which is not required to establish certification of eligibility for child nutrition programs (CNPs), may be requested of households when completing the application process.
The purpose of the application for free and reduced price school meals is to determine if a student’s household is eligible for school meal benefits based on income or categorical eligibility.
The use of prepayment systems is growing increasingly popular. As more and more schools are providing this service, questions have again risen as to if and when it can be used. Consequently, I have revised the December 2005 memo on the subject to address new concerns. The systems are marketed to appeal to parents by offering the convenience of payments for school meals through on-line use of credit cards.
With increasing frequency, school officials are requiring the submission of a free and reduced price meal application from all households with children enrolled in their school regardless of whether the household wishes to make application for free or reduced price meal benefits.