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:
- Menus must be compliant with the daily and weekly minimums for both components
- Age/grade group calorie ranges must still be met
- Flexibility for these two components is currently limited to the 2012–13 and 2013–14 SYs
- SFAs already certified do not need to recertify
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:
- SFA menus meeting the daily and weekly MMA and grain minimums are compliant
- Menus that exceed the maximum weekly ranges for MMAs and grains are compliant
- Menus must continue to meet all other component requirements, including calorie ranges and saturated fat
- Compliance validation reviews will utilize this flexible approach for these two components
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.
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.