This final rule incorporates into the regulations governing the programs authorized under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (NSLA) and the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (CNA) two nondiscretionary provisions of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFK Act). The HHFK Act requires state and local cooperation in Department of Agriculture studies and evaluations related to Programs authorized under the NSLA and the CNA.
The HHFK Act also amends the NSLA to stipulate that federal funds must not be subject to state budget restrictions or limitations, including hiring freezes, work furloughs, and travel restrictions. This final rule amends regulations for the National School Lunch Program; the Special Milk Program for Children; the School Breakfast Program; the Summer Food Service Program; the Child and Adult Care Food Program; State Administrative Expense Funds ; the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children; and the WIC Farmers' Market Nutrition Program. These provisions will strengthen program integrity by ensuring that sufficient data is made available for studies and evaluations. Additionally, exempting federal funds from state budgetary restrictions or limitations is intended to increase the ability of state agencies to administer USDA's nutrition assistance programs effectively.