Priority Information Secure ESC Webpages NSLP Equipment Assistance Grants Direct Certification Success

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1 This information is to keep you informed of any changes in policies and procedures and of new communication originating from the state office this month. Please pass the following attachments along to the CEs: Breakfast Wavier Data.xls Breakfast Letter Final.docx Breakfast Waiver Instructions Final.docx SP11_CACFP06_SFSP s.pdf SP s - National School Lunch Program (NSLP) Equipment Assistance Grants - Fiscal Years (FY) 2010 and 2013.pdf SP a - National School Lunch Program (NSLP) Equipment Assistance Grants - Fiscal Years (FY) 2010 and Attachment A.pdf SP s - Paid Lunch Equity-School Year Calculations and Tool.pdf SP a - Paid Lunch Equity-School Year Calculations and Tool Attachment.xls CACFP07_SFSP s - Guidance on Income Eligibility Determination and Duration REISSUED.pdf January 3, Certification of Compliance With Meal Requirements for the NSLP Under the HHFKA of 2010-Final Rule.pdf Priority Information Secure ESC Webpages As the scope of ESC responsibilities has grown, so has the volume of information on our secure ESC webpage. In order to keep the content streamlined and useful, we have started three new ESC pages one for CACFP, one for summer, and one for school nutrition programs. After you login with the same username and password as before, you ll find them under F&N Resources/Texas ESCs. The old page has been retired and replaced with shortcuts to the new pages. NSLP Equipment Assistance Grants Texas was awarded funds from USDA to offer grant funds to schools for equipment purchases (see SP ). TDA is in the process of working on grant application process and selection criteria; this information will be communicated to the SFAs and ESCs as soon as it is available. Direct Certification Success Last fall s concerted effort by TDA Food and Nutrition and ESCs to provide more direct certification training to CEs had impressive results. Thousands of students categorically eligible for free school meals were identified by matching CE enrollment records with state records of participation in SNAP or TANF. An overview of the training initiative is featured on the School Meals Success Stories Web page at s.aspx.

2 The story provides a link to the new introductory how-to guide Getting Started Direct Certification Matching. It can be found at pdf. Links to TDA s complete direct certification training resources are included in the guide. Operations Breakfast Requirement Senate Bill 376 requires that school district campus or an open-enrollment charter school participating in the national school breakfast program in which 80 percent or more of the students qualify for a free or reduced-price breakfast to offer a free breakfast to each student. Attached is a list of sites that meet these criteria. Campuses wishing to opt out of offering breakfast at no cost must seek a waiver. Instructions on how to obtain a waiver can be found in the ARM, section 8. Instructions on the waiver process in TXUNPS are attached above as well. Superintendents and CN Directors with campuses that meet the above criteria will receive the attached letter and instructions. For more information, please contact Adam Luera, Crediting of Fruits and Vegetables All fruits and vegetables served in Child Nutrition Programs must be credited based on volume (e.g. credit in cups not ounces) as indicated in the Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs. Child Nutrition Programs following a manufacturer s statement to credit fruits and/or vegetables based on weight of a serving may not meet the requirements for a reimbursable meal. Policy USDA has released the following policy memos, rules and announcements: SP11_CACFP06_SFSP s Effective Date of Free or Reduced Price Meal Eligibility Determinations SP s - National School Lunch Program (NSLP) Equipment Assistance Grants - Fiscal Years (FY) 2010 and 2013 and Attachment A SP s - Paid Lunch Equity-School Year Calculations and Tool and Attachment CACFP07_SFSP s - Guidance on Income Eligibility Determination and Duration REISSUED The Final Rule, Certification of Compliance with Meal Requirements for the NSLP Under the HHFKA of 2010 was published in the Federal Register. It is attached. USDA makes permanent meat and grain serving flexibilities in NSLP. Please see the press release at Promotions

