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Meat/Meat Alternates and Grains Maximums


Nutrition Services Division Management Bulletin
Purpose: Policy, Beneficial Information
To: School Nutrition Program Sponsors Number: USDA-SNP-13-2013
Attention: Food Service Directors Date: May 2013
Subject: Extending Flexibility in the Meat/Meat Alternates and Grains Maximums for School Year 2013–14
Reference: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, Policy Memo SP 26-2013

This Management Bulletin (MB) provides important information to School Food Authorities (SFA) on changes to the limits established for meat/meat alternates (MMA) and grains under the Final Rule: Nutrition Standards in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs (Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations, parts 210 and 220).

Extended Flexibility in Meat/Meat Alternates and Grain Maximums

In December 2012, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) issued Policy Memo SP 11-2013 eliminating the daily and weekly maximums for the MMA and grain components for the remainder of the 2012–13 School Year (SY).

Since issuance of Policy Memo SP 11-2013, SFAs, state agencies, and industry members have informed the USDA of continuing challenges in menu planning, product availability, and student acceptance. In addition, SFAs have requested clear guidance to assist with planning and procurement for the 2013–14 SY. Therefore, the USDA has issued Policy Memo SP 26-2013 extending the elimination of weekly maximums through the 2013–14 SY for the grain and MMA components. The extension applies to both lunch and breakfast. These Policy Memos are available on the USDA FNS School Meals Policy Memos Web page at http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/governance/policy.htm.

Important School Food Authority Considerations

While the USDA has extended the elimination of the daily and weekly maximums for grains and MMAs, SFAs must continue to consider the following in menu planning:

Important State Agency Considerations

The California Department of Education, Nutrition Services Division (NSD) continues to review SFA Certification of Compliance packets and conduct validation reviews for compliance with the New Meal Pattern requirements and eligibility for the additional six cents per lunch reimbursement. With the continued flexibility in grain and MMA maximums, the following policy changes will continue:

Understanding the need for long-term guidance, the USDA is considering options for addressing the flexibility beyond the 2013–14 SY, and further guidance will be forthcoming. In addition, legislation introduced in Congress on February 28, 2013—The Sensible School Lunch Act (Senate Bill 427)—if passed, would amend the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 to permanently eliminate maximums on grains and MMAs. The NSD will keep SFAs apprised of any future adjustments as USDA guidance is issued.

Contact Information

If you have any questions regarding this subject, please contact the Menu Certification Unit by

e-mail at HHFKA@cde.ca.gov or by phone at 800-952-5609, Option 2, then select Option 4.

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
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