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Clarification Regarding the Use of OVS in CACFP


Nutrition Services Division Management Bulletin
Purpose: Policy, Beneficial Information

To: Child and Adult Care Food Program Agencies

Number: NSD-CACFP-12-2012
NSD-SNP-18-2012

Attention: Food Program/Service Directors

Date: October 2012

Subject: Clarification Regarding the Use of Offer Versus Serve in Child and Adult Care Food Program At-risk, Afterschool Meal Programs

Reference: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, Policy Memo SP 10-2011– REVISED; Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 226.20(o); Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, Section 9; California Health and Safety Code sections 113871, 113876, 114079, and 114432; California Civil Code Section 1714.25; California Department of Education Management Bulletins 96-110 and NSD-SNP-05-2008

Supersedes: Management Bulletin Clarification Regarding the Use of Offer Versus Serve in Child and Adult Care Food Program At-risk, Afterschool Meal Programs (USDA-CACFP-11-2011)

This Management Bulletin (MB) provides clarification regarding the use of Offer Versus Serve (OVS) for agencies that both:

This MB supersedes the guidance provided in MB USDA-CACFP-11-2011, Clarification Regarding the Use of OVS in CACFP At-risk, Afterschool Meal Programs.

Background

OVS is a concept that pertains to the meal patterns used in School Nutrition Programs (SNP). It allows students to decline two of the five food components offered in a school lunch, while still allowing programs to claim those meals as complete and reimbursable. The goals of implementing OVS are to reduce food waste and allow students to choose foods that they prefer. 

Offer Versus Serve and Meal Pattern Substitutions

As outlined in Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 226.20(o), agencies participating in the CACFP may substitute the NSLP meal pattern, including the use of OVS, if they serve meals prepared by an SFA that is participating in the NSLP. This means that if an At-risk, Afterschool Meal Program site is sponsored by an SFA, or if the agency operating the site has an agreement with an SFA for vended meals, the agency has a choice of using the CACFP meal pattern which does not allow OVS, or the NSLP meal pattern which may include OVS. If the CACFP agency chooses to use the NSLP meal pattern instead of the CACFP meal pattern, and implement OVS, they must reflect this in the food service agreement with the school that is providing the agency’s meals. OVS cannot be used when serving snacks under the CACFP or NSLP.

Offer Versus Serve Requirements for the 2012 Food-based
Menu Planning Approach in School Nutrition Programs

Meal Pattern

Minimum number of food components that must be offered

Minimum number of food components that must be taken

NSLP

5

3 food components must be taken, including at least ½ cup of either a fruit or vegetable*

*Agencies must offer five food components (milk, fruits, vegetables, grains, and meat/meat alternates). Students are allowed to decline two of the five required food components, but must take at least ½ cup of either a fruit or vegetable. Students must take the other food components in the quantities planned.

Keep in mind when determining which meal pattern to use that OVS can take more time as children take time to select the items they want and staff must document that the minimum items were taken by each child. If the student does not take at least three food components in the quantities planned, the meal cannot be claimed for reimbursement.

Information on the new SNP meal patterns can be viewed at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Nutrition Standards for School Meals Web page at http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/governance/legislation/nutritionstandards.htm.

If you have questions regarding the use of leftover food please refer to MB USDA-CNP-04-2012: Guidance on the Donation of Leftover Food, which can be accessed from the CACFP Management Bulletins Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/nu/cc/mb.asp.

At-risk, Afterschool Meals Handbook

The USDA has issued an update to the At-risk, Afterschool Meals Handbook that covers requirements of the at-risk, afterschool component of the CACFP. The most recent edition of the handbook can be downloaded from the USDA CACFP Afterschool Programs Web page at http://www.fns.usda.gov/cacfp/afterschool-programs.

Child and Adult Care Food Program Contact Information

You may find a list of contact information for your CACFP specialist in the Download Forms section of the Child Nutrition Information and Payment System. You may also contact Nancy Charpentier, CACFP Unit Secretary, by phone at 916-327-2991 or by e-mail at ncharpentier@cde.ca.gov.

National School Lunch Program Contact Information

SFAs may contact Lori Porter, Child Nutrition Consultant (CNC), by phone at 916-322-1454 or by e-mail at lporter@cde.ca.gov; or Stephanie Enright, CNC, by phone at 916-323-0122 or by e-mail at senright@cde.ca.gov.

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
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