3 School Breakfast Week Plans for School Breakfast Week (SBW) are underway here at TDA. This year s week-long event will occur on March 3-7 and the theme for Texas is Take Time for School Breakfast Rise & Shine Texas Style, adding a Texas twist to the original SNA theme. For this year s campaign, TDA will provide these web-based resources: Suggested menu and shopping list Menu calendar template Morning announcement scripts Print ready posters (can be printed and placed in existing tri-a-ramas that schools received for NSLW) Please note: TDA will not be mailing schools posters for the SBW campaign. Instead, schools will have the option to print the posters this year by downloading the art file directly from our SBW website. This will allow schools the opportunity to print and display as many quantities as they would like. Additionally, the posters will not have the date for SBW on them. This was done so that schools can display the posters throughout the year(s). The inaugural Local Products Challenge, launched during 2013 National School Lunch Week, was a success and will return for the 2014 SBW! TDA is calling on CEs to use more Texas products in meals served during SBW. All participants will receive recognition from TDA and those that incorporate two or more vegetable sub-groups will receive special recognition. More information will be released in the coming weeks and is available online. CEs can pledge participation in the Local Products Challenge at Please visit the SBW website, to learn more. Website Updates 2014 SFSP Reimbursement Rates The new reimbursement rates for SFSP were released and have been posted at ntrates.aspx. Required Records Training A training video and calendar for required records have been posted at Community Eligibility Provision New Community Eligibility Provision pages have been added under NSLP and SBP. We will add information as it becomes available. Please visit ision.aspx and check back regularly for updates.

4 Farm to School Updates Golden Grapefruit Award Recognition In celebration of 2013 National School Lunch Week (NSLW), Texas schools took students on a Texas-Size Taste Tour. In recognition of this year s theme, TDA launched the inaugural Local Products Challenge which recognized October as National Farm to School Month and added a Texas twist to the excitement surrounding NSLW. TDA will recognize 21 challenge participants with the Golden Grapefruit Award, for incorporating a weekly average of three of more Texas products each day during NSLW and showing their commitment to supporting Texas agriculture and teaching students about locally sourced foods. Angela Olige will present the Golden Grapefruit Awards at the TASN Industry Seminar on Jan. 31 to directors of the following CEs: Aldine ISD Aledo ISD Anthony ISD Bullard ISD Coppell ISD Decatur ISD El Paso ISD Harlingen CISD Harmony Science Academy Brownsville Houston ISD Hurst Euless Bedford ISD La Vernia ISD Leander ISD Northwest ISD Petersburg ISD Raymondville ISD Round Rock ISD Sharyland ISD Weatherford ISD White Settlement ISD Zavalla ISD 7th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference April 15-18, 2014 in Austin, Texas Registration Open Early Bird Prices Available! Are you interested in incorporating local products into your meals or snacks, including gardenbased learning opportunities for your children or connecting with local farmers? If so, the National Farm to Cafeteria Conference is coming to Texas and will offer the perfect venue to participate in field trips, attend workshops and network with others that are creating positive connections between children and local food. The conference is hosted by the National Farm to School Network. For more information and to register, visit Scholarships will be available. The National Farm to School Network makes it a priority to keep conferences affordable and to offer scholarships and volunteer positions to make the event more accessible. If you are interested in volunteering at the conference or receiving a scholarship to help cover the cost of conference registration, please visit the conference website. Upcoming USDA Webinar Series

5 During 2014, USDA will host a new webinar series, Finding, Buying and Serving Local Foods, covering topics related to local foods procurement. Procurement is often cited as a challenge when beginning farm to school activities, and these webinars will highlight how schools can purchase local products while meeting federal regulations. The next webinar is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 23. Read the full webinar schedule and registration information at All webinars will be recorded and TDA will post links to archived versions on that page as well. Please contact Alyssa Herold, Farm to School Program Specialist, with any questions regarding farm to school activities, including procurement of local food items, nutrition or agricultural educational opportunities for students or school gardening.